The discovery of the endocannabinoid system in humans and animals set off an explosion of research into further understanding the effects of plant-based cannabinoids interacting with that very system. Among the various cannabinoids found in nature, terpenes are one of the most prevalent and can be found in a multitude of plant species including cannabis. Terpenes are responsible for providing fruits and herbs with their unique aromas, and one of the most pervasive of those terpenes is known as caryophyllene which emits a potent woody, pepper-like scent.
There is still more research that needs to be done to further understand the nature of cannabinoids, but caryophyllene holds a significant amount of promise and promotes a plethora of medicinal benefits. Not only that, caryophyllene is one of the most commonly found terpenes in cannabis and can be found in some of the most popular and well-known cannabis strains.
Individuals interested in learning more about caryophyllene and what it does, stay tuned! This article explores everything there is to know about this terpene including a review of how it interacts with the body, potential benefits, and a list of cannabis strains with an overabundance of caryophyllene.
The Unique Profile of Caryophyllene
Also known as beta-caryophyllene or BCP, this terpene can be found in a wide selection of herbs and plants including hops, black pepper, cinnamon, and basil. Caryophyllene can also be found in various types of perfumes or aromatic oils like rosemary and clove oil for those familiar with essential oils.
Compared to limonene and myrcene, caryophyllene is a much larger molecule and has a molecular structure that deviates from all other terpenes, especially those found in cannabis. The cannabis plant does not host any other terpenes that function like caryophyllene which makes it an interesting focus of study. The molecular structure of this terpene contains a cyclobutane ring which is something quite rare to find in nature.
Terpenes like caryophyllene, interact with the vast network of receptors throughout the body set in place by the endocannabinoid system. There are two major types of receptors from that system known as CB1 and CB2 receptors. While CB1 receptors are found in the brain and CNS (central nervous system), CB2 receptors are found mainly in the periphery organs.
So, for example, when a cannabinoid like THC enters the system, it binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain and causes a cerebral, euphoric high. But, the unique structure of caryophyllene allows it to bind to the CB2 receptors in the body which contributes to the various medicinal applications it is known for, like reducing inflammation.
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What Are The Benefits of Caryophyllene?
Caryophyllene is a very unique terpene that provides a host of different benefits and medical applications. There is still more research that needs to be conducted, but from what research has uncovered, there are known therapeutic elements to the terpene. Caryophyllene has been found to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as the possibility of being able to treat anxiety and depression.
Some studies have even uncovered some anti-microbial properties associated with caryophyllene which helps to prevent the growth and adhesion of candida fungus. This fungus is becoming more commonly found in people because of the use of immunosuppressant drugs and transplants.
One vein of study that needs further exploration is the tie that caryophyllene has with cancer. A lot of studies have begun focusing on the anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties associated with caryophyllene. It has been found that this terpene plays a role in suppressing tumor growth and proliferation. But, it should be noted that more research needs to be conducted in this vein to draw any conclusive statements, however, some studies have highlighted the significance in mice and even humans. Regardless, this terpene is known to combat various side effects of cancer like chronic and acute pain due to caryophyllene’s anti-inflammatory properties.
What Are Some High-Caryophyllene Cannabis Strains?
Although caryophyllene can be found in various types of herbs and plants throughout nature, it plays a significant role in providing particular cannabis strains with their unique aromatic profiles and effects. Cannabis strains with a high level of caryophyllene are known to exhibit stronger notes of musk and spice as well as an overall funky profile. Many of these cannabis strains carry the same nose-tingling bite associated with the aroma of freshly cracked pepper which is one of the most prominent scents of caryophyllene.
The following are various well-known cannabis strains that contain a higher than average amount of caryophyllene:
This terpene can also be found in many different hybrids and is responsible for producing an abundance of stress-reliving properties like enhancing relaxation and mitigating anxiety.