You may not have heard of a cannabinoid terpene called beta-caryophyllene, but it’s one you should know. Caryophyllene is a terpene found in many plants, including cannabis, and it is known for its spicy, woody, and balsamic aroma. Caryophyllene is also the only terpene known to interact with the human body’s endocannabinoid system by being able to bind to our bodies’ CB2 receptors. This interaction is thought to be responsible for some of caryophyllene’s therapeutic effects and makes this terpene a significant area of focus for scientists and researchers.
beta-Caryophyllene has shown therapeutic potential in several areas. For example, it has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent. Caryophyllene has also been shown to help protect the brain after traumatic injury and to reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, beta-caryophyllene shows promise as a treatment for addiction and substance abuse disorders. Given its wide range of potential medical applications, it is no wonder that caryophyllene is being studied more and more by scientists worldwide.
The Potential Benefits of beta-Caryophyllene
Caryophyllene is a phytocannabinoid with various pharmacological activities such as cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, gastroprotective, neuroprotective, nephroprotective, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and immune-modulator. It has shown potent therapeutic promise in neuropathic pain, neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases.
One of the pharmacological activities of caryophyllene is its cardioprotective effect. A study published in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology showed that caryophyllene protects against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury. Myocardial ischemia occurs when there is a lack of blood flow to the heart, and reperfusion occurs when blood flow is restored. The study showed that caryophyllene prevented cell death and increased mitochondrial function in the heart.
Another pharmacological activity of caryophyllene is its hepatoprotective effect. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology showed that caryophyllene has a hepatoprotective effect against ethanol-induced liver damage. Ethanol is a type of alcohol that is found in alcoholic beverages. The study showed that caryophyllene prevented liver damage, increased liver function, and reduced inflammation in the liver.
Lastly, caryophyllene has a gastroprotective effect. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that caryophyllene has a gastroprotective effect against HCl-induced gastric injury. HCl is a type of acid that is found in stomach acid. The study showed that caryophyllene prevented gastric damage, increased gastric mucus production, and reduced inflammation in the stomach.
Cannabis Strains With High Amounts of beta-Caryophyllene
Some strains with a higher-than-average amount of caryophyllene include:
Beta-Caryophyllene and the Endogenous Cannabinoid system
The endogenous cannabinoid system is responsible for regulating several physiological processes, including pain, inflammation, and appetite. The CB2 receptor is primarily responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoids. Caryophyllene is a terpene that has been shown to interact with the CB2 receptor, providing therapeutic benefits for conditions such as inflammation and anxiety.
The endogenous cannabinoid system consists of two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), endogenous ligands, and several enzymes required for biosynthesis and inactivation of endogenous ligands. The CB1 receptor is expressed primarily in the brain and, to some extent, in the peripheral tissues. CB2 receptors are identified peripherally in the circulating immune cells, the spleen, and on macrophage-derived cells, including osteocytes, osteoclasts, and hepatic Kupffer cells. Unlike the widespread expression of CB1 in the CNS, the expression of CB2 receptors, under normal physiological conditions, is restricted to the brainstem and the hippocampal CA2/3 pyramidal neurons.
Caryophyllene is a terpene that has been shown to interact with the CB2 receptor. This interaction provides therapeutic benefits for conditions such as inflammation and anxiety. In addition to its interactions with the cannabinoid receptors, caryophyllene also interacts with other components of the endogenous cannabinoid system. For example, caryophyllene inhibits fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), an enzyme that breaks down endocannabinoids. This inhibition increases levels of endocannabinoids, leading to enhanced analgesia and anti-inflammatory effects.
Overall, beta-caryophyllene is a terpene with multiple pharmacological activities. Caryophyllene has a cardioprotective effect, a hepatoprotective effect, and a gastroprotective effect. Caryophyllene also interacts with the cannabinoid receptors to provide therapeutic benefits for conditions such as inflammation and anxiety. beta-Caryophyllene is found in some strains of cannabis, including GSC, Bubba Kush, Sour Diesel, Chemdog, and Candyland. Cannabis strains with high amounts of caryophyllene may be especially beneficial for those seeking relief from inflammation or anxiety. However, more research is needed to determine the full extent of the therapeutic potential of this terpene.