Beta caryophyllene | β-caryophyllene
Perhaps the terpene with the most pharmacological potential is β-caryophyllene (Beta caryophyllene), found in black pepper, leafy greens, cloves and of course, cannabis. It is unique amongst terpenes in the cannabis plant as it is also considered cannabinomimetic, meaning it acts like a cannabinoid by activating the CB2 receptor. This explains why β-caryophyllene has an anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effect, with a study showing it to be more effective than synthetic cannabinoids. Like the cannabinoids THC and CBD, β-caryophyllene is a powerful antioxidant, with a one paper declaring it to have “tremendous therapeutic potential in a multitude of diseases associated with inflammation and oxidative stress.”
This wonder terpene has also been found to ease anxiety and depression, stimulate the death of cancer cells, and may even be a possible treatment for alcoholism. While much of the research has been on animal models rather than humans, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nature of the terpene makes it an exciting nutraceutical compound of the future.
Benefits of beta caryophyllene
It induces pain relief, it slows the growth of bacteria, it relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety, it reduces chronic inflammation, it prevents oxidation which prevents cell damage (and ultimately several diseases), and it’s neuroprotective (it protects the brain and nervous system from damage inflicted by trauma, illness, or the normal aging process).
It may also offer people longer lives
Studies have shown that it reduces stress enough in worms to increase their lifespan and the assumption is it can do the same in humans. One may wonder how stressed out a worm can actually be (they do have the early bird to worry about, however), but it’s a promising premise nonetheless. In other studies, this terpene was shown to reduce alcohol consumption by lessening its addictive effects. And it assists with the regulation of lipids, which may delay the onset of diabetes (and is probably beneficial in everyone, diabetic or otherwise).