BY MARIE LODI
In our Terpenes 411 column, we’ll be talking about terpenes, which are aromatic compounds found in every plant, including marijuana. Not only do they give our favorite strains their distinctive scents—they also play a major part in providing therapeutic effects. There are over 100 different terpenes in the cannabis plant, and while each has its own benefits, when they come together with THC, CBD, other terpenes, and our own biological makeup, they interact synergistically, resulting in what is known as The Entourage Effect. In the coming weeks, we’ll be delving into, and providing a full-fledged education, about this buzzword that you’ve likely been hearing about all over the place.
Like its friends myrcene and limonene, the caryophyllene terpene is commonly found in cannabis plants. It’s also present in many edible plants and spices, such as oregano, basil, rosemary, hops, black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon.
In the terpene world, caryophyllene stands out, not only for its spicy, peppery flavor, but because it can activate CB2 receptors—something other terpenes aren’t able to do. Because of this characteristic, caryophyllene can help reduce inflammation, subsequently relieving aches and pains. Aside from its anti-inflammatory properties, caryophyllene also has anti-cancer benefits, and may help prevent tumor growth. Studies have shown caryophyllene to be beneficial in fighting colitis, diabetes, and arthritis.
Caryophyllene might also be an important aid in fighting alcohol dependency, due to a study that showed how it helps reduce voluntary alcohol intake in mice. It can also help fight anxiety, depression, and reduce stress.