Molecular Mass: 204.35106 g/mol
Boiling Point: 160 °C (320 °F)
Vapor Pressure: 0.01 mmHg ( 25 °C)
LD50 (Lethal Dose): >5g/kg for rats (Compare to Nicotine: for rats – 50Â mg/kg, for humans – 0.5-1 mg/kg)
is the primary terpene that contributes to the spiciness of black pepper and also a major terpene in cloves, hops
, rosemary, basil, and cannabis. It comes in two main forms, beta caryophyllene, also commonly seen as Î²-Caryophyllene or abbreviated to BCP, and trans-caryophyllene or TC. While this article primarilly looks at BCP, a couple studies do concern TC, and I will use caryophyllene generically throughout.
Caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene
, made of three isoprene
units, which makes it larger than monoterpenes like pinene
, which are made up of only two isoprene units. What makes caryophyllene chemically unique is its inclusion of a cyclobutane
ring, which is a rarity in nature and makes it an attractive candidate for biotech research. Some cyclobutanes have already found medical uses, such as the chemotherapyÂ drug Carboplatin
. As BCP has also been shown to have cancer fighting Â properties it could be viable candidate for a new chemotherapy drug.
Caryophyllene isn’t only unique for being a cyclobutane, it is unique for being both a terpene and a “dietary cannabinoid”
, a food-stuff which acts as a cannabinoid and binds to CB2 receptors. As stated in my first terpene profile
, cannabinoids are a terpenophenolic compound
, sub-set of terpenes. Since cannabinoids and terpenes are related it is no surprise that terpenes would trigger the body’s endo-cannabinoid receptors. The same 2008 study
, which first identified caryophyllene as a cannabinoid, also found it had numerous medicinal benefits,Â includingÂ anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous and local anesthetic
effects. Some sources
speculate that BCP is so powerful it could threaten existing pharmaceuticals, and synthetic cannabinoids currently being developed, which could be why BCP is so heavily studied.
Analgesic: Relieves pain.
Antibacterial: Slows bacterial growth.
Antidepressant: Relieves symptoms of depression.
Anti-inflammatory: Reduces inflammation systemically.
Anti-Proliferative:Inhibits cancer cell growth.
Antioxidant: Prevents oxidation damage to other molecules in the body.
Anxiolitic: Helps relieve anxiety.
Neuroprotective: Slows damage to the nervous system and brain.
Halent 2011 – Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart
Currently Being Studied For
A study released just last month shows, for the first time, that BCP can make you live longer
; at least in the case of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans
. This small worm has been studied for years
, because scientists can use it to model how things will affect humans. This breaking study shows that BCP’s abilities to reduce stress are powerful enough to increase the lifespan of worms and potentially humans.
Anxiety and Depression:
A study released in august
found BCP relieves the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and suggests further study into how it can be used to treat these conditions. Like many studies on caryophyllene, this is exploratory research and needs further study to back up its findings.
This 2007 study
found that BCP increased the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drug Paclitaxel
. A 2014 study
found that BCP had anti-cancer properties of its own, by stimulating apoptosis and by suppressing tumor growth.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease:
Caryophyllene helps with inflammation throughout the body, including the bowels. A 2011 study
found it to be an extremely effective a treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.