Hemp Talk Series – Terpenes (β-caryophyllene)

If you’ve ever emptied half a can of air freshener before your parents (or your kids!) got home, you’ve experienced cannabis terpenes!

What are terpenes?  Terpenes are essential oils found in numerous types of plants and even some insects.  There are over 30,000 terpenes found in nature.  Simply put, it’s what makes a pine tree smell like pine, a stink bug smell like a stink bug and, in our case, it’s what makes cannabis smell like cannabis!

Whether it’s skunky, chemically or sweet, terpenes have become a hot topic in cannabis news lately.  Let’s talk about why!

We previously talked about the Entourage Effect and how important it is to use a full spectrum CBD oil.  While our CBD oil is made from plants rich in CBD (about 56%), it also contains all of the other wonderful and important cannabinoids.  If you missed that post, you can read it here www.kentuckyhempworks.com/post/full-spectrum-cbd-and-the-entourage-effect/

Terpenes also play an important role in how cannabinoids are received by your endocannabinoid system.  Different strains of cannabis produce different terpenes.  At Kentucky Hemp Works, our strain of CBD plants is Cherry and our strain of seed plants is X-59.  This chart shows the terpenes contained in our CBD Drops.

Over the next couple weeks, we will be digging deeper into the terpenes in our CBD oil and their potential benefits!

The most prevalent terpene in our CBD drops is β-caryophyllene (or Beta-Caryophyllene).  In fact, β-caryophyllene is thought to be the most prevalent terpene in cannabis.  Ever taste a hint of pepper?  β-caryophyllene is the reason why.  It is also found abundantly in black pepper, rosemary, basil, hops, cloves, and lavender.

Recent research has shown that β-caryophyllene not only acts as a terpene but it can mimic a cannabinoid, as it is the only known terpene to bind to the CB2 receptor (CB1 and CB2 are two receptors in our endocannabinoid system).  Over a decade ago, the FDA approved β-caryophyllene as a food additive.

While β-caryophyllene works to improve overall health, some specific medical benefits are:

  • Reduced pain and inflammation – Cannabis strains rich in β-caryophyllene have been shown to reduce overall pain as well as reducing gut pain and inflammation caused by digestive diseases such as Crohn’s and Colitis.
  • Brain health — β-caryophyllene can reduce inflammation in the brain which may help protect your brain from swelling during a stroke. Research is also showing that it may protect the brain against diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s by reducing chronic inflammation.
  • Reduced anxiety and depression. We know that the CB2 receptor, which β-caryophyllene binds to, plays an important part in regulation of emotional behavior.  Cannabis strains high in β-caryophyllene are often used to reduce anxiety and increase mood.
  • While initial studies focused on the plaque reducing properties in β-caryophyllene for reduction of plaque in arteries, further research has shown that β-caryophyllene can also reduce oral plaque, reducing the chance of getting gingivitis.
  • β-caryophyllene also has anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, and anti-fungal properties.

This is just a short list of the dozens of health benefits of β-caryophyllene!

So, the next time you take your CBD oil, take a few moments and really take in the taste.  Do you taste the β-caryophyllene?

**Contents of this post do not constitute medical advice**