What is Myrcene?

Written by Jamal Barghouti January 3, 2019
The Plant

In last week’s article, we started learning about terpenes with limonene, the chemical compound that gives off the bright, citrus fragrance found in cannabis. Today, we’ll discuss Myrcene, another pungent terpene and one of the most commonly found in cannabis.

What are Terpenes?

As we discussed in this article, terpenes are the aromatic chemical compounds that give cannabis its distinct smell and taste. Terpenes are not unique to cannabis and are found throughout nature; plants with strong fragrances like basil or eucalyptus are also full of terpenes.

Humans have been using terpenes in the form of essential oils for thousands of years. Research suggests that these chemicals interact with receptors in our endocrine, neuroendocrine, and endocannabinoid systems—the systems responsible for homeostasis within the body. Terpenes promote the natural production of chemicals in our bodies, and therefore our overall health, by activating receptors in each of these systems.

What is Myrcene?

Myrcene is one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis. It is characterized by an herbaceous and balsam-like fragrance. Anecdotal evidence suggests that myrcene may be responsible for the sedative effect of indica strains of cannabis. Myrcene can be found in mangoes, hops, basil, lemongrass, and bay leaves among other things.

Where can you find Myrcene?

Myrcene is more often found in higher concentrations in indica strains. Popular strains with high levels of myrcene include White Widow, Forbidden Fruit, and Himalayan Gold; however, the concentration of myrcene may vary widely from grower to grower. If you’re interested in getting your hands on some myrcene, we suggest the White Widow Atomizer from flav or the Forbidden Fruit from Sol, who just started selling their first harvest last week.

What are the medical benefits of Myrcene?

While there is a long medical history of using terpenes in homeopathic treatments, the prohibition of cannabis severely limits the amount of information available for the combined effect of cannabis and myrcene. As always, this information is intended solely for educational purposes. If you have serious medical issues, you should reach out to a trusted medical professional.

The Entourage Effect and Total Plant Medicine

Research suggests that the use of pure extracts of any terpene or cannabinoid is not as effective as when they are paired with other terpenes or cannabinoids. These compounds have a synergistic effect, working in tandem to interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system. Studies have shown that consistent use, as well as the use of a variety of terpenes at different potencies, shows better results in the treatment of various symptoms.

Think of it like taking a multivitamin—the increased and consistent levels of vitamins in your immune system promote the overall efficiency of your immune system and will show improvement over time. Similarly, research suggests that consistency of use of cannabinoids and terpenes promotes the overall effectiveness of the endocannabinoid system.

Disclaimer: Keep out of reach of children. For use only by adults 21 years of age and older.