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Caryophyllene, or β-caryophyllene, is considered one of the sesquiterpenes, and it is a common ingredient in all kinds of plants and herbs. This terpene occur naturally in cannabis, Thai basil, cloves, black pepper, hops, and many other plants.


Drug-sniffing dogs detect weed thanks to caryophyllene oxide

Like many other terpenes, beta caryophyllene is the source of the typical smell of many plants and herbs. In black pepper it is responsible for the spicy herbal aroma. In weed, caryophyllene oxide is the component responsible for the characteristic and highly dominant scent for which drug-sniffing dogs are able to detect cannabis.


Unique characteristic rare in nature

This bright green-yellow colored terpene spreads a rich spicy flavor and is a valuable ingredient in the essential oils of many plants. Examples include lavender oil, cannabis oil, clove oil, and ylang-ylang oil. Caryophyllene has a cyclobutane ring, which is really rare in nature and is most certainly unique.
Caryophyllene forms two structural isomers:
  • β-form - (beta) - a bicyclic compound
  • α-form - (alpha) - α-humulene or humulene


Affects the endocannabinoid system

In the year 2008 German researchers have discovered, that caryophyllene is able to bind to the cannabinoid receptors that belong to the endocannabinoid system and therefore behaves like a real cannabinoid. In contrast to the phyto cannabinoid THC, which binds to both receptors (CB1 and CB2), caryophyllene is only sensitive to the CB2 receptor.
Because the terpene shows no affinity with the type 1 cannbinoïde-CB1 receptor, it is a non-psychoactive active ingredient which will not cause any stoned or high feeling. Psychomimicking effects, such as hallucinations and paranoid delusions, will therefore not occur.


Chemical data

  • The chemical formula of caryophyllene is: C15H24
  • The molar mass is: 204.1878 g / mol
  • The systematic name is: 4,11,11-trimethyl-8-methylene-bicyclo [7.2.0] undec-4-ene

Physical properties

  • Boiling point: 119 ° C / 246.2 ° F
  • Vapor pressure: 0.01 mm Hg (25 ° C)
  • Density: 0.9052 g / cm3


In which plants does caryophyllene occur?

Caryophyllene occurs in a very large number of plants and herbs, including in cannabis plants. Besides in cannabis, this sesquiterpene is also found in turmeric, black pepper, hops, chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, cinnamon, thyme, ginger, St. John's wort, basil and peppermint.



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