Do some CBD flower strains make you feel mellow? Many people think that the lazy, “couch lock” feeling from certain hemp flower strains comes from the sedative effects of cannabidiol (CBD).
But, the truth is, terpenes in CBD flower are the “culprit” behind the relaxing feel that certain strains give you — myrcene in particular. This article explores the benefits, uses, and effects of one of the most common monoterpenes in hemp, myrcene.
Last Update: July 6, 2023
- Myrcene is a primary terpene in CBD hemp flower. It contributes to the strain’s relaxing, sedative effects and is the most common terpene in CBD hemp flower.
- Myrcene exhibits a distinctive earthy scent with a hint of spice. Aside from cannabis, it’s also found in mangoes, hops, lemongrass, and thyme.
- Terpenes, like myrcene and pinene, are organic aromatic compounds found in various plants and herbs. They contribute to the plant’s unique smell, flavor, and potential therapeutic benefits.
- According to the theory of the “entourage effect,” terpenes play a significant role in enhancing the properties of cannabinoids by acting in synergy.
- Myrcene has potential anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It’s associated with promoting sleep and relaxation, hence its traditional uses as a painkiller.
- Certain CBD flower strains, such as Afghani Maple and Sour Suver hemp flower, are especially rich in myrcene.
What is Myrcene?
Myrcene, or beta myrcene (β-myrcene), is a monoterpene that gives CBD flower its signature relaxing, sedative, and chill effects.
A primary terpene found in the hemp plant, myrcene offers the most recognizable “earthy” smell that features musky notes with a hint of spice. By size, myrcene is the smallest terpene in the hemp plant.
Beyond its scent, myrcene’s therapeutic benefits are equally fascinating. This compound is also found in mangoes, lemongrass, and thyme, showing us that there’s more to it than initially meets the eye.
What Does Myrcene Smell Like?
Myrcene’s aroma is often described as “balsamic” thanks to its earthy scent with a note of sweetness, similar to clove. It’s abundant in mangos, so if you’ve smelled this fruit carefully, you may notice an earthy sweet smell caused by myrcene.
This terpene has a complex and inviting scent profile, a nature-made tapestry woven with threads of earthiness, spice, and subtle fruitiness.
What Does Myrcene Taste Like?
Myrcene’s taste leaves a memorable impression akin to the first bite into a ripe mango.
It has a delightful sweetness that competes against a zesty, peppery undertone. Myrcene’s taste embodies the exotic character of the tropical fruit.
Yet, its flavor range doesn’t end there. Found abundantly in hops, the core ingredient of beer, myrcene lends that characteristic spicy zing that beer enthusiasts cherish.
This intriguing fusion of flavors — tangy, sweet, and peppery — is myrcene’s unique tasting signature, a culinary dance across your taste buds.
Does Myrcene Get You Higher?
There’s a common talk among cannabis users that eating a mango before consuming high-THC cannabis could increase the intensity and duration of its psychoactive effects.
While CBD flower users know that this type of cannabis doesn’t get you intoxicated, curiosity prevails about the truthfulness of this theory.
Does myrcene increase THC’s intoxicating properties?
First, there are no studies that have directly investigated this question and support this claim as an absolute.
But, there’s some supporting evidence in a 2016 Nutraceuticals publication, which suggests that myrcene may facilitate the transport of cannabinoids, such as THC, to the brain.
Additionally, it’s believed that this terpene may facilitate absorption of cannabinoids through the skin. However, without concrete scientific background, all of this remains a theory.
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are organic aromatic compounds produced by a variety of plants, including hemp. These compounds give CBD hemp flower its unique smell, flavor, and benefits.
They play a key role in a plant’s survival, attracting pollinators and repelling pests. In CBD hemp flower, terpenes are produced in the same glands that create cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
These compounds aren’t just about providing aroma and flavor. Terpenes play an essential role in enhancing the properties of the hemp plant.
When combined with cannabinoids in the body, a synergy that enhances the therapeutic properties of the cannabis plant may take place.
As of now, scientists have identified over 200 terpenes in hemp, each with its own potential effects and benefits.
Want to know more about hemp terpenes? Check out our in-depth guide on hemp terpenes that will help you choose the right strain based on the terpene profile.
Myrcene Benefits and Uses
Animal studies show that this terpene offers a wide array of medicinal benefits. It presents potential anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and may help with sleep.
Here are some of the most common benefits of myrcene:
May Help With Sleep
Myrcene is often associated with promoting sleep and relaxation.
Several studies state that myrcene is likely most responsible for the sedative effects of many plants and herbs.
In a study performed on mice, myrcene helped increase sleep duration by 2.6 times .
While research on humans is needed, this is why CBD flower strains with myrcene are recommended for sleep. The potential sedative effects of this terpene may help many CBD flower users to ease into a good night’s sleep.
May Help With Pain
Throughout history, myrcene has been used as a painkiller.
Mycerne’s namesake, Myrcia Sphaerocarpa, is a medicinal shrub traditionally used in Brazil to treat diabetes, hypertension, diarrhea, and dysentery. Traditional Brazilian medicine also has a long history of use of lemongrass tea to ease pain and discomfort.
A 1990 study published in Brazil has the first published claim for myrcene as a potential painkiller. The researchers concluded that this terpene reduced pain by enhancing the body’s opioid-like compounds within the brain and spinal cord. Since then, this claim has been debated and we need more research on humans to validate it .
