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Understanding Cannabis Terpenes: The Surprising Benefits of Myrcene

Cannabis plants produce a whole array of active compounds. And while active cannabinoids (THC and CBD heading the list) used to gain a huge portion of the public attention, nowadays we are lucky to understand more about the amazing benefits of cannabis terpenes.

Being one of the most abundant terpenes created within the cannabis plant, Myrcene holds a myriad of surprising benefits that deserve to be acknowledged by both medical and recreational cannabis users. Oh, yes, it is definitely high time that cannabis terpenes get the recognition they fully deserve, as terpenes serve vital functions and maintain a crucial significance for the medical and synergistic capabilities of the effects of marijuana.

Most importantly, terpenes are believed to work in conjunction with active cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, CBC, CBN, and CBG, among many others, to provide the best that the ancient, healing cannabis plant has to offer to mankind.

What are Cannabis Terpenes

If you have ever experienced the joy of growing your very own cannabis plants, then you are certainly quite well familiar with cannabis terpenes (well, maybe not from a scientific point of view, but from a rather more practical point of view). The thing is, cannabis terpenes are most evident during the peak of flowering. That is to say, the sublime moment when cannabis plants concentrate all their power into nurturing and protecting the beautiful flowers (aka the cannabis buds) that we deeply adore.

And so, with a mind to protecting cannabis flowers from damage caused by pests and/or diseases, cannabis plants emit that notorious, distinct, impossible not to spot weed smell.

For some, these alluring scents are nothing less but a triumph for the senses, however, for the cannabis growers who strive to keep their marijuana garden as far away from the public radar as possible, the distinct ganja aroma lingering in the air may become troublesome.
But for cannabis plants, this incredible aroma serves not a single one but two highly important functions.

Cannabis terpenes are emitted to protect the plants from possible intruders, and yet simultaneously, terpenes are secreted to attract beneficial pollinators.

Quintessentially, terpenes are pungent hydrocarbons released from the trichomes of the cannabis plant. Trichomes are often referred to as tiny cannabinoid and terpenes factories, as apart from secreting the highly aromatic terpenes, it is in the trichomes where cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are concentrated.

The most recent literature data points out to yet another exciting fact related with trichomes, and that’s the rising interest in the lesser-known active compounds produced by the cannabis plant, including but not limited to cannabis terpenes. A 2016 study examined the tremendous potential of the cannabis-based medicine of the future through the perspective of cannabis being “the Plant of the Thousand and One Molecule.

What to Cannabis Terpenes Have to Do with Trichomes

Monitoring the trichomes is the best way to know when cannabis is ready to harvest based on personal preferences such as the desire to experience a more potently psychoactive high, a more euphoric type of high, or a more sedative type of high can be achieved depending on the stage of trichomes maturation. Knowing when to chop down your green lady depends on observing the changes in trichomes’ transparency, hue, and structure.

Most importantly, in the context of cannabis terpenes, as a cannabis grower monitors the trichomes during the peak of flowering, he/she stands the highest chance to actually get to observe the enchanting world of terpenes closer. No, this doesn’t mean that you will get to spot terpenes directly, even if you use a high-tech digital microscope instead of a magnifying glass, as terpenes are super tiny-sized molecules. However, you can definitely get to witness one of the miracles of the living nature in action.

It is good to know that terpenoids are produced by many different plant species, apart from cannabis. Terpenoids are the most abundant secondary metabolites found in plants, they are extremely structurally diverse, and they also play important roles in the life of plants, both directly and indirectly.

Not the least, terpenes are cherished for their amazing ability to play an important role in serving as an invisible bridge between the plants and the environment, as highlighted in a 2017 research headed by Farhat Abbas and Rangcai Yu from the South China Agricultural University.

Now, you may have noticed that we used the word “terpenoids” instead of “terpenes” above (and if so, you got our thumbs up, you beautiful cannageek!). Anyway, it is not about whether you have spotted the use of the words “terpenoids” and “terpenes,” or if you have failed to do so. What we wanted to navigate your attention towards is the fact that “terpenoids” and “terpenes” have become increasingly used interchangeably. However, this is not accurate, as even though very closely related, the meaning of these two words holds significant differences.

Terpenoids” refer to plants’ terpenes that have been dried and cured, thus, being denatured by oxidation, whereas “terpenes” are hydrocarbons that have not been denatured yet.

Video by: Nandkishor Karade – Lecture 1 Terpenes and Terpenoids

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What is Myrcene Terpene

Myrcene is considered one of the ten primary terpenes, alongside Pinene, Limonene, and Linalool, to name a few. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that Myrcene is one of the most abundant and frequently found terpenes produced by the cannabis plant. Myrcene is commonly revered for bringing cannabis strains that detectable and delectable earthy aroma. Indeed, Myrceneterpene is to “blame” for the well-defined earthy aroma blend that is emitted by many of the top favorite cannabis strains created by different breeders all across the world.

