Caryophyllene, or Beta-caryophyllene, is a sesquiterpene that can be found in numerous plants including cinnamon leaves, Thai basils, cloves, and black pepper, and also in little quantities in lavender. It has an aroma that could be described as, woody and spicy/peppery. It is the only terpene proven to be able to interact with the endocannabinoid system (CB2). In fact, studies have shown that β–caryophyllene holds much promise in treating cancer. Recent research shows that β–caryophyllene selectively binds to the CB2 receptor. It also shows that it is a useful CB2 agonist. Furthermore, β–caryophyllene has been identified as a functional non-psychoactive CB2 receptor ligand in food items and as a macrocyclic anti-inflammatory cannabinoid in cannabis.

The Fine/Rosenfeld pain study has been able to demonstrate that the combination of other phytocannabinoids, especially cannabidiol (CBD) and β-caryophyllene, administered by the oral route give the impression that they are promising candidates for the treatment of chronic pain due to their soaring safety and low adverse result profiles.

If the findings of the Horváth et al is anything to go by, β-caryophyllene, through a CB2 receptor-dependent pathway, maybe the excellent therapeutic agent needed to prevent nephrotoxicity (that is, the poisonous effect on the kidneys) brought about by anti-cancer chemotherapy drugs such as cisplatin.


The Jeena, Liju et al study that researched the chemical structure of essential oil isolated from black pepper, of which caryophyllene is a major element, and examined its pharmacological properties has impressive results. In the study, black pepper oil was found to contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties. The result of this study suggests that high-caryophyllene strains may be beneficial in handling a number of medical conditions such as arthritis and neuropathy pain.

Beta-caryophyllene is used particularly in the production of chewing gum when commingled with other peppery mixtures or citrus flavors.

What Is Caryophyllene?

Caryophyllene is one of the many terpenes found in a range of essential oils found in plants including marijuana. Beta-caryophyllene, which could also be referred to as BCP is an active terpene that is found in a variety of plants including black pepper, oregano, cloves and rosemary as stated before, marijuana. This compound is known to have a spicy smell similar to the odor we perceive from black peppers.

Over a long period of time, numerous research has been carried out to study beta-caryophyllene and its beneficial effects on users. Continue below to discover more about this important terpene and how beneficial it can be when used.

However, before we delve into more information about caryophyllene and its usefulness, it is important to take a moment to examine what terpenes really are. Terpenes are simply explained as the essential oils that are responsible for giving each strain of cannabis its characteristic aroma. What that means is that strains with high levels of beta-caryophyllene have a characteristic high spicy aroma. Terpenes are produced in trichomes. Trichomes are the secretory cells where cannabinoids are also manufactured. As you will learn as you read further in this article both cannabinoids and terpenes, including caryophyllene, work together to provide a variety of healthiness and therapeutic benefits to marijuana users.

A brief history on Caryophyllene

The first time beta Caryophyllene was first artificially synthesized was in far back 1964. However, it was until 2008 that it was discovered to have cannabinoid properties. Since then, the compound has been in use in treating a variety of conditions including inflammatory diseases involving multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Other medical applications of the compound include the treatment of anxiety and depression as well as combating insomnia. The compound has also been used in curbing atherosclerosis and osteoporosis, as it has been discovered to help improve and strengthen bone mass.

How Does it Work?

Although it is a terpene, Caryophyllene is actually categorized as a cannabinoid in some quarters due to its effect on CB2 receptors. The compound, acting on CB2 receptors and ignoring CB1 receptors, usually aims the endocannabinoid system in the body. After using the substance, the CB1 receptors are linked with the high marijuana users’ experience. The fact that this compound does not produce or cause one to be high and lose cognitive functions is great news. It means that users can actually use the compound without suffering the effects of becoming intoxicated.

On the other hand, there are quite a number of marijuana strains proven to possess high concentrations of Beta-Caryophyllene including OG Kush, Bubba Kush, and Hash plant among others.

Recent research findings indicate that the plant-based Beta-Caryophyllene is more effective in treating the conditions mentioned above when compared to injecting the synthetic variety. The fact that administration of the compound is possible without becoming intoxicated makes it a useful treatment alternative to many.