Medicinal properties of hemp terpene beta-caryophyllene

Terpene beta-caryophyllene (BKF) contained in hemp has attracted the attention of physicians from many countries of the world. The substance was synthesized in 1964, but it began to be actively studied only in 2000. The results of 177 studies suggest that terpene has medicinal properties.

General information about BKF

Beta-caryophyllene is an organic substance with a pungent woody odor. BKF is found in clover, hops, basil, oregano, cinnamon, and black pepper. However, the highest concentration of terpene was recorded in cannabis: hemp oil, squeezed from inflorescences, contains up to 38% BKF. The substance is produced by trichomes to protect the plant from pests – terpene attracts predatory insects and repels herbivores. The list of the most abundant beta-caryophyllene cannabis varieties includes:

  • OG Kush;
  • Master Kush;
  • White Widow;
  • Rockstar
  • Candyland
  • Death Star
  • Cookies and Cream;
  • Royal Cookies;
  • Gelato.

How is BKF different from other terpenes?

BKF is the only terpene that acts on cannabinoid receptors. The substance acts as an agonist of CB2 receptors (enhances their activity) but does not bind to CB1 receptors. Therefore, the substance stimulates the endocannabinoid system (EX) of the body but does not cause drug intoxication. Experts suggest that BKF also has an entourage effect by interacting with other substances contained in hemp.

Therapeutic potential of BKF

Most researchers believe that beta-karyofillen has healing properties, but clinical trials have been conducted only on animals. The list of confirmed positive effects includes:

  1. BKF can be used as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent because the substance activates EX.
  2. In 2014, employees of the UAE University proved that beta-caryophyllene relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety disorder, and also helps get rid of cravings for alcohol.
  3. In 2016, scientists reported that beta-karyofillen and beta-hydroxy-karyofillen inhibit tumor growth and trigger the process of necrosis inside cancer cells.
  4. In 2018, an international team of specialists published the results of a study on the effects of terpene on body cells. Experts said that BKF has a neuroprotective effect and acts as an antioxidant, so the substance can be used to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Side Effects of BKF

In Russia, BKF is used as a dietary supplement and is included in the list of safe products. After conducting experiments on mice, doctors determined that the lethal dose of terpene for rodents is at least 5000 mg/kg. Thus, the substance is toxic but begins to pose a threat to human health only at ultra-high dosages. Doctors have not officially reported any side effect of BKF, therefore, the substance is contraindicated only for people suffering from terpene allergy.

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