As far as the aroma profile of Myrcene is concerned, it is good to know that apart from carrying those earthy scents present in a huge part of cannabis varieties, it also features musky undertones. Myrcene’s musky fragrance notes do often resemble a whiff of cloves. In addition to that, Myrceneterpene is known to contain fruit flavors of balsamic and ripe red grape, accompanied by hints of spiciness.

Myrcene is also referred to as β-myrcene, and is a highly cherished, significant component of the essential oils produced by several different plants, including but not limited to cannabis. Other plants that produce Myrcene are cardamom, wild thyme, ylang-ylang, parsley, hops, and bay.

Ultimately, Myrcene is rarely obtained directly from plants as it first needs to undergo a process of biosynthesis. At the very start, it is thanks to obtaining turpentine how plants manage to produce β-pinene by pyrolysis, and only then is Myrcene brought to life. Afterward, plants will be able to synthesize Myrcene through GPP, or geranyl pyrophosphate.

Myrcene is unstable in the air as it tends to polymerize. Because of this, Myrcene is widely used in perfumery intermediately for the preparation of extremely popular fragrance and flavor chemicals, such as geraniol, citronellal, menthol, nerol, and linalool. And if these chemicals sound like a mouthful, we challenge you to check out the labels of some of the most common shower and beauty care solutions like lotions, shower gels, face creams, etc., and you will certainly find out that some of these flavor and fragrance chemicals prepared by using Myrcene, is present in modern-day skincare.

Effects and Benefits of Myrcene

Apart from its unique blend of aromas and its wide use in skincare and perfumery, Myrcene plays various crucial roles in the biochemistry of the cannabis plant. Being a monoterpene, Myrcene is a crucial precursor to the formation of many secondary terpenes.

While extensive research on cannabis terpenes is still lacking behind, experts have already managed to find out that Myrcene composed as much as 50% of the total content of cannabis terpenes present in individual cannabis varieties.

Higher amounts of Myrceneterpene present in cannabis flowers (more than 0.5% Myrcene) are known to be more likely to induce sedative effects after consuming the green medication. While the sedative effects of cannabis are traditionally attributed to Indica and Indica-dominant cannabis strains like Afghani, Skunk, and Purple Kush, to name a few, high levels of Myrcenemay bring about mildly sedating properties that generally come up with the later onsets of the high, even to Sativa-dominant strains.

The potential health benefits of Myrcene are currently studied, and so what we know so far might be only the very tip of the iceberg, especially when keeping in mind that researchers still find it hard to understand fully the exact pathways through which terpenes and active cannabinoids work together in synergy to provide the unique effects attributed to different strains.

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Some of the potential therapeutic properties of Myrcene include calming down symptoms related to inflammation and chronic pain. The pain and inflammation-relieving benefits of Myrcene are believed to be possible thanks to the way terpenes assist cannabinoids to be properly absorbed into the blood-brain barrier, thus, binding to an individual’s endocannabinoid system’s receptors effectively, and in return, encouraging analgesic responses.

Another area of sustaining health and well-being where Myrcene shows promising qualities is cancer treatment. Similarly to CBD, Myrcene is suggested to have a lot to do with naturally suppressing excessive cell proliferation, and nonetheless, it is proposed to have tumors’ size reducing effects.

Video by: Positive Smash 420 – Terpene Tuesday- MYRCENE

Myrcene &the Entourage Effect: Tips for Maximizing Cannabis Terpenes’ Benefits

Based on what the entourage effect theory suggests, in order to make the most from the benefits of the green medication, an individual should best opt for whole plant-based products, including cannabis flowers, full-spectrum CBD oil, full-spectrum weed tinctures, among tons of other cannabis-based products made through using high-quality cannabis flowers and/or trim, and not by sticking solely to medicating or entertaining by opting for isolated active compounds, which is the case with the 99.9% pure THCa Crystalline.

And so, since Myrcene is a key player in reaping the best that the cannabis plant has to provide, are there some little known ways for maximizing the effects of terpenes

Although scientifically validated data on what we are about to share is still lacking, anecdotal evidence, and nonetheless, historical and cultural uses of cannabis, do imply that consuming certain terpenes-rich plants could potentially increase the therapeutic properties of the green medication.

