Gertsch Group

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland

Beta-Caryophyllene (BCP) Research

projects - preclinical studies

Beta-Caryophyllene Molecular Mechanisms / Pharmacology

The widespread plant sesquiterpene contains a quite rare cyclobutane ring which is essential for the conformation of this molecule. Beta-caryophyllene is a bioavailable apparently non-toxic and potent CB2 receptor agonist (in vivo) which shows an array of protective and therapeutic effects in preclinical studies. Given the abundance of CB2 receptors in distinct disease tissues, the therapeutic potential is broad. Here we collect all publications which show quality animal studies and/or mechanistic research.


1. Beta-Caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid

Gertsch J, Leonti M, Raduner S, Racz I, Chen JZ, Xie XQ, Altmann KH, Karsak M, Zimmer A. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008, 105(26):9099-104.

In this study the discovery of the mechanism of action of beta-caryophyllene as a CB2 receptor agonist is described for the first time

2. Beta-Caryophyllene inhibits dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis in mice through CB2 receptor activation..

Bento AF, Marcon R, Dutra RC, Claudino RF, Cola M, Leite DF, Calixto JB. Am J Pathol. 2011, 178(3):1153-66.

In this study it is shown that experimental gastrointestinal inflammation can be attenuated in a CB2 receptor-dependent manner using beta-caryophyllene.

3. Beta-Caryophyllene ameliorates cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in a cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor-dependent manner 

Horvath B, Mukhopadhyay P, Kechrid M, Patel V, Tanashian G; Wink DA, Gertsch J, Pacher P. Free Radic Biol Med, 2012, 15;52(8):1325-33

This study shows that beta-caryophyllene mediates nephroprotective effects in a CB2 receptor-dependent manner.

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

Klauke, A-L, Racz I, PRadier B, Markert A, Zimmer AM, Gertsch J, Zimmer A. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 2013, 24(4):608-20. 


5. β-Caryophyllene, a CB2 receptor agonist produces multiple behavioral changes relevant to anxiety and depression in mice.

Bahi A, Al Mansouri S, Al Memari E, Al Ameri M, Nurulain SM, Ojha S Physiol Behav. 2014 Aug;135:119-24 (IF=3)

6. Functionalization of β-Caryophyllene Generates Novel Polypharmacology in the Endocannabinoid System.

Chicca A, Caprioglio D, Minassi A, Petrucci V, Appendino G, Taglialatela-Scafati O, Gertsch J. ACS Chem Biol (IF=5.4)

7. Trans-Caryophyllene Suppresses Hypoxia-Induced Neuroinflammatory Responses by Inhibiting NF-κB Activation in Microglia.

Guo K, Mou X, Huang J, Xiong N, Li H. J Mol Neurosci. 2014 Sep;54(1):41-8. (IF=2.9)

8. The cannabinoid receptor 2 agonist, β-caryophyllene, reduced voluntary alcohol intake and attenuated ethanol-induced place preference and sensitivity in mice.

Al Mansouri S, Ojha S, Al Maamari E, Al Ameri M, Nurulain SM, Bahi A. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2014 Jul 3;124C:260-268 (IF=2.8)

9.Beta-caryophyllene protects against alcoholic steatohepatitis by attenuating inflammation and metabolic dysregulation in mice.

Varga ZV, Matyas C, Erdelyi K, Cinar R, Nieri D, Chicca A, Nemeth BT, Paloczi J, Lajtos T, Corey L, Hasko G, Gao B, Kunos G, Gertsch J, Pacher P. Br J Pharmacol. 2017 Jan 20. doi: 10.1111/bph.13722



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