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Know your Medicine: Looking into the Cannabis Terpene Caryophyllene

It is beautiful to watch the ongoing rise of acceptance and understanding of the ancient cannabis plants, and more specifically, of the whole myriad of benefits these amazing creatures can provide for the well-being of mankind.

Scientifically known as β-Caryophyllene but commonly referred to as Caryophyllene, is one of the hundreds of terpenes produced by the cannabis plant. Caryophyllene has been found to possess the invaluable ability to bind to CB2 receptors, thus, profoundly impacting the way cannabis interacts with our bodies’ endogenous cannabinoid system (aka ECS).

Most noteworthy, thanks to Caryophyllene’s unique influence on the ECS alongside other chemical compounds, cannabis consumers are able to reap specific benefits of medicating with ganja, and these benefits are widely believed to be greatly increased by the entourage effect.

The cannabis medicine of the future is all about tailoring individual-based cannabinoid formulations that can provide the best that the green medication has to offer to people who are trying to alleviate a particular set of mental or physical concerns. However, at least as of now, the best way to make the most from the healing properties of Caryophylleneiswhole plant-based medicinals.

Join us below to find out more about cannabis terpenes, with a focus on Caryophylleneterpene’s effects, benefits, and uses, as well as a neat cheat sheet of cannabis strains that possess high levels of this intriguing terpene.

Brief Introduction to Cannabis Terpenes

The truth is, it is only a handful of cannabis terpenes that make up for the majority of terpenes one can find in the cannabis products available on the market nowadays. But there are well over 200 different terpenes produced by the cannabis plant.

Quintessentially, cannabis terpenes provide a very wide, exciting variety of aromatic properties. These can range from earthy, floral, or diesel scents through notes of citrus, musk, and pine, to name a few. Caryophyllene is in charge of bringing about that distinct spiciness one can experience when consuming some of the many cannabis strains out there, and in particular, the strains that are rich in Caryophyllene.

Much has been said but also so much is yet about to be discussed when it comes to the synergistic effects of cannabis terpenes with other active compounds, such as THC and CBD.

Video by: Cannabis Hemp Conference and Expo – The Pharmacology of Cannabis Cannabinoids and Terpenes by Dr. Ethan Russo

What is Caryophillene Terpene

Caryophyllene is the pioneering “dietary cannabinoid,” for it was the first cannabinoid to have been officially approved by the FDA for food use after successfully getting a GRAS status (Generally Recognized as Safe).

Caryophyllene is one of the major cannabis terpenes alongside Pinene, Limonene, Linalool, Myrcene, Humulene, Ocimene, Terpinolene, Geraniol, and Eucalyptol. This group of terpenes outlined the big 10 of cannabis terpenes, or in other words, the most common terpenes produced by the cannabis plant.

The incredible aromatic molecules of Caryophyllene are also easy to distinguish in other plants that are high in this particular terpene, such as oregano, cinnamon, hops, black pepper, rosemary, basil, copaiba, and cloves. As far as the spicier spectrum of cannabis strains is concerned, Caryophyllene, also known as BCP or beta-caryophyllene, definitely holds the trophy. Similarly to inhaling the strong aroma of cloves or cinnamon, Caryophyllene-rich cannabis strains deliver that funky, spicy, warmth-like sensation to the nose.

In general, Caryophyllene is a bigger molecule when compared with other terpenes such as Limonene and Myrcene.

Another astonishing fact about the molecular structure of Caryophyllenethat makes up for this terpene’s uniqueness is the existence of a cyclobutane ring. A cyclobutane ring is something very rare in nature, and hence, very precious. A cyclobutane ring is found in any other of the cannabis terpenes we know so far. Ultimately, a cyclobutane ring was first discovered just recently in Cryptocarya laevigata, an Australian shrub, thanks to the dedicated, visionary work of a team of Japanese experts from the Kanazawa University.

How Does Caryophillene Interact with Your Body’s Endogenous Cannabinoid System

Caryophyllene is one of the very first cannabis-derived compounds different than THC, CBN, and CBD, that has been shown to bind directly to endocannabinoid receptors.

Interestingly, Caryophyllene is actually one of the first compounds scientifically derived from the cannabis plants that have been discovered to possess a fundamentally different structure from the traditional cannabinoids. It is thanks to this unique structure of how Caryophyllene interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in humans.

