Need a gentle, soothing ingredient with powerful results? The terpene Bisabolol may have the exact benefits you’re looking for! Keep reading for all the details.
Bisabolol, also known as α-bisabolol or levomenol, is a surprisingly powerful isolate. It’s a potent antioxidant, can reduce skin inflammation, and it even has neuroprotective and pain-relieving properties. Yes, its scent is gentle and calming, but its effects are a serious flex.
Today, we’re covering five benefits of bisabolol and where you might run into this sweet, floral terpene.
Reading Time - 6 min
5 Powerful Bisabolol Benefits You SHOULD Be Getting
Its scent is sweet, but those effects are potent. Here’s a quick rundown of those bisabolol benefits:
- Bisabolol has a floral, yet earthy and woody aroma. Found in German chamomile, it’s been used for centuries for a variety of medicinal purposes.
- This isolate is particularly beneficial for cosmetic and skincare products. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties make it an excellent addition for many personal care products.
- The anti-inflammatory effects of bisabolol also give it pain-relieving properties.
- Bisabolol helps reduce anxiety by interacting with GABA receptors.
- Several studies have also indicated it could successfully inhibit the growth of glial cells (a type of tumor).
What is Bisabolol?
If you enjoy a fresh cup of German chamomile tea, you’ve already experienced the gentle sweetness of this isolate. It’s floral, yet earthy and woody. It’s the kind of scent that immediately makes you relax your jaw, untense your shoulders, and basically calm tf down (Spoiler—it’s a natural anxiolytic).
If you’re looking for cannabis strains with a hefty dose of bisabolol, you’ll want to check out strains from the Headband or Kush families. Two of our favorite strains with elevated levels of bisabolol include GSC and Master Kush.
Bisabolol Therapeutic Benefits
Due to its particular list of effects, α-bisabolol is often used in personal care products like cosmetics, fragrances, skincare, and more. Fair warning though. After learning about its many therapeutic benefits, you’ll want to add this terpene isolate to ALL your products.
Alpha-Bisabolol Has Potent Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Let’s start with some of the most widely studied aspects of this isolate. The reason bisabolol is popular for cosmetic and skincare products is that it’s GREAT at reducing skin inflammation and it provides a much-needed dose of antioxidants to your skin. Admittedly, this isn’t new information. Plants with bisabolol have been used in traditional medicines for centuries to treat sunburns, skin irritations, and mild burns.
One study found that bisabolol has therapeutic potential by, “improving the antioxidant network and restoring the redox balance by antagonising oxidative stress.” For those of you without a PhD in biochemistry, that means bisabolol could reduce reactive oxygen species and consequent inflammation (1). Even more simply? Bisabolol helps slow oxidative stress and the inflammation that it causes.
Another study administered a topical bisabolol substance to rats with skin inflammation and found that it significantly inhibited skin symptoms. In the end, their “findings suggested that α-(-)-bisabolol may be a useful therapeutic candidate for the treatment of skin inflammation” (2).
Pro Tip: Many skincare products use Bisabolol because it’s also rich in panthenol, a chemical substance built of pantothenic acid and a vitamin B5 form. This makes it a potent humectant that keeps skin moisturized while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The Antibacterial and Antifungal Effects of Alpha-Bisabolol Are Perfect for Acne-Fighting and Sanitizing Products
While we’re on the topic of skincare, it’s hard to mention bisabolol without talking about it’s powerful antibacterial properties. One study published by the Archives of Oral Biology noted that alpha-bisabolol, in combination with tea-tree oil, successfully killed bacterium S. moorei (3). That’s the bacteria associated with halitosis, so having less is definitely a good thing.
These antibacterial effects also make it a great addition to acne-fighting products and sanitizing products. Oftentimes, the ingredients used for these items are harsh and irritating. Bisabolol, however, is gentle enough that it can get the job done without causing the same type of drying or irritation.
Another study found that it may even have antifungal properties. The Journal of Essential Oil Research examined bisabolol alongside another plant compound and found “Because both compounds are safe for use in cosmetics, the data presented here suggest potential utility as antimicrobials in cosmetics, food and as a topical antifungal treatment” (4).
Bisabolol May Help Relieve Pain
Whether you’re creating a tincture, vape, topical, or edible, using bisabolol as an ingredient will ramp up the analgesic properties of your products.
It’s important to note, however, that research indicates the anti-nociceptive properties of bisabolol are related to the inflammatory process. In one study, alpha-bisabolol helped “decrease leukocyte migration, protein extravasations and the amount of TNF-α to the peritoneal cavity in response to carrageenan. Additionally, (-)-α-bisabolol reduced neutrophil degranulation in response to phorbol-myristate-acetate” (5). Results like these are important because they demonstrate both the anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive mechanisms of bisabolol.
Anxiolytic Properties of Bisabolol Make it Particularly Calming
Yes, on top of being great for your skin, reducing pain, and killing bacteria, bisabolol is also an anxiolytic. Could we love this isolate more?! Honestly, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Just imagine a relaxing cup of chamomile tea, and you’ll understand what we mean. This is more than just anecdotal evidence though!
One research group specifically “evaluated behavioral effects of bisabolol using elevated plus maze (EPM), open field test (OFT), and rotarod test. Moreover, this study also examined whether the 5-HT1A and GABAA-benzodiazepine receptor systems are involved in the anxiolytic-like effects of bisabolol.” Essentially, they wanted to see precisely why bisabolol had calming effects (6). Their results indicated that bisabolol’s anxiolytic and sedative properties involve interactions with GABA receptors.
Alpha-Bisabolol May Have Neuroprotective and Anti-Tumor Benefits
Specifically, alpha-bisabolol “was found to have a stron time- and dose-dependent cytotoxic effect on human and rat glioma cells.” Glioma cells are a specific type of tumor cell originating in the brain.
One particular study, published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, found that when these cells were treated with high concentrations of bisabolol, they promoted 100% cell death without affecting normal surrounding cells (7). That’s big news! Additionally, a separate study showed how the anti-inflammatory properties of bisabolol prevented neuronal damage and memory deficits by reducing proinflammatory markers in mice (8).
Potential Bisabolol Side Effects
Like most terpenes, alpha-bisabolol is generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when used as directed (9).
It’s important to remember, however, that too much of a good thing can still cause problems. Those with skin sensitivities may experience mild contact dermatitis, ”Contact dermatitis from bisabolol has been reported in Europe and is purported to occur in the United States. Patch testing with bisabolol-containing products or bisabolol may be useful in the work-up of patients with presumptive allergic contact dermatitis or potentially worsening atopic dermatitis” (10).
However, if following usage instructions will help you avoid potential side-effects. Remember—dosage is key.
Try Bisabolol Today for Added Benefits to Your Products
This monocyclic sesquiterpene alcohol packs a powerful punch. From relieving stress through aromatherapy to its anti-tumor properties, α-bisabolol is a seriously underrated terpene. Plus, its aroma is gentle and sweet.