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Eugenol is the terpene that gives spices like nutmeg and bay leaf their characteristic taste/smell but it can also be found in many cannabis strains. Preclinical research indicates that eugenol can be therapeutic in many diseases. However, it must be noted that eugenol is only present in trace amounts (0.01-1%) in cannabis flowers which may not be enough to exert therapeutic effects on its own. Still eugenol may prove to be of therapeutic value at higher concentrations (extracts) or in combination with other cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis.

Chemical Name


Wikipedia Entry


Literature Discussion

Preclinical research showed eugenol has therapeutic properties in the following diseases:

  • Anti-bacterial (Campylobacter jejuni) (Upadhyay et al., 2017)
  • Anti-bacterial (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) (Rathinam et al., 2017)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Han and Parker, 2017)
  • Antioxidant and anti-bacterial (Zhang et al., 2017)
  • Breast pre-cancerous lesions (Ma et al., 2017)
  • Diabetes (Hafizur et al., 2017)
  • epilepsy (Joushi and Salmani, 2017)
  • leukemia, protective against arsenic trioxide chemotherapy (Binu et al., 2017)
  • Mosquito larvicide (Govindarajan et al., 2016)(Thomas et al., 2017)
  • Mosquito repellent (Ali et al., 2017)
  • Neuropathic pain (Paula-Freire et al., 2016)
  • Neuroprotective in aluminium toxicity (Said and Rabo, 2017)
  • obesity (Ding et al., 2017)



Ali, A., Cantrell, C.L., and Khan, I.A. (2017). A New In Vitro Bioassay System for the Discovery and Quantitative Evaluation of Mosquito Repellents. J. Med. Entomol. 54, 1328–1336.

Binu, P., Priya, N., Abhilash, S., Vineetha, R.C., and Nair, R.H. (2017). Studies on curative efficacy of monoterpene eugenol on anti- leukemic drug arsenic trioxide induced cardiotoxicity. Biomed. Pharmacother. Biomedecine Pharmacother. 91, 559–566.

Ding, Y., Gu, Z., Wang, Y., Wang, S., Chen, H., Zhang, H., Chen, W., and Chen, Y.Q. (2017). Clove extract functions as a natural fatty acid synthesis inhibitor and prevents obesity in a mouse model. Food Funct. 8, 2847–2856.

Govindarajan, M., Rajeswary, M., Hoti, S.L., Bhattacharyya, A., and Benelli, G. (2016). Eugenol, α-pinene and β-caryophyllene from Plectranthus barbatus essential oil as eco-friendly larvicides against Malaria, dengue and Japanese encephalitis mosquito vectors. Parasitol. Res. 115, 807–815.

Hafizur, R.M., Momin, S., and Fatima, N. (2017). Prevention of advanced glycation end-products formation in diabetic rats through beta-cell modulation by Aegle marmelos. BMC Complement. Altern. Med. 17, 227.

Han, X., and Parker, T.L. (2017). Anti-inflammatory activity of clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) essential oil in human dermal fibroblasts. Pharm. Biol. 55, 1619–1622.

Joushi, S., and Salmani, M.E. (2017). Effect of eugenol on lithium-pilocarpine model of epilepsy: behavioral, histological, and molecular changes. Iran. J. Basic Med. Sci. 20, 745–752.

Ma, M., Ma, Y., Zhang, G.-J., Liao, R., Jiang, X.-F., Yan, X.-X., Bie, F.-J., Li, X.-B., and Lv, Y.-H. (2017). Eugenol alleviated breast precancerous lesions through HER2/PI3K-AKT pathway-induced cell apoptosis and S-phase arrest. Oncotarget 8, 56296–56310.

Paula-Freire, L.I.G., Molska, G.R., Andersen, M.L., and Carlini, E.L. de A. (2016). Ocimum gratissimum Essential Oil and Its Isolated Compounds (Eugenol and Myrcene) Reduce Neuropathic pain in Mice. Planta Med. 82, 211–216.

Rathinam, P., Vijay Kumar, H.S., and Viswanathan, P. (2017). Eugenol exhibits anti-virulence properties by competitively binding to quorum sensing receptors. Biofouling 33, 624–639.

Said, M.M., and Rabo, M.M.A. (2017). Neuroprotective effects of eugenol against aluminiuminduced toxicity in the rat brain. Arh. Hig. Rada Toksikol. 68, 27–37.

Thomas, A., Mazigo, H.D., Manjurano, A., Morona, D., and Kweka, E.J. (2017). Evaluation of active ingredients and larvicidal activity of clove and cinnamon essential oils against Anopheles gambiae (sensu lato). Parasit. Vectors 10, 411.

Upadhyay, A., Arsi, K., Wagle, B.R., Upadhyaya, I., Shrestha, S., Donoghue, A.M., and Donoghue, D.J. (2017). Trans-Cinnamaldehyde, Carvacrol, and Eugenol Reduce Campylobacter jejuni Colonization Factors and Expression of Virulence Genes in Vitro. Front. Microbiol. 8, 713.

Zhang, L.-L., Zhang, L.-F., Xu, J.-G., and Hu, Q.-P. (2017). Comparison study on antioxidant, DNA damage protective and antibacterial activities of eugenol and isoeugenol against several foodborne pathogens. Food Nutr. Res. 61, 1353356.