Copaiba: A Cannabis Alternative

Cannabis is an AWESOME plant with many health benefits; however, there are a variety of reasons why a person may not be ready or able to partake of the plant.  This includes using CBD oils and products, which we know provide tremendous benefits without the intoxicating effects caused by THC.  So, what’s a person to do?

One of the many gifts of creation and nature is that (in the words of Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park) nature always finds a way.  In this case, it provides multiple solutions to the same problem.  There are other plants on this planet that provide some of the same perks as cannabis.  Please allow me introduce you to, Copaiba.

What is Copaiba?

Copaiba essential oil comes from the Copaifera tree which is native to tropical regions of South America.  These tall trees ooze a resin that, when distilled, is used to make the essential oil.  The spicy-flavored, woodsy-smelling oil’s active ingredient is

Screen Shot 2019-03-03 at 10.48.32 PM
Copaifera Tree –


β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a powerful terpene that carries many health promoting qualities which we will explore – keep reading.  For now, know that as far back as the 16th century, Brazilian natives have used Copaiba essential oil in their health practices.

Copaiba vs. CBD

I first learned about Copaiba when I saw posts and ads boasting that it was better than cannabis or more effective than CBD oil.  To say that one trumps the other is a bit presumptuous, to say the least.  Which is the better choice will be a personal decision based on factors such as needs, availability, cost, etc.  To help you make a more informed decision about Copaiba, let’s look at how it compares to CBD.

How are they alike?

Both CBD oil and Copaiba essential oil are plant-based.  CBD is derived from the marijuana and hemp plants; Copaiba comes from the Copaifera tree.  They’re both non-intoxicating, legal and contain the terpene, β-caryophyllene (BCP).

BCP , also found in black pepper, has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties, and it attaches to CB-2 receptors found within the immune and peripheral nervous systems (see “Is Cannabis Addictive?….).  The result is that BCP supports cardiovascular, digestive, immune, and nervous and respiratory systems health.

How are they different?

Copaiba does not contain any phytocannabinoids, unlike CBD which contains phytocannabinoids and terpenes.  However, Copaiba has a higher concentration of BCP (55%) than CBD (35%), which also contributes to its ability to cause stomach issues when taken in excess.

The receptors throughout our bodies are like a lock and key.  They only allow certain chemicals to fit, and thereby affect them.  CBD is like a master key.  It attaches to both CB-1 and CB-2 receptors while Copaiba only attaches to CB-2.  This means that CBD has an overall greater therapeutic reach throughout the body than Copaiba.

The third difference is the cost.  Sometimes it boils down to dollars and cents, right?  Copaiba is less expensive as compared to CBD.

Let’s recap:Screen Shot 2019-03-03 at 11.19.41 PM


Health Benefits

If you do a Google search for the benefits of Copaiba, you will find exhaustive lists of all the things people say Copaiba can do.  Depending on the website, some of these claims can be a little exaggerated.  Let’s look at the benefits, however, based on what we know about itc BCP content and the areas in the body where CB-2 receptors are found.Screen Shot 2019-03-03 at 11.22.35 PM

  1. Potent Anti-Inflammatory
  2. Neuroprotective – it protects the brain and nervous system
  3. Calming effect on the nervous system
  4. Skin – tightens and evens skin tone
  5. Relieve digestive upset
  6. Boosts immune system
  7. Soothes achy joints and muscles
  8. Eases chest congestion when inhaled

Where to find it and how to use it

Check out the link on the Shop tab to purchase Copaiba from doTerra.  Their brand is also safe for internal consumption.  This is not necessarily the case for other brands; so, if you purchase elsewhere, be sure to READ THE LABEL.

The benefit you wish to gain will determine how you use the oil.  For example, using 3-4 drops in a diffuser will help ease chest congestion while diluting 1-2 drops in a beverage is more suitable for an immune system boost.

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Have you tried Copaiba? Is this oil something you would consider?  Let me know what you think?

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