An introduction to terpenes
Whether you know it or not, you’ve been ingesting terpenes your whole life. To put simply, terpenes are the organic compounds and essential oils found in cannabis which are most commonly known to be responsible for their aromas and flavors.
There are over 200 terpenes identified in cannabis, which many of them could be linked to a host of other plants, herbs and fruits around the world. Interestingly enough, each of these terpenes interacts with other compounds present in Cannabis such as THC and CBD in a different manner to create the entourage effect. As a result, influencing how the plant interacts with your body leading to various therapeutic results. Who knew you could go shopping for pot with your nose to tell you what each strain would do to you?
The most comprehensive overview of the medical use of the most studied cannabis-derived terpenes can be found in Ethan Russo’s “Taming THC” article.
Chapter One: Myrcene – the “couch lock” terpene
Myrcene (also known as β-myrcene or “beta-myrcene”), is the most prevalent terpene and is found in most varieties of cannabis. Cannabis can be bread to contain 97% of their monoterpenoid content as myrcene.
Myrcene is also found in many foods and spices such as orange juice, hops, Myrcia, Verbena, Houttuynia, West Indian bay tree, ginger, black pepper, mango, cardamom, ylang-ylang, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, parsley, and thyme.
Its aroma has been described as similar to cardamom or cloves.
The medical effects of myrcene are many and varied. Myrcene blocks inflammation, pain, aids in sleep and relaxation. It prevents liver cancer. It slows bacterial growth. It suppresses muscles spasms.
Myrcene is currently being investigated as a treatment for diabetes, pain, insomnia and cancer.
Strains known for their high myrcene content are: White Widow, Pink Kush, Granddaddy Purple, Amnesia, Ice Wreck, Phantom OG, Afghani, Bubble Gum, El Nino, Himalayan Gold
For more information on Myrcene, please check out these links: