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What is Caryophyllene? Benefits & Effects of This Cannabis Terpene

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

By Therin Miller | Chronic Magazine

Caryophyllene provides pain reliving properties among other unique therapeutic effects

Caryophyllene is an important component of marijuana's terpene family. Those include hemp, as well as marijuana. The terpenoids possess several advantages and have been demonstrated to directly enhance some cannabinoid effects. Let's see why spicy cannabinoids have remained popular for years and how they can be used in medicine today. Beta-caryophyllene is a chemical compound that combines terpenic and cannabinoid effects. The caryophyllene smell is a sharp black pepper or cracked pepper spice flavor that is also present in the ingredients in the mix.


Caryophyllene Research


Cannabis Plant terpenes have many health benefits. Beta-caryophyllene is believed to increase the healing of wounds and has anti-inflammatory properties. In a 2014 paper, a study in mice showed pain-reducing properties. Caryophyllene terpene has also been shown to provide anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and may provide an opportunity to mitigate inflammatory bowel disease as well as be used for anxiety therapeutic interventions. Some researchers even suggest that cannabis strains high in caryophyllene can enhance mood, and have analgesic properties as well as help with inflammatory and neuropathic pain, and have shown promise when used to aid in Alzheimer's disease. More research is needed to discover all the hidden benefits this terpene provides in the cannabis plant.


Does Caryophyllene Make You High?


No, caryophyllene does not make users high. This cannabis terpene binds to the cb2 receptors within the human body and can intensify the psychoactive effects.


Therapeutic Properties of Caryophyllene


Despite some promising animal studies, caryophyllene may have therapeutic applications. However, research needs to be conducted to understand its impact on humans, both physically as well as emotionally. Several recent studies in 2015 in cellular biology demonstrated caryophyllene as an anticancer, antimicrobial, and antioxidant agent. While the results of this study are very promising, the next stage of human studies will be crucial to determine the best use of caryophyllene and how it binds to cannabinoid receptors, and how it interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system.



Caryophyllene binds to cb2 receptors and has shown promising results on the body's immune system
Caryophyllene binds to cb2 receptors and has shown promising results on the body's immune system

How Common is Caryophyllene in Cannabis?


Caryophyllene occurs in several strains of cannabis plants but is very prominent in cookies such as girl scout cookies, and sour diesel. Next time you are shopping smell the buds and you will notice the pungency of smelling cracked pepper. Cannabis strains containing higher caryophyllene levels tend to have a spicy aroma, and some have funky, unique characteristics. Several species rich in caryophyllene emit the same taste of pepper you are able to smell. You will notice that caryophyllene is in many strains including many hybrids.


Cannabis Strains and Cultivars High in Beta-Caryophyllene


Most varieties of cannabis contain beta-caryophyllene as well as other terpenes. Beta-Caryophyllene in particular strains is dependent upon the type of cultivar grown and the genetics of the cultivars. Test results from the packaging will probably tell you the same thing.


caryophyllene and other terpenes are found in marijuana strains and can leave you with the entourage effect
caryophyllene and other terpenes are found in marijuana strains and can leave you with the entourage effect

Caryophyllene & Therapeutic Studies


As you can see there are many benefits to the terpene caryophyllene it can be used in essential oils to help the immune system and can even be used as a dietary cannabinoid since it can be a food additive. caryophyllene is commonly found in a lot of cannabis strains and provides the user with the coveted entourage effect since it attached itself to the endocannabinoid receptors. This is what makes caryophyllene therapeutic potential for pain relief, analgesic effects, and many other health benefits so amazing.

More laboratory based study needs to be done both on human and animal models with higher doses need to be conducted to gain a better understanding of helping with anticancer properties and human tumor cell lines. Caryophyllene also needs to be studied more when it comes to multiple behavioral changes in relation to reduce anxiety in humans as well as depression.



What are the Caryophyllene Effects


Caryophyllene has many potential benefits and effects. It is a dietary terpene found in many herbs, spices, and plants that has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic properties. In addition to its various medicinal uses, caryophyllene also has implications for improving cognitive performance, as well as reducing anxiety. For example, it has been found to reduce stress-induced memory impairment in animal studies. Furthermore, studies have shown that caryophyllene has sedative effects when used aromatically as an essential oil, and can even enhance the effectiveness of certain medications such as opioid pain relievers. Finally, caryophyllene is also thought to be beneficial for skin health, and has been used to treat psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions. In conclusion, caryophyllene is a powerful compound with numerous potential benefits and effects that can be beneficial in a variety of ways.

Next time the budtender puts a jar of buds up to your nose and you get a whiff of black pepper then you are most certainly smelling caryophyllene.



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