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What is caryophyllene?

Exploring the Therapeutic Potential of Caryophyllene

Caryophyllene is a terpene belonging to the group of cannabis constituents known for its unique tastes and aromas. This molecule, which ranks as a sesquiterpene due to its three isoprene units, is one of the most abundant terpenes found in cannabis cultivars. In addition to its aromatic qualities, caryophyllene offers significant therapeutic potential, making it a subject of interest in the field of medicinal research.

Aroma

Caryophyllene is characterized by its distinct aromas of pepper, spice, and cloves, playing a major role in the signature scent of flowering hemp and cannabis plants. Beyond cannabis, this molecule is found in nature in black pepper, basil, hops, cinnamon, and oregano, providing unique and earthy scents to these plants and spices.

Possible Effects

Research on caryophyllene has indicated a variety of potential medicinal effects, including its role as an antioxidant, neuroprotective agent, antimicrobial compound, gastroprotective agent, and anticonvulsant. Additionally, studies have suggested that caryophyllene may reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and potentially help in the treatment of alcoholism.

Supporting Research

While most research on caryophyllene has been conducted on animals, promising results have indicated potential benefits for human subjects as well. For instance, studies have revealed that caryophyllene may hold the key to treating anxiety, depression, and alcohol addiction. By targeting the CB2 receptor in the endocannabinoid system, caryophyllene has shown positive effects in reducing anxiety and depression symptoms.

Moreover, caryophyllene has demonstrated anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, suggesting its potential in treating conditions such as neuropathic pain. Studies have also showcased its ability to reduce seizures, indicating its potential in the development of anticonvulsant drugs.

In conclusion, the unique characteristics and medicinal potential of caryophyllene make it a promising compound for further research and development in the field of medicine. As scientists continue to explore the various therapeutic effects of this molecule, it may pave the way for innovative treatments for a wide range of health conditions.

Sources

[1] Gertsch, J., Leonti, M., & Raduner, S. (2008). Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid. NCBI. [Source]

[2] Russo, E. B., & Marcu, J. (2017). Cannabis Pharmacology: The Usual Suspects and a Few Promising Leads. Cannabinoid Pharmacology, 67–134. [Source]

[3] Bahi, A., al Mansouri, S., al Memari, E., al Ameri, M., Nurulain, S. M., & Ojha, S. (2014). β-Caryophyllene, a CB2 receptor agonist produces multiple behavioral changes relevant to anxiety and depression in mice. Physiology & Behavior, 135, 119–124. [Source]

[4] al Mansouri, S., Ojha, S., al Maamari, E., al Ameri, M., Nurulain, S. M., & Bahi, A. (2014). The cannabinoid receptor 2 agonist, β-caryophyllene, reduced voluntary alcohol intake and attenuated ethanol-induced place preference and sensitivity in mice. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 124, 260–268. [Source]

[5] Klauke, A. L., Racz, I., Pradier, B., Markert, A., Zimmer, A., Gertsch, J., & Zimmer, A. (2014). The cannabinoid CB2 receptor-selective phytocannabinoid beta-caryophyllene exerts analgesic effects in mouse models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 24(4), 608–620. [Source]

[6] Oliveira, C. C. D., Oliveira, C. V. D., Grigoletto, J., Ribeiro, L. R., Funck, V. R., Grauncke, A. C. B., Souza, T. L. D., Souto, N. S., Furian, A. F., Menezes, I. R. A., & Oliveira, M. S. (2016). Anticonvulsant activity of β-caryophyllene against pentylenetetrazol-induced seizures. Epilepsy & Behavior, 56, 26–31. [Source]