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What is Beta-Caryophyllene?
Beta-Caryophyllene (BCP) is a terpene, aromatic compound, which is found in many naturally occurring sources. It is found in both hemp and cannabis, lending to the scent and flavor profiles. Interestingly, BCP isn’t just your regular terpene, as it has been found to play the role of a cannabinoid. In fact, it is the first phytocannabinoid found outside of cannabis. It only targets a specific receptor (CB2 receptor); therefore, does not produce any psychoactive effects. Beta-caryophyllene has a distinctively woody and peppery aroma. Other sources where BCP are found include allspice, black pepper, cardamom, oregano and turmeric.
What are the benefits of Beta-Caryophyllene?
BCP protects the brain by reducing neuroinflammation and increasing antioxidant levels. In addition, this terpene has shown a reduction in seizures related to epilepsy and helping the brain recover after a stroke. For example after a stroke, Beta-Caryophyllene helps repair a leaky blood brain barrier and reduce swelling; as well as decrease neuronal and mitochondrial damage. Other important protections that BCP provide are reducing the risk of vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Beta-Caryophyllene is proving to be beneficial for many organs throughout the body. BCP helps with general liver inflammation, liver scarring, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and lowers triglycerides. The kidneys experience a reduction in inflammation and less oxidative stress. Women suffering from endometriosis by reducing symptoms without affecting fertilization.
Other major health benefits include improving bone density, weight loss, and improved oral health, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Beta-Caryophyllene is also being studied in the prevention of cancer. BCP can inhibit tumor growth, inhibit the growth of cancer cells and induce apoptosis (programmed death/destruction of cells).
Why use CBD products that contain Beta-Caryophyllene?
When coupled with CBD, Beta-Caryophyllene not only increases in it’s own efficacy but increases that of the cannabidiol (CBD). This is the phrase coined by Dr. Ethan Russo and is known as the “entourage effect.” The entourage effect applies to the synergistic relationship and increased benefits of CBD and a terpene. In short, the two compounds work better together than they would separately.
Beta-Caryophyllene combined with CBD has shown significant improvement in inflammation, thus relieving pain. This duo is being looking at for its efficiency in the treatment of long-lasting and debilitating pain states. Chronic pain, neuropathy and muscle pain can be treated as these two serve as an analgesic (painkiller). A product containing both compounds can be taken orally or can be applied locally and topically to target specific areas of pain.
Journal Physiology and Behavior, discussed the role of the CB2 receptors in regards to anxiety and depression disorders. The CB2 receptor is being studied for its relationship with emotional regulation. As mentioned previously, Beta-Caryophyllene targets the CB2 receptor and is effective in both antidepressive and anxiolytic effects. Cannabidiol also possesses similar effects in regards to reducing anxiety and depression by regulating the endocannabinoid system. Working together, BCP and CBD can provide drastic improvements for these disorders.