Most people understand that cannabis is responsible for producing cannabinoids; most notably delta-9 THC and CBD. What many people don’t fully understand is that cannabis produces other phytochemicals (chemicals produced by plants) that are therapeutically active. Terpenes are a class of phytochemicals produced by cannabis (and other plants), and in fact scientists believe that terpenes serve as the building blocks for cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. That being said, terpenes in and of themselves are considered to be therapeutically relevant in many ways.
While it is most often mentioned as a terpene found in cannabis, beta-caryophyllene (BCP) is one of more than 30,000 terpenes found in nature. BCP is a bicyclic sesquiterpene that is found in essential oils including basil, copaiba, black caraway, oregano, lavender, rosemary, cinnamon, ylang-ylang, and clove.
BCP was classified as a dietary cannabinoid in 2008 by European scientists because it activates the body’s endocannabinoid system. Around this time, it was approved as a food additive by the Food and Drug Administration, bringing knowledge about terpenes into the public eye.
While the anti-inflammatory power of BCP has been established by folk medicine—clove oil, for example, has long been used to relieve dental pain—experts are now beginning to understand the widespread benefits of BCP on overall health.
Due to its smell, taste, and ability to act as a dietary cannabinoid, studies suggest you can use beta-caryophyllene as a flavoring agent or food additive, as well as in vape oils, cosmetics, creams, toothpaste, and other commercial products to enhance their therapeutic effects.
Your girlfriend doesn’t appreciate your dog breath or germ-covered hands. Luckily, studies suggest beta-caryophyllene helps fight bacterial dental plaque build-up. This makes it a potential naturally-derived alternative to typical medications like chlorhexidine that often require a prescription.
Plus, it helped reduce microorganisms like Streptococcus pneumonia, Haemophilus influenzae, and E. coli – each of which can cause nasty infections and illness.
Think happy thoughts… with some help from beta-caryophyllene! That’s what the research suggests, anyway, as mice treated with 50mg/kg of the terpene showed decreased numbers on tests measuring anxiety, depression, and compulsive activity. Harnessing this power for humankind offers exciting possibilities for natural alternatives to potentially addictive anxiolytics and antidepressants.
Because beta-caryophyllene interacts with the body’s CB2 receptors, which play a role in relieving pain, BCP acts as an analgesic. Try MONQ’s relieve blend to help alleviate discomfort and aches.
In a German study that appeared European Neuropsychopharmacology in 2014, researchers found that BCP helped relieve pain associated with inflammation.
Researchers interpreted the results of this study to suggest that BCP could be an effective remedy for relieving pain, a problem that impacts at least 116 million Americans.
Because BCP interacts with CB2 receptors that make up the immune system, it also may help improve gut function, since much of the immune system is made up of the good bacteria that live in the gut.
Due to its action as a CB2 agonist, Beta-Caryophyllene shows promise as a non-psychoactive therapeutic compound that may:
- relieve pain
- extend your lifespan
- and protect against inflammation
Plus, its contribution to the entourage effect may result in more effective (and better tasting!) vape oils-something we can all appreciate and enjoy.