The cannabis plant is one of the oldest medicinal plants known to humans, with historical references dating back 5 to 10 thousand years. For centuries, humans have relied on the medicinal functions of the cannabis plant despite not having the science or the ability to understand just how the plant works biologically and physiologically.
In “The Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential” written by Franjo Grotenhermen and Ethan Russo, the authors cite the 1964 discovery of THC by Gaoni and Mechoulam. Their discovery was the catalyst which allowed for more cannabis research. Since then, researchers from around the world have dedicated experimentation efforts to further understand the chemical constituents of the cannabis plant.
Terpenes appear in abundance within nature, and it’s estimated that over 20,000 terpenes exist within our ecosystems. Every single plant, herb, flower, vegetable and fruit possess terpenes; and each terpene serves a very specific purpose. Terpenes contribute to the characteristic odor and flavor of any plant.
It has been determined that approximately 120 terpenes exist across cannabis plant varieties. The Cannabis plant terpenes are generally classified as primary and secondary terpenes, based on how frequent they occur in cannabis. The odor represents a distinction between cannabis varieties which indicates that different plants can offer different benefits. Beyond the flavor and the scent though, terpenes can offer relief from an assortment of ailments.
The terpene Caryophyllene is commonly found in spices and plants including cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, hops, rosemary, oregano and basil. It is also found in carrots. It has analgesic effects in inflammatory and neuropathic pain. It’s because of Caryophyllene that clove essential oil offers the health benefit of pain relief and local anesthetic properties especially for mouth and tooth ailments.
Caryophyllene binds to cannabinoid receptors- the only terpene believed to do this. Cannabinoid Receptors, referred to as CB1 and CB2, are an essential part of the human body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid receptors all over the body. This system enables a connection between body and mind, signaling to all other systems when something feels good or bad. When the body is defensive against trauma, this system begins to fail, resulting in physical, mental and/or neurological conditions.
The endocannabinoid system also controls most responses within the human system including memory, sensory, neuroendocrine, metabolism, and cognition responses. This system tells humans when they are hungry, tired, scared, sad or happy.
A 2016 article titled Cannabis sativa and Hemp by Joshua A. Hartsel, Alexandros Makriyannis, et al. published in Nutraceuticals states that “Caryophyllene has the distinction of being the first known ‘dietary cannabinoid,’ a common component of food that has GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status and is approved by the FDA for food use.”
Caryophyllene has shown to have anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties as presented in a 2014 report which detailed the terpene’s effect on mice. Another 2014 study with mice revealed that Caryophyllene can aid in the treatment of alcoholism.
The following strains contain the terpene Caryophyllene:
Through the powers of the endocannabinoid system and with the proper use of medical marijuana, patients can experience long-lasting and natural pain and symptom relief.
Each patient’s needs are unique. Speak to a certifying medical marijuana physician to determine the recommended strain and method of consumption. Also, the trained staff at your preferred Medical Marijuana Treatment Center will assist patients in strain and method of consumption.