Terpenes are the primary constituents of essential oils and are responsible for the aroma characteristics of cannabis.
Cannabinoids are biologically active compounds that bind to the body's cannabinoid receptors. Examples of cannabinoids are CBD, THC and CBG.
In this article, we will highlight a particular terpene that is common in many of our cannabis products, and known universally for its calming and sedative effects.
What Is Myrcene?
Myrcene is the most common terpene found in cannabis. You might have smelt/tasted it in other natural ingredients, such as mango, thyme, lemongrass and hops. Myrcene reported biological activities to include:
Terpenes are naturally found in CBD flowers, as well as extracts, hash and even in liquid form. Myrcene can be used in a multitude of ways, from smoking/vaporizing to eating infused food.
Which Cannabis Strains Are High In Myrcene?
It comes as no surprise that some of the most popular cannabis strains are rich in Myrcene. It has a distinct funky, dank smell that cannabis enthusiasts often associate with potency. These strains are known to yield high levels of Myrcene.
- Grandaddy Purple - available in wax and shatter
- Blue Dream - available in wax and shatter
- OG Kush - available in flower
- Mango Haze - available in flower
- Mango Velvet - available in flower
- Fruit Cake - available in flower
- GMO Cookies - available in wax and shatter
- Sherbert - available in wax and shatter
- Wedding Cake - available in wax and shatter
- Grape Ape - available in flower
- Mango Kush - available as jelly hash
Does Myrcene Help You Sleep?
Yes, Myrcene can make you sleepy. Myrcene has a long history of therapeutic use as a sleep aid. It is well-known for its anxiolytic and sedative effects, with medical studies showing that a high dose of 200mg/kg can prolong sleep time by 2.6 times. Inhalation of myrcene-rich cannabis for 5 minutes improved nerve activity and was shown to relieve stress and anxiety. Subjects generally felt more relaxed, energetic, calm, and had an elevated mood, 5 minutes post inhalation.
Does Myrcene Have Any Other Benefits?
Yes, Myrcene is clinically proven to be so much more than just a sleep aid. Cancer-causing effects from aflatoxins that are produced by fungi that find their way into our food are blocked by Myrcene.
The effect of lemongrass, rich in myrcene, on pain has also been noteworthy. A study on pain in rats found that lemongrass essential oil with 15-20% Myrcene presented strong pain-relieving effects similar to peripheral-acting opioids. Unlike morphine, no tolerance was observed after 5 days of repeated dosing in rats.
Terpenes like Myrcene will become a bigger part of the cannabis conversation as more research unlocks their effects and benefits of them. Now that cannabis is becoming legal in countries with bright minds and forward-thinking scientists, we can expect to learn more about terpenes like Myrcene. This will help us select the right strain, measure out a good dose and ensure that every cannabis consumer is experiencing their desired effects. Let’s hope that scientists can keep up with the ever-growing catalogue of cannabis strains, each of which contains a truly unique terpene profile.