The Terpene Caryophyllene: The Superhero Terpene
What is Caryophyllene?
The terpene caryophyllene is found in many plants and herbs, like the cloves of garlic. There are two main types of caryophyllenes: α-caryophyllene and β-caryophyllene. The former can be found in black pepper, oregano, thyme, rosemary and hops, as well as cumin and cinnamon. Cannabis strains with higher levels of β-caryophyllene are described as smelling spicy and earthy. It also shows promise for diabetes and obesity treatments as well as an insecticide. For all these reasons and more, we at The CBD Report call it the superhero terpene.
We will be concerned with β-caryophyllene only, since α-caryophyllene is actually called humulene, which we will cover in another blog. Fun fact: β-caryophyllene is what drug-sniffing dogs are trained to spot.
Benefits of the Terpene Caryophyllene
Caryophyllene has been used for centuries as an anti-inflammatory. Although more research needs to be done, many studies show it has anti-anxiety effects and may be useful in fighting diabetes. In fact, this plant compound has been attracting attention from researchers looking into treating many different types of medical conditions related to the nervous system, such as anxiety and epilepsy.
Multiple studies show β-caryophyllene to be neuroprotective, although researchers have not worked out the mechanism of action. It needs to be investigated more for treatments for Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.
β-caryophyllene is normally found with isocaryophyllene and α-humulene, a ring-opened isomer. Its unusual properties are that it has a cyclobutane ring and a 9-member-ring with a trans-double bond. It is the only terpene that binds directly to CB receptors—and only to CB2 receptors. This is what makes it worth studying further for pain relief.
Its molecular weight is 204.36 g/mol, making it bioavailable through skin contact.
Why Should We Care About Caryophyllene?
One big reason to care about β-caryophyllene is that it is an FDA-approved food additive that you might be eating every day in gum, candy and more without even knowing it! We should also care because it’s being studied as an anti-stress supplement. Here are some other reasons to know about the terpene caryophyllene.
There are many reasons why people suffer from stress and anxiety; however, the most common ones include lack of sleep, work overload or simply being too busy with everyday life. Many studies have shown that the terpene caryophyllene helps reduce stress levels by reducing cortisol levels in the body. By lowering your cortisol levels, this terpene improves mood and promotes feelings of calmness while increasing focus and mental clarity—which makes it perfect for use during meditation sessions and also useful for depression and anxiety conditions.
Also, because it interacts with GABA receptors, β-caryophyllene can have a sedative effect. Due to its ability to reduce cortisol levels, it has potential to help in the treatment of stress-induced weight gain in certain parts of the body. Love handles and back fat may respond nicely—more research is required.
Other studies are investigating the use of caryophyllene against cocaine use disorder (CUD), which is an enormous health crisis all over the world. While there is still no medication that is effective against CUD, one study found that β-caryophyllene helped reduce cocaine self-medication. Although further research needs to be done, the study is a promising step towards treating this deadly addiction.
β-caryophyllene could be a key ingredient for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. It may offer protection to the stomach lining, which can reduce nausea and vomiting that are side effects of chemo. Plus it also works synergistically with CBD in reducing inflammation. It shows promise for treating neuropathies and other neurological diseases.
Nail fungus is a common condition that affects up to 12% of the population. While it’s not serious, it can spread easily and for diabetics or immunocompromised people this increases risk of bacterial infection skin around the nail. According to one study, an 8% solution of β-caryophyllene cured nail fungus in just 15 days.
The Terpene Caryophyllene and Treatment for Smoking Addition
Caryophyllene is also found in tobacco smoke. This makes it an interesting compound for treatment of smoking addiction and several smoking-cessation supplements available online contain the terpene.
β-caryophyllene shows a great deal of promise in treatment of several conditions, and further research could reveal even more uses. Stay tuned to The CBD Report and stay informed!