Myrcene is a monoterpene, the smallest of the terpenes, it is found in very high concentrations in sweet basil, hops, mangoes and cannabis. Myrcene is described as possessing an earthy, fruity clove-like odor, but can be very pungent in higher concentrations, as in heavily hopped beers.
There is a bush in Brazil that has been proven after the fact to have high amounts of β-myrcene was used as an ancient remedy for hypertension, diarrhea, dysentery, and diabetes which provides evidence that we’re not the first culture to appreciate the benefits of this terpene.
Peak flowering is when terpenes are most evident, emitting aromas that can be smelled from a distance. Although these powerful scents may not be to the grower’s liking, terpenes act as natural defense systems for the plants themselves, protecting against diseases and pests while simultaneously luring in pollinators with alluring fragrances.
A 1997 study conducted in Switzerland analyzed various cannabis strains for 16 terpenes and found myrcene to be the most abundant terpene out of those studied (others include Pinene, Limonene, Carene, Humulene, Bergamotene, Terpinolene, and Caryophyllene). For some strains, the myrcene content can be over half the total terpene content.
Myrcene is crucial in the formation of other terpenes and it synergizes the antibiotic potential of other terpenes. One reason why myrcene could be so commonly found in cannabis is that it has been shown to change the permeability of cell membranes to allow more absorption of cannabinoids by the brain. This effect of myrcene has been known about since the 1970s and long ago spawned a rumor that eating a ripe mango before smoking would get you higher.
Myrcene’s Effects and Benefits:
• Analgesic - this powerful terpene may relieve pain when used CBD
• Anti-diabetic - research is being done on how myrcene can help diabetes
• Anti-inflammatory - Researchers evaluated the anti-inflammatory effects of myrcene in multiple studies.
• Antidepressant – the sedative effects of myrcene can help with depression
• Anti-insomnia - it is known as a “couch lock” terpene, meaning it can be sedative
• Antispasmodic – helps with muscle spasms
(information taken from The Leaf Online, leafly and other online sources)