And so, Caryophyllene is able to act on the human endocannabinoid system because of the vast network of cannabinoid receptors located all throughout the body. There are two major types of cannabinoid receptors, namely CB1 and CB2 receptors.
It is in the brain and central nervous system where CB1 receptors are primarily located. CB2 receptors are mainly found in peripheral organs. When a person ingests a cannabinoid such as THC, it is known to primarily bind to CB1 receptors, producing the well-known euphoric effect, aka the cannabis high.

Unlike THC, Caryophyllene can easily bind to CB2 receptors (the ones primarily located within the peripheral endocannabinoid system), and that’s all thanks to the unique molecular structure of this terpene. Since Caryophyllene does not bind to CB1 receptors, it does not cause any of the euphoric feelings associated with cannabis consumption. However, even without inducing psychoactive effects, Caryophyllene can provide multiple benefits that are closely related to activating cannabinoid receptors, such as efficiently reducing inflammation.

In this sense, Caryophyllene is not like any other terpene out there. Simply put, Caryophyllene is the only cannabis terpene we know up-to-date that has the ability to activate a cannabinoid receptor directly and especially CB2 receptors. As a comparison, the action of CBD on cannabinoid receptors is indirect as CBD, unlike THC, has no affinity to bind to either CB1 or CB2 receptors strongly.

Health Benefits of Caryophyllene

The huge therapeutic potential of Caryophylleneterpene has been subjected to a high interest for quite some time now. Caryophyllene rich essential oils that contain an average of 51.0%β-caryophyllene are reported to exhibit strong antimicrobial activity. The antibacterial properties of Caryophyllene have been found to be particularly strong against the cytotoxic activity, B. subtilis, and P. aeruginosa.
Because of Caryophyllene selectively binding to the CB2 receptor, it is sometimes described as an atypical cannabinoid. CB2 receptor binding compounds have been subjected to further analysis, as they are strongly believed to carry promising benefits for the treatment of osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, and nonetheless, inflammation.

What’s more, β-Caryophyllene has been already shown to be directly beneficial for the treatment of several disorders and diseases, including diabetes, anxiety, depression, colitis, cerebral ischemia, osteoarthritis, liver fibrosis, and nonetheless, Alzheimer-like types of disease that are generally related to brain cells degeneration.
Not the least, Caryophyllene has demonstrated the ability to suppress tumor growth, as well as to stimulate apoptosis in cancer studies.

Because of Caryophyllene being orally bioavailable, it is further highlighted as a means for providing important medicinal benefit when used in oral cannabis preparations. Nowadays, there are also many cannabis salves and topicals that make the best use of high levels of Caryophyllene, thus, showcasing the terpene’s rich aromatic profile while simultaneously providing the therapeutic benefits of the compound in yet another effective way to enjoy this amazing terpene to the fullest.

Video by: Positive Smash 420 – Terpene Tuesday- CARYOPHYLLENE

Cannabis Strains High in Caryophyllene

As a rule of thumb, you can easily spot a cannabis strain that is rich in Caryophyllene if you succeed to distinguish an aromatic blend that may vary from spicy, musky notes to a funky mix of spices-like undertones in general.

It is good to know that many Caryophyllene-rich strains carry eminent notes of fuel and diesel. These particular notes are often said to cause quite the same sensation of a nose-tingling bite that is best to be described as taking a whiff of black pepper.

Even though cannabis growers cannot manipulate Caryophyllene levels intentionally, at least as of now, there are many cannabis varieties that contain a higher-than-the-norm amount of this exciting terpene. Certainly, one could easily choose to purchase high-quality, readily available Caryophyllene rich cannabis flowers or products from a reputable dispensary.

However, the very reason why we mention growing cannabis varieties that contain high levels of Caryophylleneterpene is that we wanted to navigate your attention towards one of the best ways to experience the glory of terpenes at their finest, which sums up to a simple phrase: organic cannabis growing. Growing cannabis organically is believed to bring about the most subtle, delectable, and detectable symphony of terpenes. With this in mind, you might just as well allow yourself to fully experience the enchanting world of terpenes as you get to inhale their mesmerizing fragrance at the point when it hits its peak during the last stages of cannabis plants’ flowering.

Super Silver Haze

Super Silver Haze cannabis varieties are known to reach consistent levels of about 1.25% beta-caryophyllene content. While this might seem like quite a minimal amount at first glance, it is important to note that it is actually well above the average. A back-to-back Cannabis Cups award-winning strain that has turned into an all-time favorite, Super Silver Haze lives up true to its 75% Sativa genetics.

