What is This Terpene and Why Should You Care About It Right Now?
Scientists have identified around 400 terpenes, though only a fraction of them are well-known.
These aromatic compounds exist not just in cannabis but in other plants too. They are best known for the unique aromas they give plants including cannabis, but they also have a host of health benefits and have an influence on the effect of strains.
There are some popular terpenes including linalool, myrcene, and limonene.
But today, we’re going to discuss caryophyllene, and why this is the terpene you should be paying attention to.
What Is Beta Caryophyllene?
Caryophyllene, which is also found in herbs including basil, oregano, and black pepper, has a spicy, peppery aroma. It’s the same aroma responsible for giving the said herbs that kick when you smell it, and in some cases it can be spicy and musky.
Caryophyllene has a unique molecular structure. Specifically, it’s because it has a rare cyclobutene ring that isn’t found in other cannabis terpenes. When you consume cannabis high in caryophyllene, internally it easily binds to the CB2 receptors unlike THC which binds to the CB1 receptors. This is why THC causes a psychoactive effect but caryophyllene doesn’t produce a high. However, it will still enable you to feel its therapeutic benefits especially reducing inflammation.
It’s just one of the many primary compounds in cannabis as well as other herbs that are widely used in cooking. Not only will it make you feel good but it also has medicinal properties.
What Makes Caryophyllene So Special?
As we mentioned earlier, it has the special ability to bind to CB2 receptors. This makes its therapeutic benefits even more pronounced, which is a fantastic benefit for those seeking relief from inflammation and pain. Aside from that, caryophyllene also has potent antibacterial, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties.
Strains high in caryophyllene are recommended for individuals suffering from seizures, osteoporosis, anxiety, high cholesterol, and pain. There has also been some research showing that caryophyllene can protect from neurodegenerative diseases.
Caryophyllene has also been shown to induce a sense of relaxation, so it’s wonderful for helping you take the edge off a stressful day or to calm you down when you are nervous or anxious.
Furthermore, caryophyllene works together with other cannabinoids to enhance their beneficial properties. This is known as the entourage effect.
What Are The Other Health Benefits Of Caryophyllene?
Dozens of research shows that caryophyllene is a potent terpene with powerful health benefits. Here are some of them:
Cancer: A 2016 study revealed that caryophyllene possesses anti-cancer properties. They found that it could also be antiproliferative, which means that it inhibits the growth of cancer cells by inducing apoptosis, a process which causes cancer cells to self-destruct on its own.
Researchers also found that it could be helpful in contributing to better outcomes for cancer treatment. That’s because if can possibly enhance the effects of doxorubicin and paclitaxel, two cancer-fighting medications. In addition, caryophyllene may reduce the chances of getting leukopenia, which can be caused by chemotherapy.
Anti-microbial: Though there are more studies needed to prove the antimicrobial benefits of caryophyllene, the existing studies are hopeful. In a 2015 study, researchers analyzed its ability to fight microbes as well as promote antioxidant activity and treat cancer. They found that caryophyllene was effective against a bacteria called S. aureus, which is common in cases of food poisoning.
Analgesic: While the anti-inflammatory properties of caryophyllene are well-known, that’s not all that it can do to help treat pain. A study revealed that when consumed, caryophyllene can help reduce the severity of pain.
Cholesterol: Studies have shown that taking caryophyllene can help bring down cholesterol levels. Caryophyllene does so by decreasing the presence of LDL cholesterol, which is also known as the bad cholesterol. In addition, it also increases the good HDL cholesterol. This is great news for people suffering from a wide array of chronic conditions as well as those who suffer from fatty liver and atherosclerosis.
Other conditions that researchers saw promise for were liver disease, heart disease, immune disorders, gastrointestinal conditions, and kidney disease. Given these extensive benefits, it would be beneficial for everyone to consume more caryophyllene as a part of a healthy lifestyle. You can get it not just from cannabis strains but also other dietary sources.
Which Cannabis Strains Are High In Caryophyllene?
If you want to increase your chances of benefiting from caryophyllene, you can increase your intake of the said herbs above.
Additionally, you can also start consuming specific cannabis strains which are known to have high caryophyllene content. These include:
Just keep in mind that the amount of caryophyllene in strains and cultivars depends on how it was grown, as well as its genetics. The most reliable way to be sure of its terpene content is to buy products that have been laboratory tested; many dispensaries carry brands that can provide this information.
Now that you know these strains, you might want to take a good sniff the next time you have them. You might then be able to observe its warm peppery, spicy, or musky notes.
To sum things up, caryophyllene is a wonderful and powerful terpene. However, if you are suffering from a chronic condition and want to benefit from it, be sure to speak to your doctor first to get personalized advice and guidance.