For instance, thyme, lemongrass, mangoes, and hops are just some of the edible plants that are naturally rich in Myrcene. Consuming any of these terpenes-rich plants could lead to experiencing a stronger effect of the THC high, or at least this is what generations of cannabis consumers swear by! While we cannot guarantee how and why this practice works to make your cannabis experience more potent and delightful, it definitely won’t hurt giving it a try! Just make sure you consume terpenes-rich foods immediately before or after smoking cannabis for best results.

The modern-day ways to enjoy higher amounts of terpenes is to opt for readily-available terp sauce or to embrace a DIY terp sauce approach. One can easily extract the terpenes from the cannabis flowers using a rosin press device, and while many are reluctant to go for this approach because cannabis consumption tends to be a costly privilege, cannabis growers who are blessed with having reliable quantities of cannabis flowers are among the most well-versed terpenes extraction enthusiasts.

Video by: International Highlife – Mango and Cannabis Myrcene – International Highlife

Cannabis Strains High in Myrcene Terpene

As mentioned above, Myrceneterpene is one of the most abundant terpenes produced within the cannabis plant. With this in mind, whether you choose to consume an Indica gemstone-like Afghani, a legendary hybrid like Bruce Banner, a true Sativa beauty like Chocolope, or a high CBD strain like CB Dream, chances are that you will get to enjoy a substantial dose of Myrcene.

However, some strains are naturally higher in Myrcene than others, so for all our bud buddies out there who might be interested in enjoying a strain high in Myrcene, here’s a neat sheet of our team’s top favorite cannabis strains in this category. While Myrcene is claimed to play a key role in triggering the notorious couch-locked effects related with cannabis consumption when it comes to Indica varieties, there are many hybrid and/or Sativa-dominant strains rich in Myrcene that can offer ultimate relaxation coupled with a euphoric, joyful sense of high.

White Widow

Chances are that you get to come across White Widow strain heading just about any average top X cannabis strains list, but that’s for some good reasons. Apart from being high in Myrcene, White Widow is also potently laden with THC levels that hit about 24%. On top of that, White Widow provides above the average levels of CBD, usually reaching some good 0.70%, and nonetheless, it is high in yet another intriguing active cannabinoid, namely CBN (Cannabinol), which makes up for about 3%.

Plus, White Widow is a strain that is considered fairly easy to grow even by beginners, so you see for yourself that this recreational and medical users suited gemstone is nothing less but a must-have in every marijuana garden and home marijuana stash, too.

Sprinkle these bits of important information revealing the astonishing beauty of White Widow strain with the fact that it lives up true to its 60% Indica to 40% Sativa genetics, and what you get is a ganja strain masterpiece.

OG Kush

Another absolute top winner that you will most probably come across in every best cannabis strains of all times countdown, OG Kush is yet another of those rare and praised cannabis varieties that can offer the best of both worlds.

Created by master breeders in the Holy Land for pot innovations, the West Coast, OG Kush is a perfectly balanced 50% Indica to 50% Sativa hybrid.

Although containing an only trace amount of CBD and CBN, OG Kush comes with a delightful THC content that averages between 18 – 20%, offering a creative, yet soothing, light-headed yet totally relaxed, long-lasting yet barely ever overwhelming type of high that punches stress and pains straight in the face.

Apart from being high in Myrcene, OG Kush is even higher in Limonene, which is what most probably contributes to the serenely soothing and releasing array of effects induced by this moderately easy to grow strain.

Original Skunk

Cannaladies and cannagentlemen, here comes another legendary strain of all times, His Royal Majesty, Original Skunk. Originating back to the glorious 1970s, this 50% Indica to 50% Sativa cannabis variety has managed to build a very solid reputation among generations of cannabisseurs across the globe.

With delightfully balanced levels of THC that rarely exceed 15% on an average, Original Skunk can bring you back to your sweetest marijuana memories at the very moment you inhale its classical, earthy, distinctly delectable aroma.

Because of its multiple benefits, wonderful effects (that certainly have much to do with the considerably high levels of Myrcene), and sublime potency, Original Skunk is often the number one choice for cannabis breeders interested in creating new, exciting strains.

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Cannabis Terpene Myrcene: The Wrap-Up

We feel truly privileged to witness the ongoing rise of cannabis acceptance, cannabis-related research, and cannabis technologies of the future.

However, despite recent, and nonetheless, growing evidence that greatly supports the efficacy and benefits of cannabis terpenes, we still have so much more to learn! Understanding how exactly these tiny hydrocarbons produced by the cannabis plants can be used therapeutically is a challenge but is also a blessing, for we didn’t have such an opportunity some mere years ago.

Myrcene, being one of the major cannabis terpenes, with all of its incredible, promising potentials, may just as well hold the key to the future of cannabis medicine, as we continually get to study and apprehend the world of terpenes and the world of cannabis plants better.

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