What is myrcene and its properties?
Myrcene, also often called myrcene, is the most abundant terpene in cannabis, famous for its earthy aroma and flavour. It has a number of interesting benefits, which include analgesic, sedative and barbiturate-boosting action.
As we know, terpenes are responsible for the different smells, tastes and effects of different strains of cannabis. An example of these terpenes is nerolidol. They also play an important role in the experience of using the plant. The entourage effect is generated when terpenes interact with cannabinoids and other substances, enhancing or inhibiting the effects of cannabis.
The cannabis plant contains a large number of terpenes, which promote a variety of health benefits. Among the most prominent benefits are increased energy, relaxation and sleep. Below we will discuss the most recent evidence supporting the use of myrcene, its properties and benefits.
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What is myrcene?
Myrcene, also known as alpha-myrcene and beta-myrcene, is a monoterpene found in a variety of plants, such as lemongrass, hops, mango, verbena, laurel, and thyme. As mentioned before, it is the most common terpene in marijuana.
This terpene is known to account for 65 per cent of the terpene content of a cannabis plant. This is according to a report by the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture in 1997. In addition, myrcene is classified as herbal or earthy. It is also commonly used in the fragrance industry as an intermediate in the production of terpene derivatives.
Not only that, but myrcene can even be used as a muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic or sedative. In the case of cannabinoids, myrcene is believed to accelerate the action, allowing the desired effects to be felt earlier.
What is the aroma of myrcene like?
Different strains of cannabis often contain several terpenes at the same time. Consequently, both the overall fragrance profile and its therapeutic efficacy are influenced by the proportions of terpenes present in cannabis.
In the specific case of myrcene, it is one of the ten most important terpenes produced by cannabis. In terms of aroma, myrcene has a smell almost identical to cloves. It also has an earthy, spicy taste; it can be found in menthol and citronella.
Interestingly, hop myrcene serves as a precursor to the development of other terpenes. That is, like CBG-A, myrcene is the universal precursor for the production of other cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.
How does myrcene interact with other cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids and terpenes combine in our bodies to change each other’s effects. At the same time they are responsible for producing a different, or greater, overall effectiveness based on the same molecules present.
Myrcene has been found to be most effective and useful when it is part of a complex phytocannabinoid environment. In other words, myrcene interacts better with other compounds, which makes the entourage effect an important aspect to consider.
A 2011 research on cannabis showed a number of beneficial associations between myrcene and other cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD.
For example, when combining:
- CBG with myrcene, anti-cancer properties are obtained.
- CBD with myrcene, can reduce inflammation, fight cancer and reduce pain.
- THC with myrcene, produces analgesic effects, reducing pain, and relaxing muscles.
Myrcene-rich strains of cannabis are known to cause a sedative effect, or sedation. Not only that, myrcene would have the ability to lengthen the sleep time of barbiturates, indicating its sedative potential as a terpene. However, caution should be exercised, as it can sedate and impair locomotion if consumed in large quantities.
Myrcene also has anti-inflammatory properties, as do many other terpenes found in cannabis. However, beyond the fact that myrcene has anti-inflammatory properties in cells, it has also been found to have the ability to slow the progression of damage and disease.
The anti-inflammatory properties of myrcene hops may also help kill cancer cells. In fact, this terpene may play a key role in anti-metastatic activity in cells that cause human breast cancer, according to a 2015 report.
According to a study on the effect of myrcene on nociception in mice, myrcene can minimize nociceptive pain. This type of pain is caused by injuries such as sprains and contusions. The research findings also suggest that this terpene has an impact on endogenous opioids in the body.
Benefits for diabetics
Myrcene may help diabetics improve their glucose tolerance. This terpene was shown to reduce serum glucose levels in diabetic rats by 28.1%, according to a 2007 study. Metformin, which is a popular medication used for diabetes, reduces blood glucose levels by 28.5%.
Another property of myrcene, is its ability to protect the skin from ultraviolet light-induced aging, according to a 2017 report. Myrcene can be used in anti-aging lotions and other sunscreen products due to its antioxidant properties.
As mentioned above, this terpene is the most abundant terpene in marijuana and has a wide variety of beneficial effects. This means that cannabis strains high in myrcene can be beneficial for a variety of conditions, including stress and pain.
Myrcene can have a stronger psychoactive effect while helping in the treatment of other ailments. In addition, the best results are obtained by combining all the elements of cannabis.
However, it should be noted that terpenes can enhance or even inhibit each other’s effects, as well as the effects of cannabinoids, at the same time. When determining which cannabis strain will help with your problem, it’s important to think about how all the terpenes work together. Then determine the role of myrcene in the equation.
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