May Reduce Inflammation
A number of studies have looked into the anti-inflammatory effects of myrcene, mostly on animals.
One particular study used the myrcene of the essential oil of Porophyllum Ruderale, a Mexican plant where myrcene is the main monoterpene.
The essential oil was given orally to mice suffering from inflammation on the lining of the lungs, also called pleurisy, together with limonene. This resulted in myrcene showing immunoregulatory activity .
Myrcene and the Entourage Effect
The entourage effect is a theory first proposed by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, and it suggests that the natural compounds in hemp engage in numerous possible synergistic interactions .
Due to the potential synergy and benefits between terpenes and cannabinoids, extracts or products containing the full hemp flower spectrum are seen as far more beneficial than isolates.
This theory highlights the significant role myrcene may play in the overall effects of CBD flower.
It also strengthens a common belief among CBD flower users, which is that the greatest benefits are derived from clean, locally cultivated, and meticulously processed whole-plant hemp products. CBD hemp flower is the embodiment of this.
Foods and Herbs Naturally Rich in Myrcene
Terpenes are not exclusively found in the hemp plant. They also naturally occur in the essential oils of many plants, where they serve as defense and for pollination.
Here is a list of plants and herbs that contain myrcene:
- Bay leaves
- Wild thyme
- Tropical fruits
How Common is Myrcene in CBD Flower?
Myrcene is the most common terpene found in CBD hemp flower.
The CBD flower resin is rich in monoterpenes, including myrcene, pinene, linalool, and limonene. Myrcene is the most abundant of them all.
This terpene is present in almost every CBD flower strain on the market. It can represent anywhere from 20% to 60% of a strain’s total terpene content.
Therefore, myrcene is considered the most dominant terpene in CBD flower strains. This means that it’s present in the highest levels compared to other terpenes.
If you choose a random CBD flower strain, you’ll find that it’s dominant in myrcene almost 50% of the time.
CBD Hemp Flower Strains High in Myrcene
Myrcene is the most dominant terpene in cannabis, so it’s easy to pick a strain that has it in abundance.
Here are our premium CBD hemp flower strains rich in myrcene:
In case you didn’t notice, we have to talk about the Afghani Maple CBD flower strain. This exotic CBD flower contains an incredible 1.9% (you read that right!) of the terpene myrcene. It’s a delicious, sweet-tasting kush-type of CBD strain that’s perfect for evening unwinding.
Labeled as an “indica” this strain will enhance your physical comfort and bring you relief and relaxation before hitting the pillow.
Sour Space Candy CBD Pre-rolls also offer a dominant terpene profile with .21% myrcene.
The high levels of myrcene in this strain are perfect for alleviating pain, inflammation, and anxiety, as well as entering a relaxing state.
The CBD flower strains on this list don’t contain more than .3% THC and are non-intoxicating.
Will Myrcene Make You Sleepy?
Some research suggests that chemotypes high in this terpene (over 0.5%) will result in a “couch lock” effect. On the other hand, chemotypes with less than 0.3% myrcene could produce a more energetic intoxication .
This means that the amount of myrcene in a certain strain would dictate the effects of that strain, not its presence. Keep in mind that myrcene’s levels in a strain don’t set its potential effects in stone because there are other terpenes present in the flower’s profile.
Traditionally, herbs containing myrcene were used as a sleep aid. In Mexico, lemongrass, rich in myrcene, was infused in tea and used to relax the muscles and sedate the body .
In rodents, high doses of myrcene may act as a muscle relaxant. When given in combination with narcotics, this terpene could increase the amount of time rodents spent asleep .
With that said, there aren’t any controlled studies that confirm the effects of myrcene on sleep. Also, animal studies should be taken with a grain of salt as they often don’t translate to humans. Therefore, we need more research before we can talk about myrcene’s sedative effects with absolute certainty.
Indica vs. Sativa CBD Flower: Myrcene Levels
You might have heard that a strain is labeled “indica” if it has higher levels of myrcene and “sativa” if it contains lower levels. Indica strains are known as more relaxing, while sativa strains are the energizing type.
While there might be some truth in classifying CBD flower strains based on their myrcene content, this still remains unreliable. CBD flower contains a range of terpenes and terpenoids, which together create its signature features.
If you’ve been consuming CBD flower long enough, you know that although there might be some similarities between strains, there’s no clear difference between indica and sativa.
Also, CBD flower strains tend to have similar myrcene levels, regardless if they are “indicas” or “sativas.” And let’s not forget that everyone reacts differently to a CBD flower strain. Therefore, a myrcene-rich strain may produce relaxing effects in one person and an energizing effect in another.
Potential Side Effects of Myrcene
While myrcene is generally considered safe, there can be potential side effects, especially when consumed in large amounts.
Myrcene’s potential side effects include:
- Enhanced sedation: The most commonly noted side effect is sedation or drowsiness. This could potentially interfere with the person’s motor skills or cognitive function, especially if combined with other sedating substances.
- Allergic reaction: As with any compound, some individuals may have an allergic reaction to myrcene. Symptoms can include skin rash, hives, itching, and swelling.
- Gastrointestinal issues: High concentrations of myrcene may cause gastrointestinal upset, leading to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
The FDA considers this terpene “a food additive permitted for direct addition to food for human consumption.”