Beta-Caryophyllene Oxide Lessens the Sedative Effects of Alcohol

The sesquiterpene beta-caryophyllene oxide attenuates ethanol drinking and place conditioning in mice

In Summary

It has recently been revealed that the terpene beta-caryophyllene and its derivative, beta-caryophyllene oxide, are able to lessen the sedative effects of alcohol while not affecting its pharmacokinetics. Researchers determined that a high dose of ß-caryophyllene oxide was 10 times more effective at reducing the sedative effects than its precursor by conducting a loss of righting reflex (LORR) assay on mice who had been administered a consistent amount of ethanol. Interestingly the caryophyllene compounds were found to act on cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), not directly interact with the ethanol, and therefore not affect the pharmacokinetics of ethanol. This study provides a basis for further analysis of the mechanism for alcohol modulation by the endocannabinoid system. 

The need for research concerning drug interactions with cannabinoids, both endogenous, naturally occurring, or synthesized, is emphasized by this research. Opioid and cannabinoid interactions have been looked into but the results are inconsistent across the board, and very little is known about how cannabinoids interact with other common medications such as ibuprofen, birth control, blood thinners, and alcohol. This research is vital moving forward as state legislature continues to recognize the benefit of medical marijuana and chemists and pharmacists need to recognize how little is known about the mechanism behind the endocannabinoid systems far-reaching effects. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDBeta-Caryophyllene Oxide Lessens the Sedative Effects of Alcohol