Caryophyllene (or -β-Caryophyllene)is a natural bicyclic sesquiterpenoid found in many plants. Its distinctive flavour and aroma profile has made it valuable in food and drink products.
Caryophyllene is also a fascinating terpenoid because of its significant role in the medical cannabis market. However, it does not have any psychoactive effects and targets the same cannabinoid receptors as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids. Caryophyllene has big health benefits and is considered to be terpene that acts like a cannabinoid.
Benefits of Caryophyllene
When cannabis is used medicinally, caryophyllene can be an effective treatment for many conditions, including arthritis, osteoporosis, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, and gastrointestinal problems. Caryophyllene has also been used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and other ailments.
This terpene can be extracted from essential oils using steam distillation or cold pressure extraction techniques. Steam distilled caryophyllene is typically found in skin care products to improve skin elasticity while repairing sun damage.
Another major benefit of caryophyllene is that it combats nausea, making this terpenoid a popular smoking cessation aid.
Caryophyllene Flavour And Aroma Profile
Caryophyllene has a warm, spicy and peppery note similar to clove or nutmeg. This terpenoid is also found in black pepper, hops, rosemary, ginger and cinnamon. In marijuana, caryophyllene provides the same peppery sensation found in dishes like rosemary sprigs, oregano leaves and basil oil.
Caryophyllene’s flavour is often described in perfumery terms as ‘peppery’ with a slight woody or cinnamon-like sweet taste. The flavour of caryophyllene is similar to the aroma of hops, black pepper and cloves.
Caryophyllene in Marijuana
This terpene is fairly common among cannabis strains, with several plants containing large amounts of caryophyllene such as White Widow, OG Kush, Girl Scout Cookies, Gelato, and Sour Diesel.
The presence of this terpenoid and its binding properties can increase the effectiveness of cannabis by slowing down the speed at which THC moves from the bloodstream into the brain. This has a multiplying effect, meaning that small doses produce more potent effects with this terpene present.