As we all know by now, cannabis is filled with terpenes, organic compounds produced by plants. One of these terpenes is myrcene. In fact, myrcene is believed to be among the most abundant terpenes in cannabis (and, perhaps, the most beneficial). A study conducted by the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture found that it occasionally composes over fifty percent of the terpene volume of the cannabis plant. It helps in the formation of other terpenes too. Yes, it’s the overachiever from high school we secretly hated.
Myrcene isn’t limited to cannabis: it’s prevalent in many plants including hops, houttuynia, lemongrass, mangoes, thyme, verbena, and West Indian Bay tree. It’s known for its fragrance, the reason it’s commonly used in the perfume industry.
The Health Benefits of Myrcene
Like any good terpene, myrcene possesses several health benefits. Some of these include anti-inflammatory properties, analgesic effects, and antimutagenic influences (which alter a substance’s capacity to make a cell mutate or change). Myrcene also acts as a sedative and an antibiotic. The benefits don’t stop there, however.
According to Herb magazine, a study conducted at the University of Jordan in 2007 found that myrcene, when combined with thujone (a terpene that’s found in oregano, sage, and wormwood (among other things)), has the ability to stop symptoms of diabetes. A separate study conducted by GW Pharmaceuticals further proved its efficiency as a pain reliever.
The latter found that myrcene works to relieve aches in the same manner as opium, but without the aspect of addiction
In 2011, a study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found myrcene acted as a sleep aid when consumed in high doses and saw further benefits when combined with specific cannabinoids. When paired with CBD, myrcene decreased inflammation, reduced pain, and potentially fought cancer. When combined with THC, myrcene reduced pain and acted as a sedative. It also relaxed muscles in mice.
Myrcene in Mangoes
As most stoners know, cannabis-lore tells us that eating a mango forty-five or so minutes before consuming cannabis leads to an enhanced high. Some people chalk this up to nonsense (or, more accurately, wishful thinking) while others believe it has credence. If it does, the myrcene in mangoes may be the reason: it synergizes with THC and allows the cannabinoid to cross the barrier between blood and brain easier.
Sativa versus Indica
Myrcene plays a very important role in determining whether a strain is indica or sativa. Per the Steep Hill Labs based in Berkeley, California, this terpene’s percent dictates species: if the plant has more than .5 percent myrcene, it’s will produce indica-like effects. In other words, fluff up those cushions on your couch. If the strain has less than .5 percent myrcene, it’ll produce sativa effects.
Though not everyone can tell the difference between the two strains, most people can. Indica results in the user feeling more stoned and relaxed. It’s often used for pain, appetite loss, and to quiet anxiety. Sativa tends to be a get-up-and-go ganja. It provides a more potent head high, increases energy, and heightens the senses. It’s often used for headaches, depression, and to turn mundane activities into thrilling adventures.
Strains High in Myrcene
Because myrcene is a terpene so prevalent in cannabis, you can find it anywhere. Still, some strains possess more of it than others. This does vary by grower, so always ask your friendly neighborhood budtender for advice before purchasing.
In the meantime, begin with these three terpene-filled treats:
Mango Kush: A strain dominated by indica, Mango Kush offers the users flavors that taste like – what for it – mango! Some people taste banana as well (either is probably better than skunk). It has a low to moderate amount of THC (with some samples testing as high as sixteen percent but most averaging around ten to twelve percent) and it’s fast acting. It offers the user a strong body stone and euphoria. Some people find that it’s conducive to socialization as it makes people more open, more talkative, and more likely to laugh at the lame jokes that circulate around any cocktail party, USA.
For new users, it offers strong munchie effects (it does this for most users, but new users should be prepared with Bugles)
The effects of this strain last for an hour or two and drowsiness is usually a result. Some people experience dizziness and anxiety. It’s good for pain; however, because of its effects, it’s not recommended for waking hours – use it to relieve your nightly migraine and not the ache from the boss who’s a giant pain in your ass.
Blackberry Kush: Another strain dominated by indica, Blackberry Kush induces happiness and a lot of it. It does produce couch lock; thus, don’t expect to turn into the Energizer Bunny unless that Energizer Bunny is taking the day off to watch ID Discovery. Like Mango Kush, it’s well known for bringing on the munchies.
Blackberry Kush can be used during night or day, but it’s relaxing and sedative effects make it a better date for the evening. Medically, it’s used to help people deal with stress, anxiety, nervousness, and chronic pain.
U Pink Kush: In keeping with the “Kush” theme, U Pink Kush is definitely a strain you don’t want to use before you have anything important to do. Almost fully indica, users experience a very numb body and a very relaxed mind.
Medically, it’s used for pain relief (thanks to the body numbing effects), but it does come with extra things you may or may not like
It causes users to feel tired and very lazy. You’ll be extremely hungry too. Plainly, you’ll find yourself facing the question so many pot users, at one time or another, end up asking themselves: should I get up and go to the refrigerator or remain sitting down?
Rest easy, though, it’s only a matter of time that a lover of cannabis invents a remote-control fridge that comes with the push of a button. Get on that, science.