When we talk about modern cannabis strains, myrcene terpenes stands out as the most prominent terpene. Being the most common terpene in cannabis, beta myrcene is often referred to as “the mother of terpenes.”
Myrcene terpene gets its name from a Brazilian shrub called Myrcia sphaerocarpa, which is commonly used for medicinal purposes.
The Cannabaceae family of plants contains the highest levels of myrcene terpene. Among the roughly 160 plant species, hops, cannabis, and many more also falls in the same category. Cannabis wouldn’t have its distinctive earthy, musky scent without myrcene terpene flavor.
Beta myrcene has many medicinal and therapeutic potentials. According to many scientists, myrcene terpene plays an important role when it comes to calming effects of cannabis.
You may be familiar with this chemical already, but there is much more than its role as a predominant terpene in cannabis. In this article, we will shed some light on myrcene terpene, its effects, myrcene terpene flavor profile, and therapeutic benefits.
Let’s get into this!
Table of Contents
Understanding Terpenes and Their Role in Nature
Terpenes are simple aromatic compounds found in nature with hydrogen, carbon, and sometimes oxygen in their chemical makeup. Each terpene is the result of one of the hundreds of possible pairings of these components.
Till now, 30,000+ unique terpenes have been discovered by the expats. Terpenes are abundant in many plants and animals in nature; they are not just limited to cannabis.
There are many reasons why terpenes play an important role in our lives. Terpenes are used by some plants to enhance the fruit taste. With the help of terpenes’ flavor and aroma profiles, plants can attract both wild animals and humans which helps them to survive.
Meet Myrcene: A Profile of the Mother Terpene
IUPAC Name: 7-methyl-3-methylideneocta-1,6-diene
Molecular Formula: C10H16
Molecular Weight: 136.23
Solubility: Insoluble in water
Boiling Point: 186.0 °C
Unlike many other terpenes, myrcene terpene does not have a ring structure. Therefore it is classified as acyclic. However, monoterpenes frequently link together with other molecules to form rings or cyclic structures.
Beta myrcene is an important building block for the development of secondary terpenes and further. Up to half of a strain’s total terpene concentration may consist of myrcene terpene effects.
Myrcene, when exposed to light, undergoes a molecular rearrangement that produces hashishene. This new terpene is called hashishene because it is found abundantly in hashish.
Myrcene is a terpene that is found in many foods, especially herbs, spices, and fruit. It’s present in both the Brazilian Schinus molle (40%) and the South African Adenandra villosa (50%).
Myrcene is commonly present in cannabis, bay leaves, juniper berries, etc. Hops, mangoes, verbena, thyme, lemongrass, the West Indian bay tree, Myrcia, etc. all contain detectable Myrcene terpene effects.
In traditional Mexican medicine, myrcene has been used for a long time as a sleep aid and to calm muscles. This cannabinoid was utilized to treat inflammation and sleeplessness long before cannabis terpenes were discovered officially. Among other myrcene benefits are its pain-relieving properties.
Flavor/Aroma Profile Of Myrcene Terpenes
Myrcene has a musky, earthy aroma that some marijuana users compare to balsam. Some people claim to detect a tinge of sweetness in the aroma of myrcene terpene, drawing comparisons to clove.
The earthy-sweet smell of mangos comes from the chemical myrcene, which is found in large amounts in the fruit. If you’ve ever tasted a mango, you’ll recognize the myrcene terpene flavor immediately, just as you would recognize its aroma.
Mangoes are sweet, no doubt, but the tangy, peppery overtones that give mango its distinctive flavor come from myrcene. Hops also contain myrcene which contributes to the peppery flavor of beer.
Myrcene’s Medical and Therapeutic Properties
Myrcene terpene has many medicinal and therapeutic potentials. The following are only some of the therapeutic advantages of myrcene terpene:
Free radicals are harmful molecules that have the power to cause cancer and other diseases. Antioxidants work by keeping free radicals away from the cells. They also promote the anti-aging process.
Myrcene and other terpenes have an antioxidant action that may slow down the aging process and treat skin issues as per the research.
Phytochemical (plant-based chemical) agents can inhibit the spread of cancer cells, despite the disease being difficult to treat.
