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Terpene Spotlight: Myrcene

Welcome back to our terpene spotlight blog series! Every other week we will cover one of the major terpenes found in cannabis strains, and as you learned last week, all other botanicals! This week we are zeroing in on myrcene (pronounced Mur-scene). This terpene is super popular, existing in over 50% of all cannabis strains, and is known for being the main reason why cannabis helps people “chill” out. 

Which strains are heavy in myrcene?

Although most strains do contain myrcene to some degree, strains that contain significant levels of myrcene are ideal for many, especially those looking for a relaxing smoking experience. If you’re looking for a cannabis strain with high percentages of myrcene, you won’t be able to just consider whether the strain is Indica or Sativa, as myrcene is heavy in a variety of strains regardless if they are indica or sativa. If you look at indicas, sativas, and hybrids, no classification has an average percentage of myrcene higher than the others. Specific strains including high percentages of myrcene are: Blue Dream, Cherry Pie, OG Kush, Granddaddy Purple, Tangie, and 9 Lb Hammer. 

How can I tell if a strain has myrcene?

Like all terpenes, smell is your number one indicator of a terpene’s presence, both in cannabis and other plant based organisms! The scent profiles associated with myrcene include: spicy, musky, peppery, and earthy. You can of course also tell by the effects, which are calming, sleep inducing, and relaxing for the body. The “couch lock” associated with many strains, is often attributed to myrcene’s presence in combination with cannabinoids. Checking the testing is a sure way to determine how much myrcene is present.

What are the medical benefits of myrcene?

Myrcene has actually been used for centuries for sleep and anti-inflammation. It is also a known analgesic, which means helpful in pain relief, as well as a muscle relaxer. Mexico and Brazil are just two examples of many countries that have historically used herbs like lemongrass in tea due to its high myrcene percentage for anti anxiety and reduced pain uses. Brazil specifically in 1990 published research to prove this claim, however this research has been debated. Further research is also needed to prove other myrcene based claims that, like many other terpenes, consider myrcene anti-microbial, dna-protecting, cancer cell preventing, and an antioxidant.

Where else is myrcene present?

Myrcene is largely associated with the sweet, tropical fruit: mango, which boasts significant percentages of myrcene. You may be familiar with the anecdotal tip that eating mangoes while medicated intensifies the effects, this claim was created based on the fact that both mangoes and cannabis contain high percentages of the terpene! It is also present in a variety of spices such as thyme, lemongrass, cardamom, and bay leaves. This makes sense given the peppery/spicy scent of myrcene, which is also frequently used in fragrances and perfumes commercially. Hops, which are used for brewing beer, are also filled with myrcene. It is just as popular in other places as it is in cannabis! 

The easiest way to remember myrcene, is to think “there’s mucho myrcene in mangoes!” Terpenes are awesome sneak previews into the kind of cannabis experience you are going to get, and if you’re looking for a sweet, yet earthy flavor with chill effects, strains that are myrcene dominant are probably for you! We hope this myrcene education has been helpful, even though you’ll never look at mangoes the same way again.