Caryophyllene : Know Your Terpenes

The terpene that gives black pepper its scent and a dietary cannabinoid.


It can sometimes be smelled during dinner time or drifting through the air surrounding a restaurant. It’s the terpene that gives black pepper its fresh, spicy scent and has been dubbed a dietary cannabinoid. Caryophyllene, sometimes referenced as beta-caryophyllene, is one of the major terpenes found in cannabis that’s also present in herbs like oregano or basil, a little bit in lavender, and spices like clove or cinnamon.

Caryophyllene is currently the only known terpene to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, or CB2 receptors, meaning it has been linked to similar effects of cannabinol or CBN, that also interacts with CB2 receptors. They’re both believed to offer therapeutic effects such as reducing inflammation along with any pain associated with it. A study done in 2014 linked caryophyllene to producing beneficial effects in patients suffering from anxiety and depression, though, its popularity stems from its synergistic effects when interacting with other terpenes and compounds in the human body to relieve pain and attributes to the “body buzz” sensation.

Strains that contain caryophyllene are Fire OG, 2010 Girl Scout Cookies, Deadhead OG, Ghost Buster, Jillybean, and Original Glue.

If you want to cook with cannabis high in caryophyllene, ensure you don’t vaporize it by going over its boiling point of 129 Celsius or 264.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remember, terpenes affect each of us differently depending on our body chemistry and what compounds are present that they can act synergistically with.