Myrcene is a common terpene found in some cannabis strains. A terpene is an aromatic hydrocarbon that gives some plants, oils, and cannabis strains their scent.
However, pleasant smells are not the only benefit of terpenes. The “entourage effect” of certain strains causes the THC in marijuana to interact with these compounds, and create additional effects.
Myrcene is one of the few hundred types of terpenes that occur in large enough amounts to have any medical benefits.
What sort of medicinal effects does it have, and how can you identify it? Here’s everything you need to know about myrcene.
What Is Myrcene?
Rather than a floral profile like many other terpenes, myrcene (both alpha and beta) has an earthy, spicy scent and a semi-sweet flavor. It’s the most common terpene, and one of the most powerful.
Myrcene is present in many common plants. Lemongrass and eucalyptus have myrcene. Mangoes, thyme, hops, and basil also has quite a bit of this terpene. However, it is most common in cannabis. It can be isolated and extracted from cannabis also to enhance certain strains, heighten flavors and increase effects.
Myrcene is mainly associated with soothing the mind and body. This terpene is the most likely culprit of “couch-lock”, a deep relaxation associated with many Indica strains. Myrcene is so potent that it can make up as much as half of all the terpenes in a cannabis plant. For comparison, Sativa strains usually have minimal amounts of myrcene.
What Can Myrcene Treat?
When it works with THC, myrcene is an excellent treatment for the following:
- It can mitigate the effects of insomnia and other sleep disorders. Research has shown this terpene can help to reduce sleep disturbances and prolong deep sleep.
- It can help to treat diabetes. Myrcene works well with diabetes, especially alongside another terpene called thujone.
- It can ease pain and discomfort. The compound has strong muscle-relaxing capabilities.
- It may curb the progression of cancer. The terpene may play a role in slowing or stopping the growth of tumors.
Myrcene is an incredibly potent terpene. With antibiotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, sedative, and antimutagenic properties, it can be used in medicine in any number of ways.
Strains with Myrcene and What to Know
Myrcene content can differ significantly between strains, but many varieties can have a large amount. This terpene is most common in indica-dominant strains, like:
- Mango Kush: Some say eating mangoes can “enhance” being high, and it isn’t wrong. This strain is a hybrid with calming, joyful effects.
- OG Kush: This is another hybrid that is also full of pinene and limonene.
- Pure Kush: This strain is especially useful for treating pain and sleeplessness.
- White Widow: This one has an earthy smell/taste, but it’s great for a good energy boost.
- Grape Ape: Grape Ape has high levels of this terpene. It’s mainly used for treating depression and for stress relief.
Whether combined with other terpenes or extracted and used as a non-psychoactive alternative, this terpene packs a powerful punch. It can enhance the medicinal effects or even improve the flavor of edibles and topicals.
Still, all terpenes work best when working with THC and CBD. While myrcene is the most common terpene found in cannabis, it works best with others.
For insomniacs, those who suffer from anxiety or depression, or just someone looking for pain relief, strains rich in this terpene are a great choice.
Always be sure to know the content of the strain you’re buying and understand how it all works together. It could be the key to finding the perfect option for your needs.