Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) is a sesquiterpene found naturally in a wide variety of plants including cannabis. Because of its ubiquity and properties, it has been studied extensively and has been used in the world-wide food industry.
Although often classified as a terpene, many researchers argue that BCP should be classified as a cannabinoid because it readily binds to cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptors.  It acts as a functional CB2 agonist (meaning it activates CB2 receptors), therefore, BCP is considered a dietary cannabinoid. In fact, it was the first cannabinoid classified as dietary.
Being a dietary cannabinoid means BCP is present in a large selection of foods consumed regularly by humans and occurs naturally in a many plants beyond cannabis including but not limited to black pepper, cloves, hops, rosemary, copaiba, cinnamon, and oregano. [1,2] Additionally, BCP is an additive used in many foods and is FDA approved.
Like other cannabinoids, BCP also possesses therapeutic qualities. As a CB2 agonist, it can play a major role in reducing inflammation because when CB2 receptors are activated, cytokine expression (a major cause of inflammation following injury) is inhibited. [1,3]
This same CB2 activation may also aid in the treatment of many other conditions humans suffer, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. In Alzheimer’s, the BCP-activated CB2 receptors can help reduce amyloid beta-plaques and inflammation in the brain caused by out-of-whack immune responses. 
In Parkinson’s disease, BCP-activated CB2 receptors help reduce the loss of dopamine as well as oxidative stress in the brain. 
The list of ailments that may benefit from ingestion of BCP also includes colitis, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis.  Further research is necessary to determine the full extent of BCP’s medicinal benefits. For now, it stands as the unanimous dietary cannabinoid.
- Gertsch, Jurg, et al. Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2008;105(26): 9099-9104. [Impact Factor: 9.412; Times Cited: 492 (Semantic Scholar)]
- Hartsel JA, Eades J, Hickory B, Makriyannis A. Chapter 53 – Cannabis sativa and Hemp. In: Gupta RCBT-N, ed. Boston: Academic Press; 2016:735-754. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-802147-7.00053-X. [Impact Factor: n/a; Times Cited: 45 (Semantic Scholar)]
- Gertsch J. Anti-inflammatory cannabinoids in diet: Towards a better understanding of CB(2) receptor action? Commun Integr Biol. 2008;1(1):26-28. doi:10.4161/cib.1.1.6568. [Impact Factor: n/a; Times Cited: 25 (PubMed)]
- Francomano F, et al. β-Caryophyllene: A sesquiterpene with countless biological properties. Appl Sci. 2019;9(24). doi:10.3390/app9245420. [Impact Factor: 2.474; Times Cited: 15 (Semantic Scholar)]