- TERPENE GUIDE -
Pictured: Thyme @pixabay
Myrcene is found in most modern cannabis strains and is the terpene responsible for the distinct “skunky” and earthy aroma cannabis is associated with. High concentrations of Myrcene are found in hops, a close cousin of cannabis, and provide the bitter, earthy aroma in beer. Lemongrass, thyme, bay leaves, basil and mangoes all have significant levels of Myrcene.
There is anecdotal evidence that eating mangoes prior to cannabis consumption can intensify “the high” and this is most likely due to the Myrcene’s ability to increase blood-brain barrier permeability. Myrcene has proven to be an extremely sedative terpene, and has much promise as a sleep aid. The “couch-lock” feeling, that has been traditionally associated with smoking Indica strains, is now being connected to the presence of high levels of Myrcene. Beyond its sedative abilities, isolated studies of Myrcene have shown that it can target inflammation, like Pinene, through its activity with our prostaglandin pathways. Limited rodent studies have also shown Myrcene to have value as a muscle relaxant, an antibiotic, an antimutagenic and an antioxidant. Myrcene has shown strong activity against liver cell carcinogenesis stemming from aflatoxin metabolism. Aflatoxins are a byproduct of mold, and if allowed to metabolize can cause damage to cell DNA which in turn increases the risk the cells become cancerous. Myrcene is able to block aflatoxin metabolism, thus acting as an anti-cancer agent. While most strains have some Myrcene, those with the highest concentrations of Myrcene,
tend to have Indica varieties in their lineage.
Higher Grade strains with a relatively high percentage of Myrcene: Banana Kush