Copaiba Resin and Essential Oil: An anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and disinfectant remedy from South America

A few years ago I was researching the endocannabinoid system and phytocannabinoids to better understand how cannabis (hemp and marijuana) works. That’s when I first learned about a resin from a South American tree called copaiba. The oil contains B- caryophyllene, a terpene that acts as a phytocannabinoid on CB2 receptors.

The endocannabinoid system is an important part of how the nervous and immune systems communicate. Cells send messages via chemical messengers and the endocannabinoid system is how the cells are able to get feedback. Essentially, when a cell sends a message to another cell, the endocannabinoid system allows the receiving cell to respond to the message.

In the nervous system, it calms down messages transmitting pain, anxiety, excitation, and more. In the immune system, it calms down messages promoting inflammation and immune activation. Without this system, we’d have a harder time calming down when after getting stressed or nervous, acute pain becomes chronic pain, and normal immune reactions become hyper-immune reactions like allergic and auto-immune responses.


Copaiba treeThis brings us back to the B-caryophyllene, which is found in cannabis, cloves, hops, basil, oregano, black pepper, lavender, rosemary, ylang ylang, and the herb we’re discussing here, copaiba. Many of these herbs have analgesic (pain relieving) and tissue healing properties and these are properties found in copaiba. It helps to calm down inflammatory and immune reactions, thus reducing chronic inflammation, easing pain, and allowing healing to take place.

Copaiba is also antiseptic, it helps get rid of both bacterial and fungal infections. It can be helpful for treating dental infections, including residual infections from root canals. Topically it can be used for acne, insect bites and stings, stretch marks, varicose veins, and various wounds and sores.

The oil may also have hepatoprotective effects, calming down liver irritation to help protect the liver from chemical damage. It also has a relaxing effect so it can reduce cramping and spasms and may be helpful topically for dislocation, traumatic brain injury, headaches, and the pain associated with fibromyalgia.

Using Copaiba

Copaiba incenseAvoid using of copaiba resin or essential oil internally as it is potentially toxic. Small amounts won’t hurt you but larger doses are irritating to mucus membranes and can cause stomach pain.

I've only used copaiba as part of topical CBD formulas. I've found these to be very effective in easing pain. And using it like this, as part of a topical analgesic formulas combined with other analgesic ingredients like clove, lavender, CBD is probably the best way to use it.

I did get some copaiba essential oil to help me write this article. Smelling it reminds me a little of the invigorating effects of eucalyptus and pine, mixed with the more grounding effect of other resinous essential oils like myrrh and frankincense. My sense of it as an emotional remedy is that it is calming and grounding, promoting a peaceful, but clear state of mind. It has been used as incense, like frankincense and myrrh, and all of these remedies have been burned for ritualistic purification. So, I believe it smelling it should help you clear your mind, and feel more calm and grounded.


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