Hashishene – major terpenes and transformations

The volatile constituents of Cannabis sativa L. have been widely studied in the past, and most studies have reported the predominance of mono- and sesquiterpenes.

Our analytical investigations of cannabis herb and resin (hashish) led us to observe clear differences in the chemical composition of their headspaces.

It appeared that most of the major terpenes present in fresh cannabis herb undergo various transformations during hashish manufacture, including isomerization, dehydration, cyclisation, and more specifically, photo-oxidation.

Hashish samples were determined to contain a huge variety of oxygenated terpenes which could be related to the initial terpenes identified in fresh herb.


Hashishene - major terpenes and transformations

Wish to rename Hashishene

Most importantly, hashish samples were determined to contain significant amounts of a rare monoterpene, 1-vinyl-5,5-dimethyl-bicyclohexane, that we wish to rename hashishene.

We demonstrated hashishene as being formed during the manufacture of hashish upon photolytic rearrangement of beta-myrcene, a monoterpene that is particularly abundant in fresh cannabis herb.

Owing to its rare natural occurrence in other essential oils and to its high abundance in hashish, this compound might thus prove useful as a hashish marker for remote-sensing applications.

Multidimensional analysis of cannabis volatile constituents: Identification of 5,5-dimethyl-1-vinylbicyclo-hexane as a volatile marker of hashish, the resin of Cannabis sativa L.




Any of a large group of volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants, including cannabis (with over 120 terpenes) which play a large part in the aromas and flavours of plants. Cannabinoids are a class of terpenophenolic (part terpenoid, part phenol) compounds.

While terpenes are hydrocarbon groups created by various combinations of the isoprene units that make them up, and may be aromatic, all phenols are aromatic hydrocarbons, which means they have a very pronounced aroma.

Terpenoids are compounds related to terpenes but may also include oxygen or have molecules rearranged; the terms are often used interchangeably.

Cannabinoids, being half terpene and half phenol, have very pronounced aromas and flavours.


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