Terpene Spotlight – Myrcene

Aroma and flavor are some of the most pleasing parts of the cannabis plant. From citrus to pine to diesel, these scents and tastes come compounds known as terpenes. And while there are several hundred terpenes occurring in different concentrations in a given strain, about ten of them are known as primary terpenes – the ones appearing in the greatest concentrations. Myrcene is one of them.

Myrcene – The Fragrant Powerhouse

Terpenes occur naturally in thousands of plants and animals, and cannabis is no exception. Myrcene is found in everything from bay leaves and thyme to lemongrass, basil, and hops. Mangoes are a particularly potent source of myrcene, which is why there’s some suggestion that enjoying mango roughly thirty minutes before consuming cannabis can enhance or extend psychoactive effects.

Myrcene is known for its earthy, herbal aroma, which is similar to the scent of cloves. In some indica and hybrid strains, myrcene can make up a full 50% of total terpene content, but any strain with more than 0.5% myrcene will bring about strong sedative effects.

Interestingly, different concentrations of myrcene bring about different effects. A lower concentration of this terpene in some strains can produce euphoria and joy, plus general feelings of relaxation that aren’t as dramatic as the couch-lock effect.

Effects & Benefits of Myrcene

While terpenes are strongly associated with aroma and flavor profiles, they also have a direct impact on the effect of a given strain. Myrcene is known for reducing pain and inflammation symptoms, and it also has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antimutagenic, and sedative properties. It’s a useful sleep aid and muscle relaxant, similar to the effect of hops.

Looking for Myrcene?

On Kynd’s last run of Jawa Pie flower, we tested 2.8% myrcene, which is higher than any other flower we have on the floor at the moment. Our Chemdawg pre-roll has about 1.55% myrcene, for a 15.5mg total.

One of the telltale signs of a strain high in myrcene is its earthy, musky scent. Still, it’s always best to ask a budtender for a recommendation and check lab results if you’re after a myrcene-rich strain or product.

For more on primary terpenes, check out our post about limonene.