Do you feel mellow after taking CBD? Even if you a CBD oil that doesn’t have any THC in it, you can experience the ‘couch lock’ phenomenon. Many people think that the lazy feeling comes from the sedative effects of cannabidiol (CBD).
But, the truth is, CBD shows no sedative effects. According to science, it’s quite the contrary, CBD can help reduce the THC-associated ‘hangover.’
While pure CBD is not sedating, some hemp-CBD oil and hemp chemovars display sedation caused by nothing else but high concentrations of the monoterpenoid known as myrcene.
What is Myrcene?
Before answering ‘what is myrcene,’ let’s take a look at terpenes.
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds in cannabis that give the plant its unique smell, and unique benefits. According to research, terpenes play an important role in enhancing the properties of the cannabis plant.
Some terpenoids have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that work in synergy with cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, producing better effects that couldn’t be experienced if each compound worked in isolation.
Myrcene (β-myrcene) is a monoterpenoid that displays prominent narcotic-like profile, which gives the user those “sedative” effects.
This terpene is also considered as one of the ten primary terpenes found in cannabis. Myrcene offers the most recognizable “earthy” smell that features musky notes with a hint of spice.
Myrcene Benefits and Uses
Science shows that this terpene offers a wide array of medicinal benefits. This terpenoid has potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and helps with sleep, according to studies.
The terpene showed great effects when paired with both CBD and THC. When paired with CBD, myrcene reduced pain, decreased inflammation.
On the other hand, when paired with THC, the terpene reduced pain and showed sedative properties. Here are some of the most common benefits and uses of myrcene:
Myrcene Helps With Sleep
As we’ve mentioned, the sedative effects of myrcene are what makes you sleepy. Good news for millions of people struggling with insomnia, myrcene is a naturally-derived remedy for falling and staying asleep.
In a study performed on mice, myrcene helped increase sleep duration by 2.6 times.
According to Dr. Ethan Russo,
“Almost every clinical study that’s looked at cannabis-based medicines has shown an improvement in sleep… to say otherwise would be to be staring in a deep hole—a deep hole of ignorance.”
To avoid taking too much cannabis and experiencing the negative side-effects, try hemp flowers with .3% THC and medium amounts of terpenes, just enough to help you sleep.
Myrcene As A Pain Killer
Throughout history, myrcene has been used as a pain-killer. Mycerne’s namesake, Myrcia Sphaerocarpa, is a medicinal shrub traditionally used in Brazil to treat diabetes, hypertension, diarrhea, and dysentery.
There are several studies that show the analgesic effects of myrcene, which is why this compound is recommended to people with migraines, headaches, chronic pain, and arthritis.
It is interesting that some of the studies performed on mice showed better results when myrcene was working within a complex together with other terpenes, compared to as a single molecule.
One study performed on mice showed that injections of myrcene significantly inhibited pain perception in both peripheral and Central Nervous System (CNS).
Myrcene shows anti-inflammatory properties
A number of studies have looked into the anti-inflammatory effects of myrcene.
One particular study used the myrcene of the essential oil of Porophyllum Ruderale, a Mexican plant where myrcene is the main monoterpene.
The oil was given orally to mice suffering from inflammation of the lungs lining, also called pleurisy, resulting in myrcene showing immunoregulatory activity.
The compound inhibited mobilization of cells which are typically overproduced during inflammation, such as nitric oxide
Myrcene shows antimutagenic effects
According to a study, myrcene showed antimutagenic properties.
This means that this compound naturally reduced the toxic and mutagenic effects of chemotherapy and reduced the creation of sister chromatid exchange, which is considered a potential marker for cancer.
Foods and Herbs Naturally Rich in Myrcene
Terpenes are not exclusively found in cannabis. They are also naturally found in many plants for defense purposes as well as pollination.
Myrcene also has a tropical taste to it, as it is present in high concentrations in mangoes. This terpene also gives the signature flavor to various plants including:
- Bay leaves
- Wild thyme
- Other tropical fruits
Anecdotal evidence suggests that eating mango before consuming cannabis can cause a longer-lasting ‘high’ because this fruit has a high concentration of myrcene.
Consequently, it is believed that the reason behind the mango effect is the natural synergy between myrcene and THC, causing cannabinoids to bridge the blood-brain barrier more easily.
But, although mangoes may contain high levels of myrcene these levels may not be enough to achieve the effect. There is also the fact that each cannabis strain doesn’t contain exact levels of myrcene.
Myrcene in Hemp
When talking about myrcene in hemp, generally speaking, we are talking about myrcene found in Cannabis sativa.
However, there is a study that suggested that hemp was more closely clustered with indica than sativa.
Another study suggests that many scientists potentiate three cannabis species of which sativa as the marijuana type, indica as the hemp type and ruderalis as the wild type.
Anyhow, the majority of studies suggested that myrcene plays a role in determining whether a strain is indica or sativa. It was found that if the plant had more than .5% myrcene was classified as indica, while with less than .5% was sativa.
Hemp strains that contain high levels of myrcene are considered more “sedative” and are identified as indica plants.
One study found that the main difference between terpene profiles on different sativa and indica strains was the dominance of myrcene content in ‘mostly indica’ strains.
The hemp resin is rich in cannabinoids as well as monoterpenes, including myrcene.
Since each strain has a different percentage of terpenes and the pharmaceutical properties of different strains are a result of interactions between cannabinoids and terpenes, it is important to identify the strains that have the best terpene profiles.
Hemp Strains High In Myrcene
Although myrcene is one of the most dominant terpenes in cannabis, it is easy to pick a strain that will have it in abundance.
Some strains have higher levels of myrcene that will make you more relaxed or help you with pain, sleeping, and anxiety.
The strain Sour Space Candy offers a dominant terpene profile with .36% 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 strain doesn’t contain more than .3% THC and is non-intoxicating.
The other strain on our list is Elektra, a hybrid mix between ACDS and ERB.
The strain presents a strong terpene profile with .34% myrcene. Elektra CBD hemp flower offers high resin content and terpene profile which is perfect for making the most of the flower’s bioavailability rates.
Are There Potential Side Effects?
Although the potential side-effects of myrcene are not entirely investigated, so far, there haven’t been reported serious side-effects of their use.
Remember that myrcene has a soothing effect, and if used in higher dosage, it may affect your behavior, aka make you lazier. Other than that, the FDA considers this terpene “a food additive permitted for direct addiction to food for human consumption.”