Caryophyllene (β-Caryophyllene) is a naturally occurring sesquiterpene that has obtained GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status and approval for food use by the FDA. It is responsible for the spicy essence found in black pepper and is a vital component of various plants, including cloves, cannabis, hops, basil, oregano, lavender, rosemary, cinnamon, copaiba oil, ylang-ylang, and malabathrum. Its flavors and aromas are characterized by spiciness with a hint of sweetness, akin to cloves and cinnamon.
Caryophyllene’s effects do not induce euphoria, but they provide a somewhat stimulating impact, contributing to mood enhancement and anti-anxiety relief. A unique trait of caryophyllene is its ability to bind to CB-2 receptors, acting like a cannabinoid and triggering anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body’s peripheral organs. Interestingly, the caryophyllene molecule is larger than typical terpenes and possesses a rare cyclobutane ring structure, not found in any other terpene.
Caryophyllene has demonstrated direct benefits for conditions like colitis, diabetes, anxiety/depression, and Alzheimer’s-like diseases. Moreover, it has shown synergy with certain cancer medications, assisting in the reduction of cancer cell growth. Its boiling point is at 266 ℉ (130 ℃).