Beta-caryophyllene is one of the most prominent “spicy” terpenes found in the natural world. Often associated with ground pepper, this terpene adds a great deal of heat to any form of cannabis or hemp it’s present in. When most people refer to caryophyllene in the cannabis world, usually they’re talking about beta-caryophyllene.
- Chemical composition: The chemical structure for beta-caryophyllene is C15H24.
- Aroma: Often found in ground pepper, caryophyllene is easily one of the spiciest terpenes. Other words people use to describe its aroma as “smoky” and “warm.” Although it’s most prominent in pepper, this terpene also plays a key role in the aromas of cinnamon, cloves, and oregano.
- Effects: The most interesting feature about caryophyllene is that appears to work directly on the body’s endocannabinoid system. The latest studies suggest it has the unique ability to manipulate the brain’s CB2 receptors, which typically only interact with psychoactive cannabinoids like THC. If these findings are further verified, then this would be the only terpene known to man that can directly influence the endocannabinoid system.
As a side note, most hemp strains with high levels of beta-caryophyllene also have a terpene known as humulene. Naturally found in hops, humulene has an earthy scent highly reminiscent of…well, hops.
- Hemp Forms: Cannatonic, Charlotte’s Web, and Dancehall
- Other Strains: GSC, GG4, Blueberry Cheesecake, and Death Star