Even though most research evidence leads to laboratory trials rather than real-world situations, myrcene terpene is one of the few that contain this action.
Myrcene has anti-inflammatory properties which makes it an ideal treatment for deadly inflammatory diseases like MS.
Myrcene, in particularly high doses, has been shown to reduce inflammation and its associated pain and discomfort. A 2015 study confirmed this myrcene terpene effect.
Helps with Diabetes Complications
Combined with another terpene called thujone, beta myrcene may be an effective treatment for diabetes. It was tried and tested according to research published in 2007 by the University of Jordan.
Here are some other therapeutic benefits:
- Improves mood
- Provides calming effects
- Reduces anxiety and stress
- Restore sleep
- Improves Immune Function
The Entourage Effect: Myrcene’s Synergy with Other Terpenes and Cannabinoids
Terpenes are known to play a supportive role in the phytocannabinoid ecosystem. These chemical compounds interact with other cannabinoids (CBD and THC) to produce synergistic effects.
At its most basic level, according to the idea of “entourage effects”, there are countless ways in which cannabis chemicals work together and produce effects.
Some research has shown that this is true, but it is still not clear how this happens. It shows that myrcene terpene is important to our health and well-being in many unique ways.
Myrcene in Traditional and Alternative Medicine
B-myrcene terpene was first utilized in folk medicine in India about 2,000 years ago. For centuries, South and Central Asians have used it to cure diarrhea, inflammation, respiratory issues, and cancer tumor growth. No scientific evidence supports these applications though.
For decades, Brazilian folk medicine has used lemongrass tea, which is high in Myrcene terpene. People used lemongrass tea to treat chronic pain and anxiety. Not only this but even German herbal medications for sleep combine Myrcene-rich hops with valerian root.
Myrcene and Beyond: Industrial Applications
When we talk about using terpenes like beta myrcene in a different way (not cooking or vaping), essential oils, cosmetics, and perfumes come to mind.
Essential oils in aromatherapy using diffusers or infusion into topical items like bath bombs and lotions are the most common ways to use myrcene terpene. Essential oils from bay trees, verbena plants, juniper bushes, and lemongrass all contain significant amounts of myrcene.
Some of the other industrial uses of Myrcene include its use in the fragrance industry. Many food industries also use Myrcene to enhance the flavors of various food items.
Myrcene: Safety and Precautions
Despite myrcene has potential benefits when used in cosmetics, it can cause skin irritation if you use it undiluted. However, many different skin types don’t experience this side effect.
Myrcene is toxic if ingested or inhaled directly. Not only this but it has also been linked to drowsiness and, in combination with other substances, a heightened psychedelic reaction. There is some evidence that myrcene has the power to increase the intoxicating effects of cannabinoids like THC.
It is strictly recommended to use only a moderate amount of products containing Myrcene as consumption of high levels might cause adverse effects for beginners or inexperienced users. Always follow the provided guidelines on the product package.
As per the experts, nursing and pregnant individuals should stay away from Myrcene terpene effects due to unexpected drug interactions that might cause unfavorable effects for the mother or baby.
One of the most widespread terpenes in plants (and in cannabis); yes we are talking about beta myrcene terpenes which is also one of the most valuable.
Some studies have shown that myrcene has potent to fight cancer, pain, and inflammation, and offers the best sedative properties. When used together with THC, the effects and benefits of myrcene terpene are increased.
But there is always dosage guideline and safety precautions to follow when you are interacting with terpenes!
Can Myrcene Terpene Cause Intoxication?
While eating a mango (high in myrcene) will not make you high on its own. But some people claim that doing so while also consuming marijuana products may have a high effect. Myrcene has the ability to complement THC’s effects, too. Therefore, you may be in for a more intense high with myrcene-rich strains like OG Kush.
Myrcene: Is it Sativa or Indica?
There is no Indica or Sativa in myrcene. Along with their hybrids, Indica, and Sativa, both trichomes contain beta myrcene terpene.
Does Myrcene interact with other cannabinoids?
The answer is a bit complicated. Depending on whose study you read, terpenes like myrcene either enhance the effects of cannabinoids like THC and CBD or do not affect them at all.