You’ve almost certainly ingested caryophyllene even if you’ve never heard of it, or even if you’ve never come into contact with a cannabis product in your life. This substance occurs more abundantly in the natural world than any other, giving many common foods, herbs, and spices their characteristic kick. Caryophyllene also enjoys the distinction of being the most cannabinoid-like of all the terpenes in the way it interacts with the human body. Take a look at this remarkable natural compound’s properties, benefits, and potential combinations.
A Quick Introduction to Terpenes
You may already know that many cannabis products offer more than just cannabis. Manufacturers and home users often enhance these products with compounds known as terpenes. Terpenes contribute flavors and odors to all kinds of plants while also affecting body and brain function in some useful ways, from boosted immune function to relief from pain or anxiety.
The most commonplace of all these terpenes is caryophyllene, also referred to as beta-caryophyllene or b-caryophyllene. You can find caryophyllene in black pepper, oregano, cinnamon, thyme, rosemary, and other spices, where it contributes a certain not-unpleasant funkiness to the flavor and aroma profile. (However, it also shows up in more subtly-flavored plants such as chamomile and spinach.) When combined with cannabis, it often adds a fuel-like or “gassy” scent that many users find appealing.
Caryophyllene’s Properties and Benefits
Caryophyllene is unique among the terpenes for its molecular structure, which enables it to bind directly to the CB2 receptors in your body’s endocannabinoid system, just like some cannabinoids do. (The THC in cannabis binds to the CB1 receptors exclusively, while other cannabis ingredients may bind to CB1 and/or CB2 receptors.) This direct access to the system that manages so many physiological processes makes it a kind of pseudo-cannabinoid, setting it apart from every other terpene out there in its ability to influence your health and wellness.
What can caryophyllene do for you? For starters, its influence on CB2 receptors can take the edge off certain notorious THC side effects such as anxiety and paranoia, making your cannabis experience that much more enjoyable and relaxing. Caryophyllene also possesses known anti-inflammatory properties which can make it extremely valuable for fighting oxidative stress, gut problems, and even the brain swelling associated with a stroke. Meanwhile, its analgesic properties can help ease chronic pain problems.
Caryophyllene also has anti-microbial powers. This feature may help the body combat influenza strains, many types of bacteria, and even the development of dental plaque on the teeth (which attracts bacteria and can lead to gum disease). In fact, the terpene shows promise in helping to protect the body against a wide range of serious chronic diseases and disorders, including osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, seizure disorders, and cancer.
Caryophyllene Combinations: The Entourage Effect at Work
If you know anything about terpenes at all, you’ve probably heard of the entourage effect. This effect describes the way terpenes work with cannabinoids to increase their bioavailability and effectiveness. Caryophyllene combines beautifully with these cannabinoids to enhance their key benefits. For instance, caryophyllene added to CBD may help you if you struggle to overcome an addiction issue. Caryophyllene combined with THC is especially helpful for treating gastric problems; you can also consume extra caryophyllene to bring you down slightly if a particular dose of THC has gotten you uncomfortably high.
Different variants of caryophyllene can also complement each other’s effects. In addition to b-caryophyllene, a-caryophyllene often finds its way into many terpene blends as a terpene called humulene. (This terpene figures prominently in hops, where they add to the plant’s woody, earthy, pungent aromas and flavors.) When you combine humulene with b-caryophyllene, you create an especially powerful anti-inflammatory terpene mix. As these terpenes bind to your CB2 receptors, they can help you cope with such painful chronic inflammatory conditions as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and bursitis (inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that normally protect joints against painful, damaging friction).
Get Your Caryophyllene at True Extracts
If you’ve decided that caryophyllene offers exactly what you’re looking for in a terpene, does that mean you’re limited to specific cannabis products rich in it? The answer is a resounding “no!” You don’t need to search high and low in the cannabis arena for weed blends already enhanced with caryophyllene — you can simply purchase the terpene yourself, or a particular blend of caryophyllene and other terpenes. You can then add it to whatever cannabis products you normally enjoy, or create entire new cannabinoid blends for your own use, fine-tuning the balances and ratios to achieve your desired results.
True Extracts offers a wide range of terpene blends rich in caryophyllene, from the sativa-dominant Agent Orange to the indica-dominant Animal Cookies — not to mention a variety of 50/50 hybrids such as Banana Bread, Berry Punch, and Blue Zkittles. Browse our selection today, try a few different options, and find your favorite caryophyllene solution!