March 18, 2023 3 min read

β-Caryophyllene, a naturally occurring sesquiterpene, has attracted considerable attention in recent years due to its diverse biological activities. This monograph aims to provide a comprehensive review of scientific studies related to the healing potential of β-caryophyllene, covering its sources, chemical properties, pharmacological activities, and therapeutic potential in various disorders.


β-Caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene with a characteristic spicy and woody aroma. It has been recognized for its potential healing properties, including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and analgesic activities. This review discusses the current state of scientific knowledge on β-caryophyllene and its potential therapeutic applications.

Sources and Chemical Properties

β-Caryophyllene is found in various plants, including black pepper, cloves, rosemary, and cannabis. Its chemical structure features a cyclobutane ring, distinguishing it from other terpenes. β-Caryophyllene is unique among terpenes because it is also a dietary cannabinoid that selectively binds to the CB2 receptor.

Pharmacological Activities

Anti-Inflammatory Activity

β-Caryophyllene has been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. In vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated its ability to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory mediators, such as nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandins, and cytokines (Chaves et al., 2018).

Antimicrobial Activity

The antimicrobial properties of β-caryophyllene have been shown against a wide range of bacteria and fungi, including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Candida albicans (Legault et al., 2007). Its mechanism of action is believed to involve the disruption of microbial cell membranes, leading to cell death.

Antioxidant Activity

β-Caryophyllene has been reported to exhibit antioxidant activity by scavenging free radicals and reducing oxidative stress. Its antioxidant potential has been attributed to its ability to donate hydrogen atoms and chelate metal ions (Wu et al., 2014).

Analgesic Activity

β-Caryophyllene has shown potential analgesic effects in animal pain models, such as inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Its analgesic properties are thought to be mediated by its selective binding to the CB2 receptor, modulating the endocannabinoid system (Klauke et al., 2014).

Therapeutic Potential in Various Disorders

Inflammatory Disorders

The anti-inflammatory properties of β-caryophyllene have been explored to treat inflammatory disorders, such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and dermatitis. β-Caryophyllene has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve symptoms in animal models of these conditions (Gertsch et al., 2008).

Gastrointestinal Disorders

β-Caryophyllene has demonstrated gastroprotective effects in animal models of gastric ulcers. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities are believed to contribute to the healing of gastric mucosal lesions (Bento et al., 2011).

Skin Disorders

The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of β-caryophyllene make it an attractive candidate for the treatment of skin disorders, such as acne, eczema and wound healing. Its soothing and regenerative effects on skin tissue have also been reported (Cho et al., 2017).

Pain Management

The analgesic activity of β-caryophyllene has been investigated for its potential use in managing various types of pain, including inflammatory, neuropathic, and chronic pain. It’s selective binding to the CB2 receptor and modulation of the endocannabinoid system contribute to its pain-relieving effects. Studies have demonstrated that β-caryophyllene effectively reduces pain in animal models, and its potential as an alternative to traditional analgesics, such as opioids, is being explored (Katsuyama et al., 2013).

Neurological Disorders

The neuroprotective effects of β-caryophyllene have been investigated in models of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may play a role in mitigating the progression of these disorders. Additionally, its ability to modulate the endocannabinoid system through CB2 receptor activation may contribute to its neuroprotective effects (Cheng et al., 2014).

Anxiety and Depression

β-Caryophyllene has shown potential anxiolytic and antidepressant effects in animal models, which are believed to be mediated through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system and modulation of neurotransmitters. Its ability to regulate the CB2 receptor may help reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms without the psychoactive effects associated with CB1 receptor activation (Bahi et al., 2014).


β-caryophyllene has demonstrated various pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, analgesic, neuroprotective, and anxiolytic properties, contributing to its potential healing capabilities. These diverse activities highlight the potential therapeutic applications of β-caryophyllene in various disorders, such as inflammatory conditions, gastrointestinal disorders, skin disorders, pain management, neurological disorders, and mood disorders.

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