Cannabis Terpenes: What is Myrcene?
- Posted by Options Medical Center
- On June 3, 2021
- 0 Comments
After reading our guide to the cannabis terpene called myrcene, you’ll learn:
- What terpenes are and how they affect the cannabis experience
- What myrcene is and why it is sought after for its properties as a terpene
- Where you can naturally find myrcene outside of cannabis
As the frontier of cannabis science pushes forward, the various chemical compounds of the plant increasingly become the focus. For example, this has been seen with CBD, which is now among the most common supplements available on the market.
In addition to CBD, there has also been a been a new increased focus on terpenes. Although terpenes are not found exclusively in cannabis, they are believed to enhance the plant’s overall effect through something called the entourage effect. Among the most popularly sought after terpenes is one called Myrcene.
What Are Cannabis Terpenes?
At the most foundation level, terpenes are aromatic chemical compounds found in plants, herbs, and even some animals. They contribute to an inherent aroma and serve a critical purpose in enticing pollinators and guarding against predators.
Scientists believe that terpenes play a key role inside plants, as well. Some terpenes have been shown to help plants heal after they’ve been damaged. Others help to boost the plant’s immune system and fight against infection.
While terpenes can be found in various plants, they are found in highly concentrated amounts within cannabis. When you breathe in the pungent scent of a cannabis bud, you’re actually breathing in the aroma given off by terpenes found on the plant’s surface. Additionally, terpenes produce around 10-30 percent of the smoke that comes from burning cannabis.
The research into cannabis and its effects on humans has often focused on cannabinoids like CBD and THC. However, scientific advancement is providing evidence that terpenes may also play a role in the effects from different strains.
What Is Myrcene?
Myrcene is one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis. A study from Leafly Labs found that, on average, over 20% of the terpene profile in most commercially available strains comes from myrcene. Myrcene also represents the most commonly dominant terpene among all cannabis strains. Around 40% of strains contain more myrcene than any other terpene. Other common terpenes include caryophyllene, limonene, and terpinolene.
Individual strains will have varying concentrations, and laboratory analysis is always needed to determine the myrcene levels in a specific strain. However, certain aromas can be indicative of the terpene. Earthy, musky, and even fruity scents tend to signify the presence of myrcene.
While more research is needed to determine any medical efficacy, the current state of terpene research demonstrates the potential benefits of myrcene.
The Entourage Effect
Perhaps the primary effect terpene has in cannabis is its role in the entourage effect. This occurs when the various components of cannabis work together to enhance each other.
One particular study found that cannabinoids and terpenes found evidence that the entourage effect is what helps make some strains particularly potent. For instance, myrcene was seen to help THC and CBD molecules pass the brain-blood barrier more easily than when myrcene wasn’t present.
The entourage effect is why many people prefer whole-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD supplements instead of isolated CBD concentrate. Since the wider-spectrum CBD supplements contain other cannabinoids and terpenes, the overall effect may be more significant than the effects of CBD by itself. This has also been seen in studies focusing on the various forms of CBD concentrates.
Other Potential Myrcene Benefits
If you’ve been diagnosed with any illness or ailment, it’s always best to seek the advice of a medical doctor before pursuing any treatment. Your doctor is best equipped to diagnose underlying conditions and provide safe options that are best-suited for your individual needs.
That’s not to say that there’s no potential in myrcene as a supplement either by itself or in combination with other cannabinoids. The study that helped demonstrate the entourage effect found some promise in combining myrcene with CBD (to decrease inflammation), CBG (as an anti-cancer agent), and THC (to reduce pain).
There’s a lengthy history of using myrcene in medicine throughout the world. Plants heavy in myrcene have often served as an analgesic or sleep aid. Though, there’s still a lack of scientific proof behind the terpene’s use in these areas and more research is necessary to make medically beneficial claims.
Non-Cannabis Myrcene Sources
Beyond cannabis, myrcene is found in various plants, fruits, and herbs that are common features in many regions’ diets. Mangos are known to carry high quantities of the terpene. In fact, the fruit has long been part of an urban legend that states that consuming mangoes before consuming cannabis will cause a quicker onset of the effects with greater intensity. Of course, there is a clear lack of scientific testing to back this up.
Myrcene also serves as the responsible party for the pepper fragrance of especially hoppy beers. You may have noticed similar smells between your beers and your bud, that’s because hops also contain high concentrations of the terpene.
Significant concentrations of myrcene are found within plants such as:
- Bay leaves
Myrcene is also used to prepare and enhance other aromas. Some artificial citrus, lavender, and menthol scents contain myrcene in its converted form.
Cannabis Strains High in Myrcene
Due to its potential sedative effects, myrcene is often thought to be more present in indica-dominant strains. However, the study by Leafly Labs found that myrcene tends to be present equally across indica, sativa, and hybrid strains.
If you’re looking for strains with large concentrations of myrcene, make sure to keep an eye out for several common dispensary menu entries:
- 9 Pound Hammer
- Blue Dream
- Granddaddy Purple
- Grape Ape
- OG Kush
Recreational and Medical Cannabis at Options Medical Center
At Options Medical Center, we’ve catered to the cannabis community through our vast selection of high-quality cannabis products for both recreational and medical cannabis consumers. Our goal is to help spread our passion for cannabis to each customer that walks through our door. Each of our expert budtenders will take the time to answer your questions and provide recommendations for what is best suited for your needs.
We are also proud to grow our own cannabis strains in our growing facilities. This allows us to personally select the best of the crop and offer quality and value that are tough to match. We utilize the leading cultivation science so we can continually innovate and improve our community.
Make sure to stop by our dispensaries today. Our Boulder location offers recreational cannabis consumers, while our Wheat Ridge dispensary serves both recreational and medical consumers. Check out our menu of flower, pre-rolls, edibles, and concentrates online or in person.
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