Terpenes: Intro to Myrcene


Most of us have heard of cannabinoids, those wonderful little chemical compounds in medical marijuana that provide the effects our bodies feel when ingest cannabis. Two famous cannabinoids out of the 85 that have been isolated thus far are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol).

THC, of course, is the psychotropic cannabinoid, the one that gives us the “high” and CBD is the one that is not psychoactive and produces many of the medical benefits we receive from medical marijuana.

Cannabinoids have been talked about and praised for some time but now another constituent element in the cannabis plant is coming out of the closet, so to speak, and is headed for the spotlight: terpenes. These cousins of the more famous cannabinoids are what give marijuana (and a lot of other plants and fruits) their aroma. Over 200 distinct terpenes have been cataloged in the marijuana plant to date and apparently each one has a different function of benefit.

Myrcene is one of the most researched terpenes within the cannabis universe. By the way, myrcene gives off a spicy and clove fragrance and along with the other terpenes, helps keep its host plant healthy by repelling bugs and microbes that could be harmful to it. Myrcene also is a natural therapeutic for humans. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and an anti-depressant and an analgesic (pain reliever). The authors of a study, published by the British Journal of Pharmacology, entitled, Taming THC:Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phycannabinoid-Terpenoid entourage effects, also discovered that myrcene, when combined with CBD can have anti-cancer properties. When myrcene is used with the cannabinoid THC, it was a muscle relaxer, reduced pain and acted as a sedative. When coupled with another compound or component, it is called an entourage effect because both of them working together produce a synergistic effect, which only enhances the therapeutic results that couldn’t have been accomplished by wither one independently.

Myrcene can be found in any number of plants and fruits and grains, and it is definitely in one of the most popular fruits on the planet: the mango. An interesting experiment was done with the mango and cannabis that produced some notable and practical results. It was discovered that if you eat some mango forty-five minutes before smoking your medical marijuana, the psychoactive reaction will be much stronger and more intense and it will occur faster than ever before, another entourage effect in the making.

So, next time you eat a mango or ingest some medical cannabis, remember that each one contains a small but powerful element that has immense medical healing potential and when used together can become even more impressive. Terpenes are just waiting to be studied in depth and when more cannabis research is allowed by our government, we’ll see that these microscopic particles will be of great benefit to humankind.

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