Known for its aroma of pungent and powerful black pepper, Caryophyllene is one of the most unique terpenes around. In the last decade, the scientific community has been actively researching the therapeutic benefits of Caryophyllene, which range from reducing inflammation to alleviating anxiety.
While some terpenes smell fresh and fruity, Caryophyllene is an unforgettable, undeniable blend of sweet and spicy. An FDA-approved food additive, Caryophyllene can be found in cloves, cinnamon, hops and basil. You can also find Caryophyllene in essential oils containing rosemary, ylang ylang and caraway.
What are the benefits of Caryophyllene?
While Caryophyllene has a distinct impact on smell and taste, scientists are also discovering its unique benefits on health. In recent years, the popularity of Caryophyllene has skyrocketed after it was discovered to be one of the only non-cannabinoids to activate cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Due to its ability to navigate the endocannabinoid system and bind to CB2 receptors, research is supporting the many different therapeutic benefits Caryophyllene provides.
Anti-inflammatory properties and relieves pain
One of the biggest benefits Caryophyllene has on health is its ability to reduce inflammation. Caryophyllene is the only known terpene that is a dietary cannabinoid. When CB2 receptors throughout the body are activated, pain related to inflammation may decrease as CB2 activity inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and metalloproteinases.
For the past decade, scientists have been researching this relationship to learn more about how useful Caryophyllene is to help treat inflammation.
In different studies with mice, Caryophyllene’s anti-inflammatory properties were shown to reduce symptoms related to Alzheimer's disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Debilitating Pain. One study also found that Caryophyllene’s anti-inflammatory properties helped reduce the time it took for wounds to heal.
Essential oils have long been known to contain compounds rich with antifungal medication. Since Caryophyllene is often found in essential oils, it’s no surprise the terpene has antifungal properties, too. Caryophyllene has been found to kill bacteria quickly andpositively treat fungal infections, especially of the skin and mucous membranes. Caryophyllene has also been found to promote antimicrobial activity against staph infection and strains like E. coli and C. albicans
Sleep and anxiety
Acting both as a cannabinoid and a terpene, Caryophyllene can help with insomnia, promote healthy sleep and alleviate anxiety. As it binds with CB2 receptors, Caryophyllene serves as a natural anxiolytic that encourages sedation and relaxation. A 2014 study suggested that Caryophyllene could potentially be used to treat those with anxiety and depression disorders.
When oxidized, Caryophyllene serves as a preservative for food, drinks and household items. It’s literally protecting us from all the bad things that could happen. As a terpene, Caryophyllene serves the same function: it’s an antioxidant that is actively boosting your body’s immune system.A recent study even found that Caryophyllene can lessen the development of oxidative stress found in Parkinson’s Disease, epilepsy and anxiety.