If you are a cannabis lover, you have probably heard of many studies that addressed how terpenes affect your body, being important compounds of the cannabis plants. Moreover, in many foods and plants, including the cannabis plant, myrcene is present in high abundance. It has been discovered to be healthy and non-toxic, and it is widely used in many additives and food flavorings.
Because myrcene is the most popular terpene found in cannabis, it is believed to be one of the ten key terpenes. Thanks to myrcene, it is possible to have the easily recognizable earthy smell with musky notes produced by many of the most popular strains cultivated around the world. For this reason, we created this article to let you know what myrcene is, and the amazing benefits this terpene has. This way, you will be looking for a high myrcene strain in your next purchase.
Myrcene is a monoterpene that is an essential catalyst for the formation of other secondary terpenes, and so on. Furthermore, up to 50% of the total terpene content present in individual strains is considered to be made up of myrcene. Strains containing more than 0.5% of this compound are most likely to cause sedative effects associated with indicas.
What does myrcene do?
The possible health benefits of myrcene include easing the effects of chronic pain and inflammation. Terpenes allow cannabinoids to travel the blood brain barrier through the endocannabinoid system, connecting to receptors, and helping to promote analgesic results.
The antibiotic, antimutagenic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and sedative effects of myrcene are strong. This terpene, operating in synergy with THC, has the following benefits:
- Inhibits cell mutation, such as cancer cells. However, it is being currently studied since it can be having totally the opposite effect.
- Helps mitigate the consequences of diabetes. This one is also being studied as a definite cure for diabetes.
- Soothing effects relieve symptoms of psychosis.
- Relieves pain rapidly.
- Slows bacterial growth.
- Aids with sleep.
- Stops muscle spasms.
- Reduces inflammation systemically.
What is myrcene good for?
In cosmetics and fragrances, myrcene’s main commercial use is as an ingredient. Lemongrass tea is believed to cope with insomnia in folk medicine by naturally tranquilizing the mind. Since lemongrass produces myrcene, you could have encountered it either in a soothing tea or as a flavorful ingredient in Asian cuisine.
Myrcene is also present in any dish made with parsley. Moreover, sink your teeth into a juicy mango, and you would be enjoying myrcene. Wash down a plate of lemon-thyme chicken with a bottle of beer, and feel a double dose of this terpene. It is not difficult to find it in our daily life products and meals.
Myrcene is described as having an earthy, fruity clove-like odor, responsible for the peppery, spicy, balsam smell in beer. This terpene can be very pungent in higher concentrations.
Myrcene rich foods
Being the smallest of the terpenes, myrcene is found in very high concentrations in sweet basil, ylang ylang, bay, parsley, wild thyme, lemongrass, eucalyptus, hops, mangoes, and cannabis.
Fruits with myrcene
The only fruits with high concentrations of this terpene are mangoes and guava melon. Moreover, a hypothesis emerged at some point in history that attributed the eating of mangoes to a rapid increase in the potency of THC. This seemingly random argument is, in fact, real.
Mangoes contain varying amounts of myrcene, as well as hops, thyme, lemongrass and other plants. Empirical research has shown that consuming mangos approximately forty-five minutes before cannabis use will greatly affect THC with a faster rise of psychoactive effects.
Do dried mangoes have myrcene?
Although dried mangoes may have some myrcene, they have been processed in a manner that, compared to fresh mangoes, reduce its quantity. This also happens when you prepare mango juice.
How much myrcene is in a mango?
Your typical strain of cannabis contains 2 mg of myrcene per quarter gram, while an entire mango contains approximately 0.086 mg.
High myrcene strains
Myrcene concentrations differ widely from strain to strain, as described earlier. Additionally, they tend to change from grower to grower. Nevertheless, myrcene is present in indica-dominant strains such as:
- Pure Kush: Best for pain and insomnia, this one is known to be a super-powerful strain.
- Grape Ape: This is another strain with higher myrcene levels than average, perfect to relieve stress and ease depression.
- Mango Kush: A hybrid that makes you feel euphoric and relaxed.
- White Widow: For an energizing yet soothing boost, White Widow is an earthy hybrid full of myrcene.
More strains with high levels of myrcene are OG Kush, Blue Dream, Remedy, 9 Pound, and Hammer.
Myrcene, as a non-psychoactive substitute, may also be isolated, processed, and concentrated. It is possible to use terpene extracts in a number of ways, improving the taste and effects of edibles, topicals, and concentrates. In addition, terpenes can improve or even inhibit the effects of each other as well as the effects of other cannabinoids. When finding out which strain can treat your condition, it is important to remember how each component works together.
Low myrcene strains
As mentioned before, all terpene levels depend not only on the strain but also the grower. 2strains’ Purple Kush and Apical Greens’ Special Sauce are strains with virtually no myrcene in the list of terpenes. Other strains found with low myrcene percentage are Fields of hemp’s AC/DC and Sour Space Candy, both from the same farm.
There are users claiming that high myrcene strain boosts the couch lock effect not many are fond of, which despite its sedative effects may be triggering their anxiety or not doing much to relieve it. In this sense, the strains mentioned above could be useful in case you are looking to avoid these kinds of effects.
Mice experiments inject between 2 mg/kg and 1 g/kg, but we should take into account that the average male adult weighs approximately 80 kg, which leaves it unclear how much is required to produce a medicinal effect in humans.
In addition, animal tests often do not apply to humans, so further investigation is necessary before we have a strong sign of whether myrcene is capable of providing sedative effects, especially at levels commonly found in industrial cannabis products.
Does myrcene cause cancer?
Doctor F. Jay Murray and Gary M. Roberts submitted a report to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment discarding the possibilities of myrcene causing cancer. Their conclusion says β-Myrcene should not be listed as a Proposition 65 carcinogen under the authoritative bodies mechanism based solely on the results of a NTP 2-year bioassay in rats and mice.
Both the mouse and rat data upon which the NTP identified carcinogenic activity under the conditions of NTP’s study are of dubious relevance to cancer hazard identification and this study alone does not provide sufficient proof of carcinogenic activity. However, universities and research centers keep looking for solid answers.
Instead, the analgesic, sedative, anti-oxidative, and anti-inflammatory properties of myrcene have been implicated in many studies and reviews, both of which are significant factors in cancer treatment. There is still little evidence, but many studies of several lines of treatment have shown that myrcene can be complementary to standard cancer therapies by reducing both negative side effects and improving the efficacy of treatment modalities.
It was also found in the same studies that myrcene can help medicines move through the blood-brain barrier, which is crucial in the treatment of many diseases, including fatal fungal Aspergillus infections endured by patients with leukemia and lymphoma undergoing stem cell transplants.