CANNABIS AND BLACK PEPPER SIMILARITIES
It might come as a shock, but black pepper and cannabis both share an interesting similarity. Yes – not only can both be called a “spice” and used in cooking. But both black pepper and cannabis contain cannabinoids – the molecules that interact with our bodies endocannabinoid system (ECS).
In particular, black pepper corns contain a dietary terpene and cannabinoid known as beta-caryophyllene (BCP). This terpene interacts with our bodies CB2 cannabinoid pathways and can also be found in essential oils produced by rosemary and cloves.
Terpenes are what give cannabis and other plants their distinct aromas and flavours like pine, diesel and fruitiness. But caryophyllene terpenes are also known for their medicinal benefits. Like lowering anxiety levels if you feel like calling your mum after smoking a little too much weed after school at your buddies house… that one time.
Terpenes also host acute anti-inflammatory qualities. This can be useful for a wide range of medical scenarios like fighting diseases such as epilepsy, arthritis and multiple sclerosis (MS).
HOW MUCH BLACK PEPPER DO I NEED?
As of late, Canadian-American singer/songwriter Neil Young is focused on being so woke that he has cancelled himself from Spotify, over Joe Rogan’s recent COVID-19 podcast ‘misinformation’ controversy. But in his spare time – Young is an avid cannabis user and advocate.
In a 2014 Howard Stern interview, the 76 year old Rockstar told listeners that chewing on “two to three black pepper corns” is enough to help treat cannabis-induced paranoia and anxiety.
Though this only serves as anecdotal evidence, many cannabis users have reported the same effects from ingesting just a few black pepper corns. And who doesn’t have pepper in their kitchen? If you are a regular cannabis user – maybe give it a go to see for yourself.
But if cannabis and black pepper corns both contain the beta-caryophyllene terpene and have anti-anxiety properties – why does cannabis cause extreme paranoia and anxiety in some people?
To understand this phenomena, one must understand the entourage effect.
THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT
The entourage effect is when cannabinoids like THC (psychoactive), CBD (non-psychoactive) and terpenes all interact with one another, causing increased effects of certain cannabinoids – which there are at least 113 of.
Research published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2011 found that terpenes – which can be found in thousands of different plants – “may contribute meaningfully to the entourage effects of cannabis-based medicinal extracts.”
So in theory, eating the right plant based foods right before getting high can get you super-high for extra long periods of time. And one type of fruit that does this is the humble mango – which contains “myrcene terpenes”. Known for their “anti-inflammatory, sedative, and muscle relaxer” effects, as reported by Zamnesia.
The problem this can cause is CBD (known for anti-anxiety and medicinal uses) does not react to the same terpenes THC does (known for anxiety producing effects). And this can cause some cannabis users to get an overload of effects which they are not used to – causing paranoia and anxiety.
So whether your are an anxious stoner – or a daily one – you now have a few different things to try. Like whipping up a fruit salad before getting high if you’re courageous enough. Or having a bowl of anxiety curing black pepper corns at the ready for your next green-out.