What is Beta-caryophyllene and its properties?

Caryophyllene is a terpene found naturally and in abundance in cannabis. Its distinctive flavor adds to the spiciness of black pepper, and it can be found in cloves, hops, and rosemary, among other foods. Since it is classified as “generally safe” by health agencies, large doses can be safely ingested. However, do you really know what Beta-caryophyllene is? What are its properties?

Scientists have been studying caryophyllene since it was discovered to be one of the first non-cannabinoids to stimulate cannabinoid receptors directly for the last decade. Thanks to the effect of this terpene on our endocannabinoid system,cannabis strains with high Beta-Caryophyllene content can have unique medicinal effects.

Next we will analyze the properties of caryophyllene, and we will see which strains have high levels of this terpene.

What is Beta-caryophyllene?

Black pepper, oregano, basil and a variety of other herbs and spices contain the terpene Beta-caryophyllene. However, it is important to note that the molecular structure of Beta-caryophyllene is different from that of other terpenes. This is because it is a rare cyclobutene ring, which is not present in any other cannabis terpene. If you want to know more about other terpenes, we advise you to read our articles about camphene, geraniol, myrcene, terpinolene or limonene.

As we know, CB1 and CB2 receptors are critical components of the large receptor network of the endocannabinoid system. On the one hand, CB1 receptors are found mainly in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found mainly in our peripheral organs. When THC is ingested, it binds mainly to CB1, causing euphoria.

Since Beta-caryophyllene binds easily to CB2, it does not produce the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Not only that, it also provides health benefits, such as reducing inflammation. In other words, it is a potent anti-inflammatory equivalent to phenylbutazone.

As noted above, its link to the endocannabinoid system and its ability to bind seamlessly to CB2 receptors make it a strong candidate for medicinal use.

beta caryophyllene

What is the aroma of caryophyllene like?

The aroma of this terpene is pungent and spicy, similar to that of ground pepper. Cannabis strains high in Beta-caryophyllene are considered to have a spicy, musky taste.

Some also stand out as having a unique profile. Hops, garlic, oregano, spinach, chard, cinnamon, rosemary, allspice, thyme, fig, marjoram and Roman chamomile are all sources of caryophyllene.

Properties of Beta-caryophyllene


CB2 receptors are present in the body in immune tissues and their number increases in the brain during illness or injury. Their stimulation decreases inflammation, which reduces the discomfort and negative effects of chronic inflammation on brain function. As a result, it reduces the risk of developing brain diseases.

However, not all CB2 receptor activators produce the same effect. In fact, caryophyllene can stimulate CB2 receptors in different ways, which may contribute to variations in the intensity of therapeutic effects.

Good for pain relief

Beta-caryophyllene terpene appears to have analgesic properties in many cases, according to this study. In that experiment, scientists injected mice with caryophyllene and found that they had less pain than mice that received a control solution.

Caryophyllene has also been shown to enhance the analgesic properties of morphine at low doses. This may be one reason why people who take prescription opioids for pain sometimes reduce their dosage until they start using medical cannabis.

caryophyllene anxiety

Anxiety and depression

Another research on caryophyllene in mice shows the potential of this terpene as a treatment for anxiety and depression. The role of CB2 receptors in anxiety and depressive disorders is discussed in the paper, which was published in the journal Physiology and Behavior.

As a result of the study, caryophyllene has been proposed as a novel compound that outperforms current benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in terms of pharmacological impact.

The aim of the study was to determine how caryophyllene affected mice under stress and anxiety. According to scientists, this research is the first to demonstrate that this terpene is successful in generating anxiolytic and antidepressant effects.

The findings also indicate that the CB2 receptor is involved in the regulation of emotional behavior. As a result, research suggests that this receptor may be a therapeutic target for anxiety and depression.

caryophyllene cannabis

Cannabis strains with high caryophyllene content

Caryophyllene-rich strains can be found across the cannabis spectrum. For example, some strains like Death Star, sativas, Candyland and hybrid strains like GSC have a lot of this terpene. It is also found in abundance in several strains of the “Cookies” family.

Considering the above, it is important to know that individual products may or may not indicate the true composition of a strain. In addition, most labels on cannabis products currently do not offer terpene profiles to customers when choosing a strain with a high caryophyllene content.

As a result, it is essential to ask a professional retailer to recommend high quality cannabis products.



One of the most frequently asked questions about the role of cannabis terpenes in the medicinal benefits of a strain is whether they are present in high enough concentrations to have a positive effect on the body.

Isolated caryophyllene was used in the available clinical research, sometimes in high doses. The question that arises is whether these doses are significantly higher than those that can be ingested with a high caryophyllene cannabis strain. It is still something that is not clearly determined.

What we do know is that caryophyllene, like all cannabis terpenes, should be studied at doses similar to those found innormal human intake. This could be achieved by systematically changing the levels of one terpene while maintaining the same levels of other cannabis compounds.

The good news is that since caryophyllene can be safely added to foods, several products could test caryophyllene levels at therapeutically appropriate levels.

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