Did you know that one of the primary compounds in sage is also found in cannabis? It's called Beta-caryophyllene and it is rich with immune-boosting properties.
Let's take a step back, while we often think about cannabis as one medicine, it actually containsover 500 different compounds, including cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and terpenes. These chemicals provide cannabis with its flavor and aroma. Many of these compounds can help with immune health, including the terpene we highlight here, beta-caryophyllene.
This peppery scented terpene is found in cannabis and in plants like sage, clove, black pepper, and hops. It's a natural compound that can support immune health in several ways, and can even help relieve anxiety and stress. It's one of the reasons that smudging your space with sage can be so helpful.
Since we could all benefit from some immune support in these stressful times, let's go into the details of this incredible terpene and how you can utilize it to boost your immune system.
Beta-Caryophyllene's Immune-Boosting Effects
When it comes to immune support, beta-caryophyllene can help in many different ways. To start, it is a powerfulantioxidant. This is an awesome quality because antioxidants are incredibly beneficial for immune health - actually improving certain immune responses.Studies looking at supplements with antioxidant properties (such as vitamin C) found that adding antioxidants could improve immune health and resistance to developing tumors.
Another benefit of Beta-caryophyllene is that it can also be helpful for your immune system as ananti-inflammatory agent.
While some inflammation is important for healthy immune responses,too much inflammation can cause significant health problems - actually suppressing other critical immune reactions and, in extreme cases - damaging the body's own tissue. This is why anti-inflammatory diets and supplements can be such a helpful way to boost immune health. And beta-caryophyllene is one supplement that can help to bring down excessive inflammation.
Stress and anxiety is another big drain on immune health. Still, beta-caryophyllene has an added benefit of being able to reduce anxiety. This could increase it's immune-boosting powers, by lowering the impact that stress has on our system. Onestudy found that its ability to modulate our stress response can even prolong someone’s lifespan.
To add to this, beta-caryophyllene has anti-viral properties. In studies using it as a treatment for herpes, itreduced infection rates by 98%. While this doesn't directly impact the immune system, it can help support the immune system as another defense against viral infections.
In addition to these many immune-supporting factors, studies also show beta-caryophyllene can help relievepain, fight againstAlzheimer's, reduce rates ofcancer, reduce cravings for those inaddiction recovery, lowercholesterol, and prevent and treatbone loss.
Using Beta-Caryophyllene with Cannabis
If you want to include more beta-caryophyllene in your cannabis regimen, this can be an easy way to get started. Beta-caryophyllene is actually one of the most common terpenes in the cannabis plant. You can look for products with lab-tested terpene results that show how much beta-caryophyllene is present if you'd like to include its benefits.
Still, if you don't have access to terpene information, certain strains of cannabis have higher levels of this immune-boosting terpene.
Here are a few strains you can try with higher than average levels of beta-caryophyllene:
- Master Kush
- Bubba Kush
- Cookies and Cream
- Death Star
- Sour Diesel
You might even be able to use your nose to tell if a strain has beta-caryophyllene. These strains tend to have a spicy, earthy, or musky aroma and are usually praised for relaxing and pain-relieving properties.
How to Incorporate Beta-Caryophyllene into Your Life
Ready to incorporate more beta-caryophyllene into your life? You can do this using cannabis, or by using beta-caryophyllene derived from other plants. You can find beta-caryophyllene in plants like black pepper, cloves, hops, rosemary, and cinnamon, so working more of these spices into your diet is one way to increase your intake. There are also several beta-caryophyllene supplements you can take to get more of it into your diet.
You can also take advantage of beta-caryophyllene's benefits through essential oils that carry high amounts of the terpene - such as clove oil. These can be added to topicals in small quantities, or used in oil diffusers to spread the terpenes into the air, where you can breathe them in.
While beta-caryophyllene is approved by theFDA as an additive in food products and considered safe, it can be a skin irritant for some. Always exercise caution if you are using concentrated beta-caryophyllene products since these are meant to be used in very small or diluted amounts, and follow the product makers instructions for dosing when using it in supplements.
While there aren't many adverse side effects reported for beta-caryophyllene, it does have the ability to negativelyinteract with some medications- actually shifting the way they metabolize. Make sure to check with your doctor before beginning a beta-caryophyllene regimen, and ensure that you aren’t taking any medications that might be altered by taking this terpene.