As our understanding of the cannabis plant grows, researchers are working hard to deepen and expand their understanding of this incredibly rich and diverse plant-based medicine. As we’ve shared previously, one of the most exciting areas of discovery is into the world of terpenes, or aromatic oils which give different strains of cannabis their distinctive flavors and aromas.
Terpenes are found everywhere in the natural world: In plants, trees, foods and elsewhere. many of their medicinal properties have been recognized for centuries, but with the current focus on cannabis, they’re taking on newfound importance as researchers unlock their secrets.
Today, we’re going to dive into the story of the most abundant of these compounds: Myrcene. If you’re at all familiar with cannabis, you might recognize its earthy character. We’ll share the current science on what this important terpene is doing for our bodies and our minds.
Myrcene: What Does It Smell and Taste Like?
While myrcene is the most abundant terpene, it’s difficult to pick out a single defining characteristic. But if you’ve ever detected a musky, earthy scent—some describe it as “funky”— that carries hints of basil, bay laurel, lemongrass or ripe mango, there’s a good chance you’re sniffing myrcene.
One reason myrcene is so important is that it’s a chemical precursor to many other terpenes. What’s more, the myrcene content of a given cannabis plant is so important that its quantity dictates whether the specific plant will have a typically sativa-like energizing effect or an indica-like sedative effect.
Myrcene: What Does It Do For Our Bodies?
You’re probably already familiar with THC and CBD, the two most abundant cannabinoids. But terpenes interact with our bodies as well, and myrcene is no exception.
For a start, it’s believed that myrcene helps cannabinoids pass into the bloodstream through what’s called the blood-brain barrier. Some other effects of include:
Aiding Sedation: Cannabis strains containing over roughly a .5% myrcene content are known to have broadly sedative effects, which are especially helpful when insomnia is an issue.
Helping Relieve Pain: In some studies undertaken on rodents, myrcene has been shown to reduce the perception of pain. Studies on humans support this finding, as does a strong body of anecdotal evidence.
In addition, studies suggest that myrcene imparts powerful anti-inflammatory effects. If you want to address localized pain without the psychoactivity associated with THC, you may want to try a cannabis topical with a high myrcene content.
Cannabis Strains with a High Myrcene Content
Fortunately, many cannabis strains are naturally high in myrcene. Here are a few of the most common; be sure to check our live menu for our current stock:
Blue Dream is a popular strain known for a sweet berry aroma and gentle cerebral effects. Its high myrcene content provides anti-inflammatory and pain-fighting qualities.
White Widow is a potent strain known for its strongly euphoric and energizing effect. Take note: This is an extremely potent strain with a high THC content.
Sour Diesel is known for its “classic” uplifting and buzzy characteristics thanks to a generous helping of myrcene and other terpenes.