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What is Myrcene?

Exploring Myrcene: The Most Abundant Terpene in Western Cannabis

Myrcene is the most abundant terpene found in Western cannabis chemovars. With over 200 different terpenes produced by the plant, myrcene stands out for its pleasant aromas and potential therapeutic effects. Let’s delve into the world of myrcene and what research has uncovered about this intriguing molecule.

Aroma and Characteristics

Myrcene emits an earthy and musky aroma, similar to that of cloves. This terpene adds to the signature smell of hemp flowers, as well as other herbs and fruits such as mangoes, hops, thyme, basil, and lemongrass. Research has shown that myrcene may possess sedative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.

Possible Effects and Supporting Research

While there is a lack of clinical trials on myrcene, animal studies have shown promising results. Some research suggests that myrcene can synergize with cannabinoids, enhancing their medicinal effects through what is known as the “entourage effect.” This terpene may increase the sedating effects of THC, boost the pain-killing properties of CBD, and enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of both cannabinoids.

One study published in the journal Phytomedicine found that myrcene produced muscle-relaxing effects in mice and increased the duration of sleep when combined with barbiturates. Researchers have also discovered the pain-killing potential of myrcene, with findings suggesting that this terpene could play a role in the development of novel pain-killing drugs.

Furthermore, myrcene has exhibited antioxidant effects, contributing to its potential health benefits. Chemovars with high levels of myrcene have shown greater free radical scavenging capacity, which can help protect against DNA damage and various chronic diseases.

Sources

[1] Porte, A., Godoy, R. L. D. O., Lopes, D., Koketsu, M., Gonรงalves, S. L., & Torquilho, H. S. (2000). Essential Oil of Rosmarinus officinalis L. (Rosemary) from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 12(5), 577โ€“580. [Source]

[2] Russo, E. B. (2011b). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. NCBI. Published. [Source]

[3] do Vale, T. G., Furtado, E. C., & Santos, J. G. (2002). Central effects of citral, myrcene and limonene, constituents of essential oil chemotypes from Lippia alba (Mill.) N.E. Brown. ProQuest. [Source]

[4] WebMD. (2021). Alternative Treatments for Insomnia. [Source]

[5] Lorenzetti, B. B., Souza, G. E., Sarti, S. J., Santos Filho, D., & Ferreira, S. H. (1991). Myrcene mimics the peripheral analgesic activity of lemongrass tea. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 34(1), 43โ€“48. [Source]

[6] Ojeda-Sana, A. M., van Baren, C. M., Elechosa, M. A., Juรกrez, M. A., & Moreno, S. (2013). New insights into antibacterial and antioxidant activities of rosemary essential oils and their main components. Food Control, 31(1), 189โ€“195. [Source]