Myrcene Is The Most Abundant Terpene Found In Cannabis
Terpenes work with other cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, creating a union of compounds that achieve better results as a group than they would in isolation – an outcome known as “The Entourage Effect”. Used in high concentrations such as this, terpenes are an increasingly sought-after commodity due to their therapeutic value in dietary health and wellness supplements. When cannabis is utilised for its health-giving properties, it works best as a whole plant therapy featuring more than just isolated cannabinoids. This is why we’ve carefully crafted this gin using select elements from the hurd, bast and seed of the cannabis plant to produce the moulin and brou used in our distillation.
Also found in hops, Myrcene is known to compose up to 50% of the total terpene content found in individual strains of cannabis, with Myrcene strains reputed to produce joyful and euphoric effects alongside an overall feeling of relaxation. Myrcene is perhaps the most highly-valued terpene due to its ability to ease symptoms of chronic pain and inflammation.
Why Mix Gin With Cannabis?
Our decision to select gin as the perfect spirit to distil using cannabis was strongly influenced by an early 17th century gin-making practice. Back in the day there was an explosion in the spirit’s popularity as a result of newly liberal laws around unlicensed gin production in Britain.
Small distillers began producing gin in residential houses, flavouring their creations with terpenes obtained from the forest by distilling the resin – primarily from pines. We may be the first gin makers in history to utilise cannabis terpenes in the distillation process, but we still like to imagine olde time English dames chucking a few dank buds into the tank when they whipped up a fresh batch of “Mother’s Ruin”! Whereas these early pioneers used primitive pot stills and added terpenes to mask crudely-produced spirits, we use column stills to craft a lighter more refined gin, adding myrcene for its joyful sense of euphoria alongside its relaxation-inducing qualities.
While the Dutch are infamous for their progressive view towards marijuana, they’re less widely known as creators of one of the world’s most popular spirits. Whereas humans had already been using cannabis recreationally and medically for over 12,000 years, the history of gin dates back to the 13th century, when Northern European distillers began adding herbs to malt wine. Juniper became a central element of this new drink, with the juniper berry prized for its medicinal effects. The English word for gin was adopted from a shortening of the spirit’s original name: jenever, from the Latin Juniperus. Indeed, “Dutch courage” (a popular term for alcohol-induced bravery) was reportedly coined by English soldiers during the 80 Years War of 1568–1648, when they would drink jenever (gin) to calm their nerves before battle*.
*The Cannabis Company does not recommend drinking this gin before battle.
Myrcene is known as an anti-bacterial, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-insomniatic, anti-proliferative, antipsychotic, and anti-spasmodic. Cannabinoids have been demonstrated to absorb more efficiently into the blood-brain barrier when terpenes are present, allowing them to bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This is usually experienced as an analgesic response – in other words, myrcene is a painkiller which destroys harmful bacteria, lowers glucose levels in your blood and reduces swelling; a great outcome for those who suffer from auto-immune conditions. Although further research is needed, it appears that Myrcene may reduce the spread of cancer cells, especially when paired with CBD, which naturally suppresses the proliferation of excessive cells and helps reduce the size of tumours. Myrcene is likewise reputed to contribute to improved mental health and help with IBS.
With gin & cannabis both known for having strong olfactory identities, a further commonality between both is their medicinal use. Interestingly, just like cannabis, Juniper berries are valued for their anti-inflammatory properties, ideal for relieving pain due to rheumatism and arthritis. The Greeks used the berries in many of their Olympic events because of a belief that the berries increased physical stamina in athletes, while juniper berries were also used in traditional medicine for female birth control*. By the mid-17th century, Dutch and Flemish pharmacies sold gin made with juniper, anise and coriander – all of which are used in the distillation of The Myrcene Hemp Gin. These old-school pharmaceutical gins were used to treat medical problems such as lumbago, kidney stones and gout – just like cannabis in Ancient China.
*In our experience, imbibing this gin leads to an increased likelihood of participation in activities requiring the use of birth control methods.
Myrcene & Juniper: A Match Made In Melbourne
While the history of gin spans the globe, a final fascinating piece of the puzzle brings it all back home. Australia’s dark colonial past meant that quinine (the primary constituent of tonic water) was an essential medicine in former times. With 10% of hospital admissions in Darwin being due to malaria by 1899, quinine was widely employed as the only effective anti-malarial compound available. A common practice in tropical British colonies was to soften quinine’s bitter flavour by adding gin. Australia today has thankfully outgrown many of its more negative colonial echoes, but it still retains one old habit which has now gone global: taking the edge off the mozzies with a cool gin & tonic.
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