β-Caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene found naturally in plants. β-Caryophyllene is considered a dietary cannabinoid because it can activate the CB2 receptor and cause metabolic changes to brain chemistry. β-Caryophyllene has been researched for its ability to affect anxiety in animal models of mood disorders. For example, in one study, researchers administered β-caryophyllene to mice and measured the behavioural changes that occurred when stressful situations were created for the animals. The results of the study showed that a number of behavioural changes that could be related to anxiousness were favourably altered by the β-caryophyllene including the amount of time spent in the open (relating to anxious behaviour) and reductions in burying and digging behaviour (related to compulsive behaviour, a form of anxiety). Administration of a CB2 receptor agonist attenuated the beneficial effects of the β-caryophyllene suggesting that it was likely having its effects through the CB2 cannabinoid receptor.
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