If you have been following along with us, you know we have been doing an in-depth study of the terpenes in CBD and cannabis in general. In this next post, we are going to cover Caryophyllene.
As a quick refresher, terpenes are an important component of many full or broad-spectrum CBD products, and understanding what they do could be the key to unlocking the perfect product to fit your needs. Terpenes are chemicals in cannabis which not only give the plant its distinctive scent but also have several health benefits.
Caryophyllene is considered a “spicy” terpene and is present in many different herbs and seasonings outside of cannabis, including oregano, basil, and black pepper. Because of its structure, it’s also found in fragrant oils such as rosemary or clove oil and can even be found in hops. When you smell a cannabis strain that contains caryophyllene, it usually smells peppery, aromatic, and quite warm.
On a molecular level, caryophyllene is one of the bigger terpenes, right up there with limonene and myrcene. It’s cellular structure also contains something called a cyclobutene ring, which is extremely rare and only found in the caryophyllene terpene. It comes in a few different forms called isomers—identified as either BCP, BCPO, or a-humulene.
Caryophyllene is one of the more unique cannabis terpenes because it’s the only one that’s known to behave like a cannabinoid. This behavior is because caryophyllene directly interacts with the body’s CB2 receptors, which are primarily found in peripheral organs. It can do this because of its unique molecular composition, which allows caryophyllene to activate the healing properties of CB2 receptors without having psychoactive effects.
What Are the Benefits of Caryophyllene?
Many topical cannabis products contain higher levels of caryophyllene because not only does it have a soothing aromatic effect, but it’s also reputed to cause relaxation and reduce anxiety levels. Because of its unique molecular structure and ability to target CB2 receptors, it is frequently considered one of the most therapeutic terpenes. In addition to being calming, caryophyllene has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it great to use on the skin.
Some other therapeutic benefits attributed to caryophyllene include digestive relief, reduced alcohol cravings, pain relief, and even the ability to act as an antibacterial agent. More specifically, caryophyllene is thought to stop the growth of a fungus called candida, which is becoming more and more common in humans and is resistant to many traditional drugs. This benefit is especially useful to anyone going through cancer treatment, as they are more susceptible to bacterial infections. Many caryophyllene isomers, including BCP and BCPO, are thought to have cancer-healing properties.
If you’re looking to find caryophyllene or you’re wondering how to get more of it in your diet, there are a few ways. First, there are many strains of cannabis which contain a higher percentage of caryophyllene than average. Some of these strains include Lavender, Candyland, Blueberry Cheesecake, Death Star, and Original Glue. In addition to cannabis, you can also ingest any of the foods in which caryophyllene is present, such as black pepper, cinnamon, oregano, or even broccoli.