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Terpene Tuesday: Myrcene

Posted by Susan Lyn Kupiec on 24th Jan 2021

Terpene: Myrcene, ˈmərˌsēn; (alpha-myrcene or beta-myrcene); monoterpene

Myrcene overview

Myrcene is the most abundant terpene found in cannabis, and a particularly potent one at that! Myrcene can make up as much as 50% of total terpenes in a cannabis plant. (By contrast, sativa-dominant cultivars usually contain less than 0.5 percent!)

  • Found in: lemongrass, lavender, eucalyptus, ylang-ylang, thyme, basil and hops (yes the ones that gives beer flavor), and mangos (if eaten prior to consuming cannabis, mangos can maximize your high!).
  • Aroma/flavor: a complex flavor combination with a spicy/peppery, earthy and musky aroma and a mildly sweet flavor profile with floral and fruity hints.
  • Effect: Myrcene is the terpene to turn to for calming the body and mind. Research shows that consuming cannabis with Myrcene levels >.05% results in “couch lock,” a deep state of relaxation induced by Indica-dominant cultivars.

This terpene consumed on its own will not get you high, although high levels of Myrcene are associated with experiencing fast-acting and powerful cannabis effects.

Research has shown that this “high” effect or sensation may be due to the Myrcene terpene playing a key role in the transport of cannabinoids into the brain. Additionally, Myrcene enhances transdermal absorption, another avenue for greater cannabinoid uptake.

Ultimately, Myrcene’s effects on the blood-brain barrier makes it a key player in the entourage effect. Like other terpenes, Myrcene is part of the entourage effect, which means it works in conjunction with other terpenes and cannabinoids to best treat a multitude of mental and physical ailments.

Myrcene has powerful antibiotic, antimutagenic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-anxiety, antidepressant, muscle relaxant and sedative effects.

Supportive for:

  • Sleep disorders like insomnia
  • Pain and bodily discomfort, acting as a powerful muscle relaxant
  • Diabetes (along with another terpene: thujone)
  • Cancer, for its ability to inhibit tumor growth
  • Depression and anxiety

Myrcene levels vary widely from cultivar to cultivar, even from grower to grower.

You’ll find myrcene in indica-dominant high THC cannabis cultivars (see comments below!)

  • Pure Kush: A super-potent cultivar known to decrease pain and insomnia.
  • Grape Ape: For stress and depression, this is another cultivar with higher levels of myrcene than most cultivars.
  • Mango Kush: A hybrid that leaves you feeling calm and euphoric.
  • White Widow: An earthy hybrid for an energizing but calming boost.
  • OG Kush: with Pinene- and Limonene terpenes.

For hemp cultivars high in myrcene, check out hemp flower:

  • Lifter: a perfect combination of fruits and florals with pepper and spice thanks to the Myrcene, Caryophyllene and Ocimene terpene content.
  • Suver Haze: an impressive potent stank with a powerful exotic sour apple flavor created by the Farnesene, Myrcene and Caryophyllene terpene content.

Here are some more great resources on Myrcene:

Disclaimer: The information provided is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, provide medical advice, or otherwise replace consultation with a qualified medical or health provider.

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