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Aroma: Myrcene’s aroma falls somewhere between peppery, earthy, spicy, clove- and musk-like, but to put it simply and recognizably, it smells like the quintessential beer, as it is found in hops, which respectively are a cornerstone of the amber drink.
Found in: hops, lemongrass, mango, thyme
Myrcene (Beta-Myrcene)-dominant strains: Widely considered the most prevalent cannabis terpene, comprising somewhere between 20 and 65% of the terpene profile of cannabis strains, depending on which studies you go by, the list of myrcene-dominant strains is long. Some of the most prominent examples include White Widow, Blue Dream, OG Kush, Granddaddy Purple, 9 Pound Hammer, and many more.
Boiling Point: 167 oC (332 oF)
Before we go into myrcene’s effects, it’s important to underline the fact that the reports on its effects, as well as the ones of pretty much all terpenes, should be taken with a grain of salt, as the scientific research on them is still scarce and limited mostly to studies on animals and isolated human cells – something that shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering that cannabis research itself is still in its infancy.
Sedation, Muscle Relaxation, Pain-Relief, Anti-Anxiety
Myrcene’s biggest claim to fame is its sedative effects, which reinforces its connection with beer. There’s even a common misconception that high myrcene levels automatically put a strain in the indica category, which if not for anything else, is untrue due to the simple reason that this would make most strains indicas. However, the traces of myrcene’s calming properties are real and transcend the worlds of beer and cannabis, and even the modern world altogether.
Myrcene has a long and rich history in folk medicine, making many appearances in various concoctions that lull people to sleep. One perfect example is lemongrass-infused tea, which is a common sedative and muscle relaxant in Mexico.
A study on these effects was performed on mice, which experienced muscle relaxation after a high dose of myrcene and limonene and slept for longer when strong sedative drugs came in the mix. In other words, not the most convincing results even as far as rodents go, which are obviously much smaller than humans. However, they are reinforced and built on by another study on, you guessed it, mice and lemongrass, in which the plant exhibited both sedating and analgesic properties, with myrcene considered the main culprit.
Speaking of analgesic properties, an interesting study, dating back to 1990, found myrcene to inhibit nociception in mice, which is basically the body’s ability to detect pain, by promoting the activity of naturally produced opioids.
A big feather in myrcene’s cap is a study on a human cell model of osteoarthritis, in which myrcene inhibited the disease’s development and mitigated the damage of it.
Myrcene’s anti-cancer promise has been explored in two major avenues.
First is Candida fungus, which is something all humans have that’s normally kept in check by a healthy immune system – a luxury chemotherapy patients are deprived of. Lemongrass, yet again, has been found to go a long way toward keeping Candida at bay, by not one but two studies.
The second form of cancer that myrcene has shown potential against is no other than breast cancer, in human cells at that! A fairly recent study found that myrcene can stimulate anti-metastatic activity. But of course, the key word here is human cells, which means further research is required, but it’s also warranted by this study’s promising results.
Myrcene is not just a terpene that appears in large quantities, but also seems to bring diverse qualities to the table. Moreover, it seems to have a spontaneous connection with limonene in particular, as the two terpenes are partners in many of the scientific “crimes” mentioned above.