beta-caryophyllene

from wikipedia:

Caryophyllene (pronounced /ˌkæri.ɵfɪˈliːn/), or (−)-β-caryophyllene, is a natural bicyclic sesquiterpene that is a constituent of many essential oils, especially clove oil, the oil from the stems and flowers of Syzygium aromaticum (cloves)[1], the essential oil of hemp Cannabis sativa[2], rosemary Rosmarinus oficinalis[3], and hops[4]. It is usually found as a mixture with isocaryophyllene (the cis double bond isomer) and α-humulene (obsolete name: α-caryophyllene), a ring-opened isomer. Caryophyllene is notable for having a cyclobutane ring, a rarity in nature.

Caryophyllene is one of the chemical compounds that contributes to the spiciness of black pepper. In a study conducted by Jürg Gertsch et al. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), beta-caryophyllene was shown to selectively bind to the cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2) and to exert significant cannabimimetic antiinflammatory effects in mice.[2] Since the widespread plant natural product beta-caryophyllene is an FDA approved food additive and ingested daily with food it is the first dietary cannabinoid. Whether this compound is able to modulate inflammatory processes in humans via the endocannabinoid system is yet unknown. Beta-caryophyllene does not bind to the centrally expressed cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1) and therefore does not exert psychomimetic effects.

The first total synthesis of caryophyllene in 1964 by E.J. Corey was considered one of the classic demonstrations of the possibilities of synthetic organic chemistry at the time.[5]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caryophyllene

from Wired:

“Marijuana contains an amazing chemical, beta-caryophyllene, and scientists have thoroughly proven that it could be used to treat pain, inflammation, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis.”

Some Proof that Marijuana is a Powerful Medicine”, Aaron Rowe, Wired Magazine, June 29, 2008

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