Terpene Spotlight: What Is Caryophyllene?

Terpenes give cannabis strains their unique aromas and may even contribute to their effects. These compounds are an integral part of the cannabis experience and gaining a better understanding of them can help us to make the most of cannabis. 

For this terpene spotlight, we’d like to take a moment to talk about caryophyllene, one of the most unique terpenes out there, and one that you’ll find in many of the curated cannabis strains that we cultivate. What is Caryophyllene and what makes it so special? Here’s what you need to know about this powerhouse terpene.

What Is Caryophyllene?

Caryophyllene, also known as beta-caryophyllene, is a terpene that has a spicy and peppery aroma. You can find it in things such as black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, basil, and oregano. 

Caryophyllene is one of the most common terpenes in cannabis and if your bud has a spicy kick to it, there’s a really good chance that it is rich in this terpene. 

What Makes Caryophyllene Unique?

It’s not just caryophyllene’s unique aroma that makes it special. Caryophyllene doesn’t seem to interact with the body in quite the same way as other terpenes. This terpene has a unique molecular structure that allows it to bind to the receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system in the same way that a cannabinoid would. 

For example, when THC is ingested, it binds to CB1 receptors to produce its effects. Terpenes typically have no binding affinity for endocannabinoid receptors. However, caryophyllene seems to be able to bind to CB2 endocannabinoid receptors. This may potentially happen due to its unique molecular structure which contains a cyclobutane ring, something that no other cannabis terpene is believed to possess.  

We can’t expect caryophyllene to produce the same intoxicating effects as THC since it binds to a different receptor in a different way, but that doesn’t mean that caryophyllene’s binding affinity for endocannabinoid receptors may not offer other potential benefits. 

The Potential Therapeutic Effects of Caryophyllene

Like with many other cannabis terpenes, research suggests that caryophyllene may have certain therapeutic benefits and effects. 

One study from 2014 found that caryophyllene was able to produce pain-relieving analgesic effects in rodents. Further research also indicates that caryophyllene may have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. Research even suggests that caryophyllene may have benefits related to the treatment of anxiety and depression

Curated Cannabis Strains At Anthologie

Many of the curated cannabis strains that we cultivate are high in caryophyllene. If you’d like to try this terpene out for yourself then check out these curated cannabis strains available right now. 

OGKB: An indica-dominant strain that produces a deep and full-bodied physical relaxation. Features a spicy herbal taste with notes of vanilla.