Know Your Terps: Beta-Caryophyllene
Welcome to our Terpene Spotlight, each month we want to cover a different terpene found in the cannabis plant and talk about the amazing characteristics and benefits.
Which better terpene to start with than one of the most unique and interesting: Beta-Caryophyllene!
Beta-Caryophyllene is an anti-inflammatory sesquiterpene. A compound commonly found in rosemary, cloves, cinnamon, hops, black pepper and cannabis sativa.
This terpene has a unique chemical structure making it a rare occurrence in nature. It’s a bicyclic sesquiterpene, meaning that it has 2 adjoining rings in it’s structure and consists of 3 isoprene units with the general formula of C15H24…. OK so you’re thinking what does this have to do with me?
Let’s break it down.
These isoprene units are vital in the formation of fat soluble vitamins, carotenoids and nutrients in plants.
Essential oils, for example, are powerful concentrates of plant terpenes and their implied healing effects stem from the terpene content.
We know that the nutrients we get from plants are essential for a healthy diet. Terpenes are a pre-cursor to these nutrient benefits so what about their role in the CANNABIS SATIVA plant?
Beta-Caryophyllene is one of the more powerfully associated dry and sweet tasting compound contributing to the healing effects of the plants it's found in.
In cannabis, terpenes are the compounds that contribute to the smell, taste and characteristics of the strain they are found in. As we learn more about the synergistic effects of terpenes and their interactions with our endocannabinoid system within our bodies, we understand more about the specific strains and their benefits.
Beta-Caryophyllene activates the body’s endocannbinoid system therefore the potential therapeutic effects are being researched and acknowledged. Our body’s endocannabinoid system promotes health and homeostasis throughout cells in our entire body. Scientists have identified CB1 and CB2 receptors thus far, there might be more CB receptors to be discovered. When stimulated the CB receptors perform actions for critical physiological functions.
When you get high from consuming THC in cannabis it has competed for the CB1 receptor and stimulated a psycho-active effect. Research is revealing that CB2 receptor is a “therapeutic target” and is associated with mood and pain.
Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic-PAIN RELIEF. We have all heard the natural remedy of clove oil being used for toothaches. Turns out it’s not just an old wive’s tale. Clove is high in beta-caryophellene. Beta-Caryophyllene activates CB2 receptors the agonist for pain relief.
“... activation of the CB2 receptor is a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of inflammation, pain, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis.” Gertsch et al.
Does it help with anxiety and Depression?
Anxiolytic and Anti-depressant: Beta-Caryophyllene’s proven actions as an agonist for the CB2 receptor suggests its consumption could be attributed to mood boosting and anti-depressing qualities.
More research should be done to help understand the depth of this special terpene and its synergy with the body.