All about the terpene Caryophyllene

Published Jun 27, 2019 10:50 a.m. ET
iStock / Vasilev Kirill

We have known for a very long time that terpenes are produced naturally by a variety of plants, but new research into cannabis plants has triggered a look into some of the most common elements that are believed to be responsible for its significant medicinal benefits. Originally, terpenes that are produced by cannabis plants were thought to be no more beneficial than a scented candle with what is called aromatics, but research into these elements has led many specialists and scientists to agree that there is likely much more to the medical benefits of consuming these elements than meets the eye.

What is a terpene?

Terpenes are one class of organic compounds that are produced by plants. They are the base of many popular essential oils and have an incredibly strong smell. The reason these compounds are produced by plants is mainly to protect them from common predators like bugs and insects, but they have many other uses as well, which include both recreational and medicinal qualities.

What is Caryophyllene?

Caryophyllene is one of the most pungent and spicy tasting and smelling terpenes out there. Though it is often mislabeled as a cannabinoid, it is one of the most common terpenes that are found in cannabis plants.

What does Caryophyllene taste and or smell like?

The terpene caryophyllene has a thick lingering smell and taste that resembles pepper, clove, and many common cooking spices.

What does Caryophyllene do?

Most terpenes have aromatic benefits that are naturally effective at relieving stress, reducing anxiety, and improving mood, but the effects are generally not very powerful. Caryophyllene is the only terpene we are aware of that interacts with the CB2 receptors in the human endocannabinoid system, which is why is it so commonly mislabeled as one of the cannabinoids. CB2 receptors will multiply in an area of the body that has been exposed to injury, and when Caryophyllene interacts with these receptors, it triggers the release of anti-inflammatory agents which can help to alleviate pain and heal damage.

As of now we have also confirmed its use in the dental hygiene regimens of our ancestors improved their oral health, and that it has been used for years as a method of pain relief for toothaches, arthritis, infections, and other chronic conditions brought on by brain disease or injury with a fair amount of success. While we aren’t 100% certain of any other precise effects that are caused by this one element alone, it is currently under rigorous investigation for its possible medical benefits, and its future in the pharmaceutical industry is looking bright.

Where is Caryophyllene found?

Caryophyllene can be found in both hemp and cannabis plants, but it also appears in substantial quantities among many of our most common cooking spices like rosemary, black pepper, oregano, clove, hops, basil, and cinnamon.

Marijuana strains that produce substantial amounts of Caryophyllene

Some people believe that all Sativa marijuana strains have this feature, but there is no evidence to confirm that. There are a fair amount of strains from both groups that will produce this kind of terpene. If you are searching for weed strains that produce high levels of this terpene, then here is a list of sixteen options to help get you started.

  • Super Silver Haze
  • Deathstar
  • Wedding Cake
  • Bubba Kush
  • Cherry Pie
  • Lavender
  • Lemon G
  • Candyland
  • Rockstar
  • Blueberry Cheesecake
  • Girl Scout Cookies
  • Platinum Girl Scout Cookies
  • Original Glue
  • Purple Punch
  • Cookies and Cream

Related Strains

STRAIN
4.0
Effects: Energetic, Euphoric, Happy, Relaxed, Uplifted
Super Silver Haze is cross between Skunk, Northern Lights and Haze. It is a multiple time Cannabis Cup winner.
STRAIN
4.0
Effects: Euphoric, Happy, Relaxed, Sleepy, Uplifted
Death Star shares the effects of its sativa and indica parents Sour Diesel and Sensi Star.
STRAIN
0
Effects: Euphoric, Focused, Happy, Relaxed, Uplifted
Wedding Cake is a cross of Girl Scout Cookies and Cherry Pie.
STRAIN
4.0
Effects: Euphoric, Happy, Hungry, Relaxed, Sleepy
Bubba Kush is a classic, renown hybrid indica strain. Its parent strain ancestry even goes as far back as India. It’s a very strong strain perfect for dealing with heavy stress, wakefulness or trouble sleeping.
STRAIN
4.0
Effects: Euphoric, Happy, Hungry, Relaxed, Uplifted
Cherry Pie hits fast and promises to stay around for quite some time providing happy relaxing experiences.
STRAIN
4.0
Effects: Euphoric, Happy, Relaxed, Sleepy, Uplifted
Lavender aka Lavender Best is a three way cross with Big Skunk Korean, Afghani Hawaiian and Super Skunk created by Soma Seeds
STRAIN
4.0
Effects: Energetic, Euphoric, Happy, Relaxed, Uplifted
Lemon G aka Lemon G 13 can improve focus and uplift moods with moderate THC levels.
STRAIN
4.0
Effects: Energetic, Euphoric, Happy, Relaxed, Uplifted
Candyland, is a cross between Granddaddy Purple and Bay Platinum Cookies. This strain is also known as Kandyland.
STRAIN
4.0
Effects: Euphoric, Happy, Relaxed, Sleepy, Uplifted
Blueberry and Big Buddha Cheese mixed produces Blueberry Cheesecake with aromatic odours similar to its name.
STRAIN
4.0
Effects: Energetic, Euphoric, Happy, Relaxed, Uplifted
Girl Scout Cookies, or GSC has a very sugary, sweet and natural flavor. GSC effects typically include strong full body relaxation, a loss of time, and positive, happy vibes.
STRAIN
4.0
Effects: Creative, Euphoric, Happy, Relaxed, Uplifted
OG Kush, Durban Poison, and Cherry Kush are the amazing trio that makes up Platinum GSC, a euphoric potent high.
STRAIN
4.0
Effects: Euphoric, Happy, Hungry, Relaxed, Uplifted
GG4 or Original Glue is a strong strain that gives users very potent sedative effects, a state of happy, calm and relaxed. Known to put users “On da couch”.
STRAIN
4.0
Effects: Euphoric, Happy, Relaxed, Sleepy, Uplifted
Purple Punch is the breeding of Larry OG and Granddaddy Purple. The delicious tasting blueberry muffin and grape candy smelling strain is indica-dominant
STRAIN
4.0
Effects: Energetic, Euphoric, Happy, Relaxed, Uplifted
Exotic Genetix are the breeder of Cookies and Cream, a hybrid cross between Starfighter and Girl Scout Cookies.

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