There are over a hundred terpenes in cannabis and Caryophyllene is the boldest you’ll find. If you don’t recognize it by its name, you will by its smell.
Known for its aroma of pungent and powerful black pepper, Caryophyllene is one of the most unique terpenes around. Not only is it commonly used in some of the most popular cannabis strains on the market, but Caryophyllene, or beta-Caryophyllene, is good for your health. 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.
Whether it’s in cannabis, in the kitchen or in the laboratory, Caryophyllene is a one-of-a-kind terpene that truly stands out from the rest.
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.
It has 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.
It’s an antifungal medication
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 and positively 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
It helps with 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.
It can be used as an antioxidant, too!
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.
The top three strains containing Caryophyllene
Did you know that most cannabis strains contain Caryophyllene? It’s true! Caryophyllene is a terpene that is often used by cannabis connoisseurs due to its unmistakable flavor. But which strains are more Caryophyllene-dominant? It’s easy to tell...just give it a whiff!
Cannabis containing Caryophyllene tastes like freshly ground pepper sprinkled on your meal at a fancy restaurant. It’s sharp, sometimes sour and will immediately make your nose twitch in the best way possible.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, Caryophyllene strains are known for taking away pain and promoting an overall sense of well-being. You’ll feel relaxed, reassured and ready to take on whatever comes next.
Here are three of the best cannabis strains containing Caryophyllene:
Celebrate true love by falling for some wickedly decadent Wedding Cake! Potent and popular among medical patients, this indica-leaning hybrid was born from the marijuana matrimony of GSC and Cherry Pie. It’s not as sweet as its name would suggest, but near the end and just in time for dessert, the citrusy pepper of Caryophyllene slow dances with the other terpenes to give off the slightest hint of sugary vanilla. Yum! Euphoric and relaxing, this strain vows to be a new favorite to relieve stress and help you sleep after a big day (or the big day). Say, “I Do” to Wedding Cake.
You’ll smell it before you see it. Chemdawg, the grandfather of Sour Diesel and OG Kush, is one of the most potent and pungent strains around. This legendary, Caryophyllene-dominant hybrid is renowned for its relaxing body high and cerebral sensations. If you’re into a funky-smelling sour that packs a punch, Chemdawg is for you.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the main event! Meet the undefeated, undisputed pot prizefighter known as Purple Punch! Created by crossing Larry OG with Grand Daddy Purp, this indica-heavy haymaker smells like grapes, sweet berries and a tiny bit tropical, too. The caryophyllene can really coax out notes of vanilla and spice, making it ideal to enjoy for dessert. Have trouble sleeping? Purple Punch is also a sedative strain that will help with insomnia and leave you down for the ten count (or, at least until your alarm goes off). Judges? It’s a unanimous decision: Purple Punch is a knockout!
You’ve heard of couch lock, right? GG4 practically invented the phrase. This indica-dominant hybrid, also known as Gorilla Glue #4 or Original Glue, will leave you stuck and stress-free! Thanks to the caryophyllene, you’ll quickly recognize the super spicy skunk you’d typically find in a diesel. However, you may be surprised to find subtle (but sharp) selections of coffee grounds and dark chocolate! Bred from combining Chem’s Sis, Sour Dubb and Chocolate Diesel, a little bit of GG4 will go a long way -- it’s truly a one hitter quitter best enjoyed at night.