Cannabis has been used as a medicinal plant for centuries because it is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect. It has been known for several years that not only the two known cannabinoids THC and CBD are responsible for these effects. A decisive role is also played by a compound that we can even ingest in trace amounts daily via the plant food - we are talking about BCP (β-Caryophyllen).
Other molecular structure
The hemp plant contains more than 450 different substances. Only THC and its pre-stages are responsible for the intoxicating effects of marijuana and hashish. Cannabinoids such as psychoactive THC and non-psychoactive CBD activate the two receptors CB1 and CB2 in the body. While CB1 receptors work in the central nervous system, CB2 receptors play a crucial role in the suppression of inflammation. When the receptor is activated, the cell releases less inflammatory signalling substances, so-called cytokines.
In 2008, scientists finally discovered that the substance beta-Caryophyllen, which makes up about 15 percent of the essential oil of the cannabis plant, selectively activates the CB2 receptor. Therefore, the substance does not trigger any intoxication.
It is remarkable that beta-Caryophyllen has a completely different molecular structure than the classical cannabinoids. This is probably the reason why it has long remained undiscovered by researchers with regard to its involvement in the function of the endocannabinoid system.
The scientists were able to prove that beta-caryophylls bind to the CB2 receptor not only in vitro. The function could also be demonstrated in animal experiments. They treated mice suffering from inflammatory swelling of the paws with orally administered doses of the substance. This showed that the swelling decreased in up to 70 percent of the animals, even at low doses. However, in mice lacking the CB2 receptor gene, the substance had no effect.
Not only contained in the cannabis plant
As pleasing as these results may be for research and use in sport, they also pose some difficulties. Even though BCP in hemp has a concentration of about 15 percent, it remains a problem. The activation process of CBD (decarboxylation) destroys the majority of terpenes, including BCP. However, the conversion process from CBDa to CBD is necessary in order to achieve the effect of CBD in the first place.
This is also the reason why the cbd2c system developed by CANNASPORT® is a two-component product. The included Endocan ECS booster provides small amounts of these terpenes and endocannabinoid-promoting plant compounds derived from other plants. BCP is found in spice plants such as oregano, basil, cinnamon and black pepper.
By far the highest concentration of BCP is found in the resin of an Amazon tree, the so-called Copaiba tree. This oily resin provides up to 50 percent of the valuable CB2 cannabinoid and thus more than three times as much as the hemp plant. CANNASPORT® has been dealing with this topic for quite some time and is constantly testing the most diverse sources and compositions. In the course of 2019, the first products will be ready for the market.
Jürg Gertsch,Br J Pharmacol. 2010 Jun 160(3): 523-529.Phytocannabinoids beyond the Cannabis plans – do they exist? Link
Francisco Bruno Teixeira, et.al. Copaiba oil-resin (Copaifera reticulata Ducke) modulates the inflammation in a model of injury to the rats’ tongues, BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Link