The online health movement is flowering. We now have more people than ever chasing information on various health fields relating to the gut, brain and skin! Compounds like terpenes and CBD have been notoriously misunderstood – but that's okay.
So, Caryophyllene (Beta-caryophyllene, or BCP oil)... what is it, and how it could help you?
More About Terpenes
If you've kept up with the latest in gut health, you'll know what terpenes are. Beta-caryophyllene is a terpene. Let's talk about that.
Terpenes are essentially the compounds found in plants, responsible for their distinctive and attractive scents. If you've ever “stopped to smell the roses” – what your nose is picking up on is the terpenes in that flower.
Beta-caryophyllene is found in black pepper, clove oil, basil, hops, rosemary and cinnamon. It has a spicy, woody scent. We know you've smelt at least one of these before, so think about that signature raspy aroma now... That's the stuff.
We can also find it in “holy basil” - the Tulsi Plant - worshipped in Hinduism for “healing powers” and medicinal properties. Don't scoff, because scientifically, they might actually be onto something.
Terpenes are super common compounds found in just about every plant, and they are responsible for unique flavours and scents found in products like essential oils. Each one will have health benefits in a way that is specific to your body. For example, Myrcene will work with your nervous system and gut biome to relax you. Among other things.
People looking for ways to bump up the strength of cannabis products look favourably at this stuff. Generally, the health benefits of terpenes like beta-caryophyllene can work together with CBD chemicals in something called the entourage effect.
This is where two chemicals act in sync to produce an effect stronger than either chemical can do alone.
Beyond its use acting as a dietary cannabinoid, beta-caryophyllene is used as a flavouring agent and additive in tonnes of products. It can even be used in cosmetics, creams, toothpaste and other commercial products to enhance therapeutic effects.
Health Benefits of Beta-caryophyllene
We'll give you the notes on this, Beta-caryophyllene is:
- Protective against some disease.
- A mild cannabinoid.
Alright. You (yes you). Your nervous system is a complex, finely tuned beast that works with your entire body. Part of this is your endocannabinoid system, regulating physiological and mental functions in your body. Think about your immune system, vascular system, your organs, etc. Everything speaks to one and other.
Without getting too scientific, the receptors in your endocannabinoid system, called the CB1 and CB2, take care of most of the work. Research says beta-caryophyllene binds to the CB2 receptors which leads to therapeutic benefits for inflammation, pain, and osteoporosis.
So when we say it's a “dietary cannabinoid”, you aren't exactly going to get high off of cinnamon here. But you'll feel some very, very mild effects eating it. Do not smoke cinnamon or rosemary, I repeat, do not.
Research shows it reduces inflammation in the brain, reducing chemicals that cause oxidative stress inside the skull. This kind of thing can help protect the brain in an extreme scenario like during a stroke – and improve the outcome of the stoke. At the same time, you can help protect your gut from inflammation too.
Going back to its use in toothpaste – beta-caryophyllene helps fight plaque build-up in the mouth. It's a natural alternative to some medications that usually you'll need a prescription for. Hey, your friends and family hate morning breath! Take care of that.
Think happy thoughts, because beta-caryophyllene also shows promising results in anxiety, depression and compulsive activity. This is exciting stuff, because in the future it could provide a natural alternative to nasty, addictive prescription medications.
Thought it was over? The health benefits found through research seemingly don't end. Beta-caryophyllene may protect against diseases like Cancer, Alzheimers, Multiple Sclerosis, pain relief, and was even found to extend the lifespan of worms by 22%. Cool.
But the most powerful takeaway from research is the effect is takes on general inflammation throughout the whole body, acting through your CB2 receptors.
Beta Caryophyllene Side Effects
The FDA considers this stuff safe for consumption, even at high doses. However, like a lot of natural compounds it could be a mild skin irritant if you don't use it properly. This is something to pay attention to if you have sensitive skin, so check up with your doctor if necessary. Just make sure you aren't allergic and follow reasonable instructions.
If you're searching online, there's also something called Caryophyllene-oxide. They're apart of the same family, but different. A side effect of the oxide is the part responsible for drug-sniffing dogs picking up on cannabis. Eeek! But that's a whole other article.
What Do You Think?
Wondering how to actually get some of these benefits? Check out BCP oil supplements or start adding more black pepper and rosemary to your meals, both are probably already in your cupboard.
Beta-caryophyllene is a really interesting natural compound you never knew you've ingested. So what are your thoughts on this?