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Terpene Guide: What Is Myrcene & How Does It Show Up in Cannabis?

The more you become familiar with the common terpenes found in cannabis, the more you begin to see patterns between terpene names and where they fall in the spectrum of aromas in nature and the products we use everyday. For instance, limonene terpenes, it should come as no surprise, are present in citrus and orange peel. Similarly, pinene is most present in, well, pine needles and evergreen trees! 

Where terpenes become a little trickier to match the name with their aromatic counterpart is in the case of caryophyllene, terpinolene, and myrcene, all of which appear in an interesting array of plants in addition to some highly popular cannabis strains. Read on to find out more about myrcene terpenes and how they appear in both nature and the cannabis industry.

What is Myrcene?

Like limonene, myrcene terpenes (β-myrcene) are monoterpenes with two isoprene units and a chain-like molecular structure. And interestingly, when myrcene undergoes photo-oxidation, a chemical process that breaks down polymer chains, it creates a novel terpene known as “hashishene” which is found in abundance in hashish.

Myrcene terpenes also appear in a number of other plants like hops, basil, even mango, and has a long list of everyday uses that make it a highly versatile terpene to use as a flavor additive in foods and beverages. 

Myrcene also happens to be one of the most common terpenes found in commercial cannabis, appearing in almost 40% of all commercial strains, according to the cultivators at Ethos. Odds are if you’ve ever purchased cannabis from a dispensary, you’ve come across myrcene terpenes in one or two strains.

Myrcene Uses in Everyday Life

Due to the fact that myrcene terpenes have such a versatile aroma and flavor profile, it is often used as an intermediate in perfumes, flavor, and fragrance chemicals. It’s not uncommon for this terpene to appear in things that taste or smell like citrus, peach, watermelon, pineapple, menthol, and lavender when converted to myrcenol. 

Other notable myrcene uses include bug repellent and supplying some types of beer with a balsam or peppery flavor and smell. It’s evident that myrcene shows up in many different ways in our everyday lives and the products in our medicine cabinets and pantries, but in cannabis, myrcene use is perhaps even more prevalent.

Where is Myrcene Found in Cannabis?

As myrcene terpenes appear in nearly 40% of all commercial cannabis it also tends to be the dominant terpene in many strains, appearing most commonly alongside limonene and beta-caryophyllene terpenes. Due to this commonality, some misconceptions have developed around the correlation between myrcene content and strain effects. Specifically, the belief goes that strains containing more than .5% myrcene by weight tend to have indica-like effects while strains with less than .5% myrcene create a sativa-like high.

While dispensaries still recognize indica vs sativa as means to categorize cannabis, this belief about strains with high myrcene creating indica-like effects has largely been disproven. When examining the myrcene content of sativa, indica, and hybrid strains, it becomes clear that myrcene levels typically do not correspond with a strains designation, as Leafly investigated in-depth. In fact, it appears the opposite is true.

So where did this belief come from, exactly? Leafly reports that the myrcene myth might have something to do with the origin of myrcene uses in herbal and folk medicine. In Germany, for example, myrcene-rich hops are used as a traditional sleep-aid while lemongrass tea is often used in Mexico as a sedative. It’s no wonder that today, in the cannabis industry, myrcene-dominant strains have been attributed to feelings of serenity and relaxation. 

Strains with High Myrcene

Although there’s no clinical evidence to prove strains with high myrcene cause indica-like effects, there is some evidence to suggest that myrcene-dominant strains could provide some level of neuropathic pain relief.

For pain phenomena like hypernociception, a condition in which individuals have an exaggerated pain response to normal stimuli, the neuroprotective and oxidative qualities of myrcene terpenes have shown some promise in pain mitigation. For those interested in cannabis with pain relief capabilities, look no further than these myrcene-dominant strains:

  • 9 Pound Hammer
  • Banana Kush
  • Blue Dream
  • Girl Scout Cookies
  • Harlequin
  • Mango Kush
  • OG Kush
  • Pure Kush
  • Tangie
  • Thin Mint Cookies

While these are just some of the many many myrcene-dominant strains on the market, trying any one of these strains will give you a good idea of the way myrcene makes you feel. While consuming myrcene at low levels in cannabis has been shown to have some health benefits, it’s important to keep in mind that essential oils tend to have a higher concentration of chemicals and could cause negative side effects. Make sure to consult a doctor before using an essential oil for aromatherapy or topical purposes. And, of course, consult a budtender at your local dispensary if you want to hear more about strains with high myrcene.

Why Is Cannabolish So Effective Against Cannabis Odor?

Learning about terpenes is a fantastic way to branch out and try different strains for the first time, but they’re also the primary source of the unique stink of cannabis. Once you’ve found some of your favorite strains, you can keep odors at bay safely and effectively with Cannabolish.

We developed Cannabolish Odor Removing Spray and Candles with the power of plant oils and natural ingredients to fight odors from cannabis before, after, and even during your next session. Simply set an Odor Absorbing Candle in a discrete location in the room and allow the fresh essence to get rid of odors from your favorite, limonene-dominant strains.Spray Cannabolish in closets and on fabrics to eliminate cannabis odor locked in garment fibers, or take Cannabolish on the go to eliminate odors in your car. Cannabolish is versatile, discrete, and effective against the odor profile of every strain.


Keep Reading:


Best Terpene for Focused-Related Activities 

Terpene Guide: What is Terpinolene? 

Terpene Guide: What is Caryophyllene? 

Terpene Guide: What is Pinene? 


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