The cannabinoid CB₂ receptor-selective phytocannabinoid beta-caryophyllene exerts analgesic effects in mouse models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain.

European Neuropsychopharmacology Home

“The widespread plant volatile beta-caryophyllene (BCP) was recently identified as a natural selective agonist of the peripherally expressedcannabinoid receptor 2 (CB₂).

…the natural plant product BCP may be highly effective in the treatment of long lasting, debilitating pain states. Our results have important implications for the role of dietary factors in the development and modulation of chronic pain conditions.

Cannabis preparations, which have been used since thousands of years for the treatment of pain have recently come again into the focus as potential therapeutics for inflammatory and neuropathic pain conditions. Currently, cannabis extracts and synthetic preparations of the psychoactive cannabis compound Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have been approved in many countries for clinical pain management at doses and formulations that show on only minor central side effects…

A natural selective agonist for CB2 receptors is the plant volatile BCP, which represents a dietary phytocannabinoid. BCP is found in large amounts in the essential oils of many common spices and food plants… Several health effects have been attributed to BCP or medicinal plants containing BCP, including anti-inflammatory, local anesthetic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-fibrotic and anxiolytic-like activity.

In the present study, we investigated the analgesic effects of BCP in formalin-induced inflammation model and in a model of neuropathic pain, which involves the partial ligation of the sciatic nerve… BCP is the first natural CB2 receptor agonist, which could orally reduce inflammatory responses in different animal models of pain.

Thus, it is likely that BCP belongs to a group of common plant natural products with major potential impact on human health.

The oral intake of this dietary cannabinoid with vegetable food could be advantageous in the daily routine clinical practice over synthetic cannabinoid agonists.”

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