Terpene Tuesday: Carophyllene
Also called beta-caryophyllene or BCP, the terpene caryophyllene is present in many herbs and spices, including black pepper, basil, and oregano, and cannabis strains with high levels of it deliver a spicy, funky warmth to the nose, similar to cinnamon and cloves. That pungent, sharp smell you get when you crack pepper? That’s carophyllene!
Caryophyllene is a larger molecule than terpenes like myrcene and limonene. Its molecular structure also contains a cyclobutane ring, something not only uncommon in nature, but also not found in any other known cannabis terpene.
The unique molecular structure of caryophyllene allows it to easily bind to CB2 receptors located primarily within our peripheral endocannabinoid system. This means that it doesn’t cause any of the euphoric feelings of cannabis, while still providing many of the benefits associated with activating those receptors, such as reducing inflammation.
It’s unlike any other terpene because it is the only one that has the ability to directly activate a cannabinoid receptor, especially CB2 receptors.
Aroma: Woody, Earthy, Spicy
Found in: Black pepper, basil, hops, oregano, rosemary, cloves, cinnamon
Strains: GSC, Bubba Kush, Sour Diesel, Chemdog, Candyland, Death Star, Original Glue, Cookies and Cream, Gelato, The White, Master Kush
Properties: Anti-inflammatory, gastro-protective, antioxidant, neuroprotective
Consider this terpene for its effects on inflammation, or for an antioxidant boost.