In our most recent post, we discussed the benefits of the terpene humulene. In today's post, we'll take a look at another terpene present in cannabis: Caryophyllene. Caryophyllene is already pretty well known for the spicy scent it contributes to black pepper, and in a 2008 study, a team of researchers found the terpene acted like a cannabinoid through binding to CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. They found caryophyllene does not bind to CB1 receptors. That same study concluded caryophyllene has therapeutic anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial, anesthetic, and analgesic properties. Caryophyllene may also be beneficial in treating anxiety, stress, depression, ulcers, autoimmune disorders, muscle tension, and chronic body pain. The terpene is also recognized by the FDA as a dietary supplement.
Researchers are especially intrigued by caryophyllene's potential to treat alcohol cravings and fight cancerous tumors. One study published in 2014 in the journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior found β-caryophyllene activated CB2 receptors which resulted in the decrease of desire for alcohol in mice. Another study from the same year conducted at the Kyung Hee University in the Republic of Korea found β-caryophyllene suppressed tumor growth and stimulated apoptosis in cancer cells.
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