Let's start right at the beginning as this is a vast topic which can cover thousands of molecules. Today we are focusing on one of the best-known terpenes - Myrcene. The Cannabis Company has a deep affiliation with Myrcene - it's used as an ingredient in many of our innovative products, including our award-winning gin. If we were playing a favourites game, it's our favourite terpene.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are naturally produced by all plants on earth and are the essential oil that gives each plant its unique scent, flavour and effect. Scientifically speaking terpenes are metabolites and are scented molecules that affect how we feel when applied to the skin, inhaled or consumed.
Their scent is what makes terpenes famous, but they also play an essential part in how we feel when we consume cannabis or even when we eat a piece of fruit. This is because terpenes work in synergy with other botanical compounds and interact with our natural hormones to give us these feelings. Over 20,000 varieties of terpenes can be found in nature; cannabis has 200 naturally-occurring terpenes in different concentrations spread over various cannabis strains.
Who would have thought there is a therapeutic, scientific reason that you get a certain feeling from smelling the pine needles at Christmas time, or smelling lavender oil? It’s not just you - it’s terpenes at work.
How Do Terpenes Work?
Terpenes activate receptors in our body that trigger an appropriate response. These receptors are located all over our body and work on the same system that cannabinoids do - the endocannabinoid system. Cannabis plants are a rich source of terpenes, and certain combinations of terpenes will affect the body in different ways. Limonene can enhance your senses, and Myrcene will ensure you stay high for longer, while Linalool - in the right dose - may relax you.
What is Myrcene?
Myrcene is the most common terpene found in cannabis, but is also present in tropical fruits such as mango, citrus, hops, parsley, basil, lemongrass and thyme. It has a fruity, woody and citrus-like scent, which is partly why we used it in our first gin – we even included Myrcene in its name! Our now world-famous gin is shipped all over the world and won a silver medal at San Francisco world spirit awards, and we’re proud to claim that our unique beverages are at the forefront of terpene developments worldwide - pioneering a different kind of relaxing Friday drink.
Myrcene is the most common terpene found in cannabis, but is also present in mango, citrus, hops and thyme.
What Are the Effects of Myrcene?
Myrcene is regarded as one of the most fascinating and highly sought-after terpenes due to its potent medical benefits. Research shows that it has analgesic (pain-relieving) properties which could be a reason why it's a dominant terpene in indoor medical cannabis crops. Myrcene is known to aid sleep, and most people believe an effect called ‘couch-lock’ - from consuming too much cannabis - is the Myrcene having an impact as this study shows. However, not enough clinical data exists to link Myrcene to being the sleepy terpene right now. Still, Myrcene also possesses other interesting therapeutic properties. Further research into the antioxidant benefits is needed. Nevertheless, studies show promise that Myrcene has powerful antioxidant properties, especially in native lemongrass which is added to our Jilungin Dreaming Hemp Gin as a native Australian botanical.
Myrcene & the Gut
Gut health & repair is a popular topic right now as we learn more and more about the gut being a pivotal component of immunity, mental health and general wellbeing. A study conducted in 2014 has found that Myrcene can contribute to the creation and maintenance of the mucus layer inside your gut. This could potentially help with treating gastric ulcers and other gut problems. We’re hoping for more research in this space!
Interestingly, lemongrass has been used by many ancient cultures to help stop outbreaks of Candida fungus (another gut-based issue), and this is due to its insanely high myrcene content. This treatment is super crucial for cancer patients as they are unable to battle this fungus if they undergo chemotherapy due to the immune system not working at its most helpful. If the body can't control the fungus, then it can get out of control quickly and will have a dangerous side effect of mucositis in the mouth and esophagus.
What Does Myrcene Taste Like?
Myrcene is generally fruity with hints of Geranium & Balsamic. However, Myrcene is unique, and some flavour profiles such as peppery, florally, herbal and lavender are typical in different products and cannabis strains that use Myrcene as an ingredient. In lower amounts, it usually comes out quite florally but can be spicy in high concentrations, so go easy if you are using concentrated Myrcene as a supplement.
What Does the Future of Terpenes Look Like?
As our understanding of plant-based medicine evolves, terpenes and cannabinoids will start to become mainstream. It's possible that in the future we would have access to a vast database of all the natural terpenes and cannabinoids and these can easily be added in any combination to a product or grown in a cannabis strain for consumption. By having a completely customizable approach to products and strains, it allows the end-user to achieve targeted benefits when consuming these products.
Ongoing advancements in health sciences and clinical trials will enable humans to understand more about how terpenes interact with our bodies, the exact mechanisms of action and how best they can be utilised to achieve optimal human health.
What Products Can I Buy That Have Myrcene in Them?
Start with nature! Mangoes are a fantastic and top-rated source of Myrcene that can be bought almost anywhere in Australia. Lemongrass, thyme and basil are excellent choices for herbs and are super flavourful for cooking several dishes.
If you want to receive a therapeutic benefit from Myrcene, then we could recommend you to try our Terpene Tinctures which are more concentrated than a fruit or cannabis plant.
"If you want results get this product, did wonders for my mind and body. The more I look into terpenes the more I'm amazed at what they can do and this product is one of the best. My restless legs and much better and sore shoulder feels like it is healing finally!! Brilliant." - Kelly