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Myrcene: The Cannabis Terpene That Helps You Sleep

Myrcene Cannabis Terpene
Cannabis strains have always been split into two camps; those that get you chilled, and those that increase energy. Until only recently, scientists discovered that the unique effects of cannabis strains come from their different terpene profiles, as well as the composure of their cannabinoids
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 Chemical Compound Structure

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:
  • Analgesic
  • Sedative
  • Antidiabetic
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antibacterial
  • Anticancer 
Myrcene is often regarded as the most ‘relaxing’ terpene found in cannabis, commonly found in strains that are known to have extreme couch locking effects. It is observed that strains that have the highest concentration of Myrcene tend to have relaxing effects. Interestingly though, there are several energizing strains with low levels of Myrcene, because Myrcene is the most common terpene found in cannabis. 
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?

Cannabis strain

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. For many years, strains were split between being Sativa, Indica and hybrid. Due to the spillover of relaxing and energizing terpenes presenting themselves across all strains, it makes more sense to differentiate strains according to their terpene profiles. Interestingly, Myrcene is just as common in THC strains as it is in CBD strains. Terpinolene is often rare in CBD strains, however, this is not the case with Myrcene.  

Does Myrcene Help You Sleep?

Myrcene 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?

Myrcene 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. 

Final Thoughts

Cannabis trichomes

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. 

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