β-caryophyllene (BCP) is an aromatic compound, also known as a terpene, that's found in common essential oils such as black pepper, rosemary, and most popularly, hemp oil.
BCP is an interesting compound not only because it's found in hemp oil, but for the fact that it's also known as a dietary cannabinoid (Gertsch et al., 2008) that has the ability to interact with our CB2 endocannabinoid receptors.
Still a little lost? Not to worry, let's break down the endocannabinoid system first, and then we'll move into how BCP may be beneficial for relieving pain, inflammation and potentially assist with anxiety and sleep.
Cannabinoids & Our Endocannabinoid System
To understand how BCP works, we must first discuss a little bit on the difference between our CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors mediate the majority of the effects that come from the psychoactive component of cannabis, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CB1 receptors help regulate the brain's reward pathway, and influences the production of dopamine transmission (Mackie, 2006). In short, when individuals partake in the smoking of cannabis, most of the euphoric high, paired with possibly the midnight munchies, is a result of an excessive activation of CB1.
CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are expressed widely in the immune system, giving them a key role in regulating immune cell signaling and modulate the inflammatory response through-out the body. In a nutshell, activating these receptors can allow for some fairly potent anti-inflammatory effects, which can assist in pain reduction (Whiteside et al., 2007).
β-caryophyllene, Inflammation and Pain
One of the biggest characteristics of BCP is it's ability to act on CB2 endocannabinoid receptors, which are primarily involved in the regulation and modulation of the immune systems inflammatory response.
By activating the CB2 receptor, BCP can work to reduce inflammation, and studies show this may help to relieve chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain (Klauke et al., 2014).
BCP applied topically has even shown to have an anaesthetic or "pain reducing" effect to the local area (Ghelardini et al., 2001), which may also underscore to some degree the potency of simply applying hemp oil to the skin (We recommend Cannamax Plus with Hemp).
Lastly, BCP may also be beneficial for reducing gastrointestinal inflammation through the activation of CB2 PPAR-gamma receptors in the gut, making this dietary cannabinoid beneficial for inflammatory bowel-related conditions (Cheng et al., 2014).
β-caryophyllene, Anxiety and Sleep
On top of BCPs potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic effects, this interesting dietary cannabinoid also contains some fairly significant anxiolytic (anxiety reducing) properties.
Interestingly, it is thought that the anxiolytic effect caused by BCP is actually a result of an antioxidant effect (Machado et al., 2020), which suggests β-caryophyllene may lower anxiety through it's ability to minimise oxidative stress in the body.
You may be wondering, how does this attribute to sleep? Well, because of BCPs ability to lower anxiety, studies have highlighted it's potential to also decrease sleep latency (time to fall asleep) and increase sleep time (time asleep)(Galdino et al., 2012).
Where Can I Buy β-caryophyllene?
Products containing β-caryophyllene can be purchased at any Health Shop or Supplement store, although keep in mind, it's always best to look for brands that specifically state the presence of β-caryophyllene.
At Wellness Nutrition, we stock and recommend Cannamax Plus with Hemp, which contains 50% Beta-Caryophyllene Oil.
Cannamax can be applied topically or taken internally, and is beneficial for a range of health conditions including pain, anxiety, sleep can be used as a general support for the immune system.
β-caryophyllene is one of the most prevalent dietary cannabinoids found in hemp oil and other various plant compounds including black pepper and rosemary.
BCP is an interesting compound that has the ability to act on our body's CB2 endocannabinoid receptors, which allows it to exert some pretty powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, analgesic and anxiolytic effects.
If you're looking for something assist in pain relief, or perhaps improve sleep, why not try Cannamax, which contains a high level of β-caryophyllene and can be used both topically and internally.If you have any questions about β-caryophyllene or would like to share your experience with it, why not leave a comment?
About The Author: Stephen Brumwell
As a Nutritionist, Biohacking enthusiast, self-experimenter, research fanatic, and self-taught writer, Stephen immerses himself deep into the literature of human optimisation and holistic wellbeing. His goal is to help people better understand the science of human health, and how they can use it to perform better and live a life that is absolutely limitless.
- Cheng, Y., Dong, Z., & Liu, S. (2014). �-caryophyllene ameliorates the Alzheimer-like phenotype in APP/PS1 mice through CB2 receptor activation and the PPARγ pathway. Pharmacology, 94(1-2), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1159/000362689
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