Myrcene (sometimes called beta-myrcene) is a monoterpene abundant in various plants, including cannabis, and fruits. In today’s cannabis market, it is one of the ten primary terpenes. It is responsible for the potent, earthy, fruity, and clove-like aroma in certain buds, fruits (especially mangoes), flowers, and even lemongrass.
To grasp what this compound is, it is imperative to understand what terpenes are first. Scientists have established that the notable aroma from plants and fruits come from specific terpenes. Early on, aside from providing alluring aroma, they have identified its effects on warding off potential predators through the emission of powerful odors.
But more than scent, terpenes like myrcene come with a slew of other qualities that produce extraordinary effects, when combined with other terpenes and cannabinoids. They can provide unique effects in different strains, giving depth, character, aroma, and taste. Their effects range from soothing to improved focus, which gives terpenes a vital role in determining whether a strain is Sativa or Indica.
Beyond what we have mentioned, research has shown that terpenes like myrcene have various benefits. Topping the list includes body wellness, relaxation, mood management, and sedation. Find out why most of the cannabis in the market today are myrcene dominant below.
High concentrations of myrcene are found in mangoes, laurel leaves, lemongrass, cannabis, and hops. It gets its name from a Brazilian medicinal shrub, Myrcia sphaerocarpa. Traditional healers used the shrub to treat hypertension, stomach ailments, and diabetes. They attribute the earthy and herbal scent most cannabis strains have to this specific terpene.
Each cannabis strain will have its unique terpene composition. They will have multiple terpenes present at different percentages which make each strain special with their specific aroma, taste, and effects. Two-fifths of available cannabis will be myrcene-dominant. This means that among all terpenes present, myrcene will have the highest percentage. In effect, its qualities are evident in these specific strains.
Myrcene research has evidenced that it improves sleep and relaxation, which is why it is most common in Indica and hybrid cannabis strains. Notable strains which are myrcene dominant include OG Kush, White Widow, and Cannatonic. Cannabis aficionados will be very familiar with the scent these strains have which is brought about by high myrcene concentration.
Below are some myrcene dominant strains and their effects:
A crucial feature of myrcene is its capability to interact with the blood-brain barrier – a gate that blocks unnecessary substances from going inside the brain. This is necessary to maintain the body’s equilibrium. With cannabis, which is comprised of different terpenes and cannabinoids, the brain can only allow a few inside.
The “high” or “buzz” from cannabis results from all its compounds working together to give the specific experience related to a particular strain. This can only happen when a passage is allowed through the barrier. This is what myrcene does. It interacts with the blood-brain barrier to allow all the terpenes and cannabinoids present to work their magic. This phenomenon is also known as the Entourage Effect.
Myrcene has a special place among other terpenes in its ability to bring out the true effectiveness of the strain by allowing all its components to work together as a unit. Its impact on the blood-brain barrier allows for both terpenes and cannabinoids to work en masse. Studies have shown that it can even enhance these effects altogether.
The Entourage Effect means that cannabinoids or terpenes, on their own cannot produce the same result as when they work together as a group. The benefits, therefore, are greatly diminished. Myrcene allows for the Entourage Effect to take place, for the whole spectrum of the effects to be experienced.
Before research on the compound itself was available, known plants that contain high amounts of myrcene, like lemongrass, have already been used to assist in sleeping and relaxation. Lemongrass and lavender tea has been used in traditional medicine until today as sleeping aids.
With the ever-increasing pressure and stress present in daily life, it gets harder to unwind at the end of the day. Also, gadgets have become staples, often used until bedtime thus disrupting the usual sleeping pattern. All these conditions combined result in decreased hours AND quality of sleep. Consequentially affecting work output and psychological well-being.
Evidence shows that myrcene in cannabis promotes sedation and has even been attributed to bolstering the famous “couch-lock” phenomenon found in Indica and some hybrid strains. The calm it provides allows for users to wind down and assists in the quality of rest one may get from sleep.
Myrcene’s unique influence on the brain may also result in the general wellbeing of the body. It helps improve mood producing psychological resilience. Users who take myrcene dominant strains have attested to beneficial physical effects on their bodies. They have reported feeling better with less body aches and generally better health.
The everyday grind can cause mental and physical stress. Help from compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes can ease many of these. Preservation of one’s health and wellness is of utmost priority, and using strains with a high percentage of myrcene can help encourage soundness of mind and body alike.
The emotional toll from the demands of this generation has led to frequent agitating thoughts and uneasiness. The constant restlessness brings about negativity and unhappiness. These affect sleep, work, and daily life. An uplifted mood allows for better output and a more positive outlook.
Myrcene’s ability to stimulate relaxation minimizes negative feelings. It helps boost mood and allow peace of mind to ensue. A domino effect follows which results in better sleeping and good health.
Myrcene is not a brand-new compound. It has been around for ages and even before its benefits were studied, plants rich in myrcene have been used for traditional medicine already. As more research on terpenes was accomplished, its use and benefits have abetted many cannabis strains in reaching their full potential effects.
Considered as one of the top ten if not the top terpene, myrcene has cemented its legacy by being the most used terpene for cannabis. Most of these strains will also have myrcene as the terpene with the highest percentage. Combined with its brothers and cousins, terpenes and cannabinoids, it can enhance the experience by making effects work better together.
Its effect on sleep, relaxation, well-being, and mood has been studied and proven. Myrcene can even be taken alone as an isolate to enjoy its benefits on its own as a non-psychoactive substitute. Then again, if it is cannabis that is preferred, it is important to remember that all the elements of cannabis work best when they work together.