Everything you need to know about the terpene β-Caryophyllene
More than a hundred and twenty terpenes are known in the cannabis plant to promote various health benefits. Terpenes can help define the cannabis smell, taste, and outcomes on different strains.
β-Caryophyllene is generally the most common sesquiterpene in cannabis, and the most abundantly produced terpene in Nature (Mediavilla and Steinemann, 1997). Over the last decade, it has gained scientific attention after discovering that it can directly activate cannabinoids receptors (Russo, 2011). Basically, the β-Caryophyllene terpene acts as a cannabinoid.
In this article, we will explore the latest evidence supporting potential Beta-Caryophyllene use and its benefits.
What is Beta-Caryophyllene?
The Terpene Beta-Caryophyllene is present in black pepper, oregano, basil, and many other herbs and spices. Beta-Caryophyllene molecular structure is unique; it is more significant than other terpenes and contains a rare cyclobutene ring not found in any other cannabis terpene.
CB1 and CB2 receptors are essential in the vast network of receptors in the endocannabinoid system. CB1 receptors are principally located in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found mainly in our peripheral organs. When THC is ingested, it primarily binds to CB1, producing a euphoric effect. Beta-Caryophyllene easily attaches to CB2, meaning it doesn't cause the psychoactive feeling of cannabis while still giving the benefits associated, like reducing inflammation. It is an anti-inflammatory comparable in potency to phenylbutazone (Russo, 2011). As mentioned earlier, its relationship with the endocannabinoid system and its ability to bind to CB2 receptors gives it excellent potential to provide medicinal benefits.
This terpene has a spicy and peppery aroma associated with smelling cracked pepper. Cannabis strains with high beta-caryophyllene levels are known to be musky and spicy. Some are also distinguished to have a funky profile. It is found in hops, cloves, oregano, spinach, chard, cinnamon, rosemary, allspice, thyme, fig, pot marjoram, and Roman chamomile.
Beta-Caryophyllene rich cannabis cultivars:
This terpene is found in many of the known cannabis strains. In some varieties, it can make up to a third of their essential oil. This terpene is also present in many hybrids that can provide relaxation and reduce anxiety. Due to its aroma, it's easy to detect in a strain.
Some strains rich in beta-caryophyllene include:
Do Si Dos
The Entourage Effect: How Beta-Caryophyllene interacts with other Cannabinoids
Cannabinoids and terpenes blend in the human body to modify one another effects and, in essence, create an overall different, or "greater," efficacy based on the same molecules present and, of equal importance, the ratios in which they appear (Russo, 2011).
The interaction of THC+ Beta-Caryophyllene can prevent the development of gastric issues. Additionally, b-caryophyllene has been shown to counteract THC's psychoactivity, which can be beneficial in instances where too much THC has been consumed.
The interaction of CBD+ Beta-Caryophyllene can be a potential adjunctive treatment for substance abuse/addiction.
The interaction of Humulene+ Beta-Caryophyllene can have anti-inflammatory properties that make it practical for treating arthritis, bursitis, and fibromyalgia.
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. Also, some research has shown that it may help against certain neurodegenerative diseases and cancers.
Beta-Caryophyllene Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Beta-caryophyllene can reduce inflammation in the brain and chemicals that cause oxidative stress associated with inflammation. (Javed, Azimullah, Haque, & Ojha, 2016). These properties can aid the brain from swelling during a stroke and improve its outcomes. Besides, it has been shown to reduce gut inflammation. (Cho JY; Chang HJ; Lee SK; Kim HJ; Hwang JK; Chun HS;)
Beta-Caryophyllene Antibacterial & Antimicrobial Properties: studies suggest that beta-caryophyllene helps fight bacterial dental plaque build-up. (Pieri FA; Souza MC; Vermelho LL; Vermelho ML; Perciano PG; Vargas FS; Borges AP; da Veiga-Junior VF; Moreira MA;), and makes it a potential alternative to typically prescribed medications like chlorhexidine. Also, it reduces microorganisms like Streptococcus pneumonia, Haemophilus influenza, and E. coli (Swamy, Akhtar, & Sinniah, 2016).
Beta-Caryophyllene and Osteoporosis: studies suggest β-caryophyllene is a therapeutic agent to prevent and treat Osteoporosis. It is thought that Beta-Caryophyllene increases stronger bone building while decreasing bone breakdown (adipogenesis and osteoclastogenesis)(Yamaguchi & Levy, 2016).
Beta-Caryophyllene Cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis: A 2007 study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology indicated that when Beta-caryophyllene is used in conjunction with the anti-cancer agent paclitaxel, it increased paclitaxel's activity ten-fold in colon cancer cells. Additionally, when used together with alpha-humulene and is caryophyllene, it increased their anti-cancer activity in human tumor cell lines. Also, it can reduce inflammation connected with multiple sclerosis and immune system dysfunctions (Dias, Fontes, Crotti, Aarestrup, & Aarestrup, 2014).
Beta-Caryophyllene and pain: it may help to reduce pain related to the nervous system and provide topical pain relief in creams and ointments because it acts as a local anesthetic (Russo, 2011). It can release the same endorphins as morphine without being addictive. (Katsuyama S; Mizoguchi H; Kuwahata H; Komatsu T; Nagaoka K; Nakamura H; Bagetta G; Sakurada T; Sakurada S;)
**Note: As always, with medical conditions and symptoms, please consult with your doctor for personalized medical advice. The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the statements made regarding these products. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Mediavilla V, Steinemann S. Essential oil of Cannabis sativa L. strains. J Intl Hemp Assoc. 1997;4:82–84.
Legault, J., Pichet, A. (2007) Potentiating effect of beta-caryophyllene on anticancer activity of alpha-humulene, is caryophyllene, and paclitaxel. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 59(12):1643-7.
Russo, E.B. (2011, August). Taming THC: Potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid - terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology. 163: 1351. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/
Javed, H., Azimullah, S., Haque, M., & Ojha, S. (2016, August 2). Cannabinoid Type 2 (CB2) Receptors Activation Protects against Oxidative Stress and Neuroinflammation Associated Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration in Rotenone Model of Parkinson's Disease. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4969295/
Cho JY; Chang HJ; Lee SK; Kim HJ; Hwang JK; Chun HS; (n.d.). Amelioration of dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis in mice by oral administration of beta-caryophyllene, a sesquiterpene. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17188718/
Pieri FA;Souza MC;Vermelho LL;Vermelho ML;Perciano PG;Vargas FS;Borges AP;da Veiga-Junior VF;Moreira MA;. (n.d.). Use of β-caryophyllene to combat bacterial dental plaque formation in dogs. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27716286/
Swamy, M., Akhtar, M., & Sinniah, U. (2016). Antimicrobial Properties of Plant Essential Oils against Human Pathogens and Their Mode of Action: An Updated Review. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5206475/
Yamaguchi, M., & Levy, R. (2016, December). β-Caryophyllene promotes osteoblastic mineralization and suppresses osteoclastogenesis and adipogenesis in mouse bone marrow cultures in vitro., from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5228512/
Dias, D., Fontes, L., Crotti, A., Aarestrup, B., & Aarestrup, F. (2014, August 21). Copaiba Oil Suppresses Inflammatory Cytokines in Splenocytes of C57Bl/6 Mice Induced with Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE). Retrieved November 09, 2020, from https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/19/8/12814/htm
Katsuyama S; Mizoguchi H; Kuwahata H; Komatsu T; Nagaoka K; Nakamura H; Bagetta G; Sakurada T; Sakurada S. (n.d.). Involvement of peripheral cannabinoid and opioid receptors in β-caryophyllene-induced antinociception., from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23138934/