The cannabis terpenes series: Everything you need to know about caryophyllene

We are continuing our Cannabis Terpenes Series this week with a blog on caryophyllene. Keep reading to learn why this terpene is effective at relieving pain and reducing inflammation. If you are interested in finding out more about the other terpenes, read about them here: Limonene, linalool, pinene, myrcene and terpinolene.

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What are terpenes?

Terpenes are natural compounds that are responsible for the smell and taste of plants. As it stands, over 20,000 terpenes have been discovered and around 400 of these are found in cannabis alone.

Terpenes play a crucial role in the fragrance and flavour of a cannabis strain, which explains why different variations smell citrusy or spicy, whilst others smell piney.

These compounds also play an important role in enhancing thetherapeutic effects of cannabis by working in conjunctionwith the cannabinoids (such as CBD and THC) to increase the physiological benefits – also known as the entourage effect.

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Where is caryophyllene found?

Caryophyllene was one of the first cannabis-derived compounds – other than THC, CBD, and CBN – which was found to bind directly to endocannabinoid receptors in the body.

Alpha caryophyllene (also known as humulene) can be found in a large amount of plants and fruits including hops, sage and lupulus. Beta-caryophyllene can be found in black pepper, and lastly, caryophyllene oxide can be located in eucalyptus plants. Did you know that caryophyllene oxide is the component that dogs are trained to detect to sourceillegal cannabis?

Is there a distinct smell?

Caryophyllene has its own scent just like every other terpene and often smells spicy or peppery.

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What conditions can caryophyllene-abundant strains support with? 

All terpenes have different effects when working in conjunction with the other cannabinoids present in medical cannabis. In particular, this compound binds to CB2 receptors and can support the immune system, relieve pain, reduce inflammation and can help to soothe and relax the patient. Therefore, this terpene can be found in strains of cannabis that are prescribed to those living with anxiety and chronic pain.

In addition, caryophyllene has been found to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and may be used to relieve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.

How should I vape cannabis with high levels of caryophyllene?

To vape beta-caryophyllene, you should heat it at around320°F / 165°C. For caryophyllene oxide, you can maximise its benefits by heating it at 495°F / 257°C.

By understanding the effects of the common cannabis terpenes, you can identify which strain is most beneficial for your needs with a specialist consultant.

At Mamedica, we offer one-to-one virtual consultations with our specialist doctors where your bespoke treatment plan will be determined.

During this initial assessment, our specialists will understand your pain and health concerns to ensure your medical cannabis treatment is stress-free, simple, safe and effective. Check your eligibility for treatment here.