Myrcene is one of the most sought-after terpenes of the cannabis plant. This natural organic hydrocarbon is also exist in herbs and fruits such as lemongrass, mangoes, basil, hops, parsley, and wild thyme. Because of its powerful fragrance, the terpene is also widely used in the perfume and flavor industries.
Cannabis Terpenes: All You Need to Know
Although cannabis is mainly focused on cannabinoids, terpenes have been found to have profound effects on humans. They are known to modify the psychoactive effects of a variety, increase the medicinal impact of cannabinoids, and also provide their range of therapeutic applications.
Myrcene may contribute to more sedative and relaxing effects . And maybe the reason why Indica-dominant varieties often produce these effects. Moreover , it is common in many cannabis varieties and prove to account for about 50 percent of the total number of terpenes in some varieties.
Also, myrcene may improve the ability of THC to cross the blood-brain barrier; this has led many cannabis enthusiasts to eat myrcene-rich mangoes during a smoking session in an attempt to enhance the psychoactive effects of weed.
Medical Benefits of Myrcene
In addition to being famous for its sedative effects, myrcene has been studied for its medicinal qualities. Therefore , the therapeutic potential of myrcene lies in its analgesic, antibacterial, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-insomnia, antiproliferative, antipsychotic and antispasmodic qualities.
Terpene also plays a vital role in the formation of the antibiotic potential of other terpenes.
What the Science says
An article published in 2011 in the British Journal of Pharmacology discussed a phenomenon known as the entourage effect, or the ability of cannabis molecules to enhance each other’s effects. In particular, terpenes appear to be in synergy with cannabinoids to stimulate some of their medicinal actions. Myrcene indeed shows to stimulate the sedative properties of THC, the pain reliever of CBD and THC, and to act with CBD to block inflammation.
An article published in 1991 in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology administered an infusion of citronella to mice . And found a dose-dependent analgesic effect. Myrcene proves also to be the main analgesic component of citronella essential oil. The authors of the article state that terpenes such as myrcene may contribute to the development of a new class of analgesics with an action different from that of aspirin-like drugs.
Also, a 2007 article documents a study that tested the effects of terpene myrcene and thujone in rats with diabetes . which show the hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) effects of both terpenes. A 4-week treatment with these molecules in rats produced a pronounced hypoglycemic effect in the diabetic rat. But not in the normal rat, most likely through an additional pancreatic effect.