Remaining popular among both medical and recreational cannabis users, the effects of consuming Super Silver Haze are most commonly described as outstandingly balanced in crushing stress while offering long-lasting waves of creative euphoria, coupled with a soothing yet energetic action from head to toe.THC levels reach 15% on an average, while CBD content is relatively low and rarely exceeds 0.10%. However, modern-day cannabis breeding techniques have made it possible for another much-awaited love child of Super Silver Haze to be born, and that’s Super Silver Haze CBD!

For those who find the benefits of CBD to be of their best assistance, growing Super Silver Haze CBD from seed can give way to harvesting delicious, premium-quality homegrown cannabis flowers with 5% CBD to 5% THC content, finishing flowering within 8 – 10 weeks, and easy to cultivate even for beginners.

OG Kush

One of those divinely balanced 50% Sativa to 50% Indica cannabis strains that have forever stolen the hearts of thousands of cannabis connoisseurs and medical marijuana users alike thanks to its unparalleled effects on the mind and body, OG Kush also happens to be high in Caryophyllene.

Being one of the titans in the global world of cannabis varieties available to grow from seed or clone, OG Kush provides a delectable sensory experience that cannot be possible easily forgotten. When blazing up this strain, a dance of fruity, citrus, piney and diesel notes delights the palate. This distinct fragrance combination is partially related to the presence of Caryophyllene.

The effects of OG Kush are often described as the ultimate therapeutic Indica high but that is not to say OG Kush consumption leaves users helplessly stuck on the couch, as this strain is also cherished for its creativity inducing properties.

Growing your very own OG Kush green ladies is better suited to those who have some previous experience in indoor or outdoor marijuana cultivation, with a mind to enjoying maximized yields. OG Kush finishes flowering within 9 – 10 weeks and promised a bountiful harvest that goes far beyond the average.

Girl Scout Cookies

Out of the various cannabis terpenes found in the legendary Girl Scout Cookies cannabis strain, Caryophyllene makes up for some good 27% terpenes content based on a 100% scale. There is barely a list of top medical-grade cannabis varieties that goes without introducing Girl Scout Cookies as part of the best strains in this category. Similarly to Girl Scout Cookies, White Widow strain is also one of the best medical-grade cannabis varieties. Needless to say, both Girl Scout Cookies and White Widow have managed to grab the attention and love of recreational cannabis users alike. Maybe Caryophyllene has something to do with the secret behind Girl Scout Cookies’ and White Widow’s massive fame

The aromatic, dripped in resin buds of White Widow emit their distinct fragrance thanks to a combination of Myrcene and Caryophyllene being dominant in the terpene profile of this strain, along with just the right touch of Humulene and Limonene. In recent years, a long dreamed hybrid strain was brought to life by merging the genetics of White Widow and Girl Scout Cookies, resulting in White Cookies. For those who may have a hard time picking between GSC and White Widow, maybe White Cookies will be the ultimate high Caryophyllene strain to add to your marijuana garden and stash.

Cannabis Terpene Caryophillene: Final Notes

BCP (the abbreviation for beta-caryophyllene) is proposed as a novel compound with beneficial, extended pharmacological effects over serotonin reuptake inhibitors, as well as existing benzodiazepines.

When researchers tested the effects of beta-caryophyllene on mouse subjects with a mind to evaluating the anti-stress and anti-anxiety properties of Caryophyllene, they managed to find out that that BCP does, indeed, demonstrate strong power at producing anti-depressive and anxiolytic effects. Studying the huge potential of Caryophyllene in the treatment of anxiety and depression, researchers also pointed out to the fact that the results of their studies further highlight how the CB2 receptor (the receptor Caryophyllene binds to), is intricately involved in regulating emotional behavior. This is a BIG step towards additional examining of the benefits of Caryophyllene as a potential therapeutic target against depression and anxiety.

Furthermore, ongoing studies hope to unveil more of the untapped healing potential caryophyllene carries, based on research results that indicate how this amazing cannabis terpene may help to reduce gene stress, and thus, increase lifespan longevity. At some point in the foreseeable future, we are bound to witness the rising availability of Caryophyllene rich cannabis varieties, all thanks to the miracle of cannabis breeding. And while the individually tailored cannabis medicine of the future is still at its very beginning, we already can’t wait to see how genomic sequencing will help us discover the best, individually-tailored cannabis strains and formulations boasting of precise levels of Caryophyllene needed to enjoy maximized benefits from medicating with cannabis. Wishing you a sublimely fragrant journey through the world of cannabis terpenes, we truly hope that this introduction to Caryophyllene has been informational, educational, and nonetheless, inspiring, to all of you, bud buddies, out there.