Caryophyllene and CBD show effectiveness for some types of dental pain

This study examined the effects of a few key non-psychoactive cannabis compounds on orofacial pain, a type of nonciceptive pain associated with tooth decay, tooth injury, and certain dental procedures. It was published in the journal Biomolecules in May 2023.

Sprague Dawley rats were used to simulate human pulpitis, or inflammation of exposed tooth pulp that is typically caused by tooth decay, injury, or some dental procedures. 

CBD and beta/trans-caryophyllene (β-CP, or caryophyllene) were administered 1 hour before a dental pulp exposure procedure (drilling) then again on days 1, 3, 7, and 10 after the procedure. Caryophyllene is found in many plants, including cannabis and is recognized as a 'generally recognized as safe' (GRAS) food additive by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration.

The doses were significantly different. CBD isolate was administered at a rate of 5 mg/kg while caryophyllene isolate was administered at a rate of 30 mg/kg. Both were administered though an abdominal injection.

The equivalent dose for a 70kg (154 lb) human would be:

  • CBD: 350 mg
  • Caryophyllene: 2,100 mg

    In their experiments, the authors found that caryophyllene was more effective than CBD for this type of pain. The Caryophyllene doses were also six times greater than the CBD doses.

    Their results:

    β-CP but not CBD produced a significant reduction in orofacial sensitivity

    β-CP also significantly reduced the expression of the inflammatory markers AIF and CCL2, while CBD only decreased AIF expression.


    Authors' conclusions:

    These data represent the first preclinical evidence that non-psychoactive cannabinoid-based pharmacotherapy may provide a therapeutic benefit for the treatment of orofacial pain associated with pulp exposure.


    The full text article is here at