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Terpene Tuesday: Caryophyllene

Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann
Heady Vermont Staff 12 Nov 2019

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 caryophyllene!

What is caryophyllene?

Caryophyllene, also called beta-caryophyllene or BCP, 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.

Caryophyllene in everyday life

This terpene can be found in aromatic oils like rosemary and clove oil, and in nature it’s most commonly found in hops, cloves, black pepper, oregano, cinnamon, and basil.

Strains rich in the cannabis terpene caryophyllene

Caryophyllene is found in high levels in many strains of the Cookies family—Platinum GSC, GSC, Cookies and Cream, and Candyland (Platinum Cookies x Grandaddy Purple). This stress-relieving terpene is also present in many hybrids known to cause relaxation and reduce anxiety.

Therapeutic properties of caryophyllene

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 known one that has the ability to directly activate a cannabinoid receptor, especially CB2 receptors.

Due to its unique ability to bind with CB2 receptors, Beta-caryophyllene has potent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. It is known to help relieve anxiety and pain, reduce cholesterol, prevent Osteoporosis, and treat seizures.

Quick Facts

β-caryophyllene

Aroma: Woody, Earthy, Spicy

Found in: Black pepper, basil, hops, oregano, rosemary, cloves, cinnamon

Vaporizes: 246.2°F

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.

Polypharmacological Properties and Therapeutic Potential of β-Caryophyllene: A Dietary Phytocannabinoid of Pharmaceutical Promise

β-Caryophyllene, a CB2 receptor agonist produces multiple behavioral changes relevant to anxiety and depression in mice

 

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