ß-Caryophyllene – The Dietary Cannabinoid

healthy dog with a carrot

ß-Caryophyllene (BCP) is found in a variety of plants, including basil, rosemary, cloves, and, of course, cannabis. It’s also highly present in black pepper.

While BCP was first synthesized in 1964, it wasn’t until 2008 that a group of German and Swiss scientists, led by Andreas Zimmer, PhD and Ildiko Racz, PhD of the University of Bonn, discovered that ß-Caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid. Writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), they summarized:“Here, we report that the widespread plant volatile β-Caryophyllene (BCP) selectively binds to the CB2 receptor and that it is a functional CB2 agonist. Intriguingly, BCP is a common constituent of the essential oils of numerous spice and food plants and a major component in Cannabis.” 

balanced-nutrition veggie heart edited

This was a revolutionary discovery – ß-Caryophyllene was the first “dietary cannabinoid” – that is, widespread in the traditional food system, present in several GRAS plants, and already an FDA-approved food additive.  It is also seen as a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory – as explained by National Geographic Magazine.

Now we know why mom says “eat your veggies!”

dog eating veggies

Learn more about Cannabinoid Phytochemistry.

Source: Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid, Jürg Gertsch, Marco Leonti,Stefan Raduner, Ildiko Racz, Jian-Zhong Chen,‖ Xiang-Qun Xie,‖ Karl-Heinz Altmann, Meliha Karsak, and Andreas Zimmer, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 2008, Copyright © 2008 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.