What the heck are terpenes?
Terpenes, as you may or may not be aware, are a vital component of the cannabis plant. They play a part in enhancing the effects of the cannabinoids in the plant – THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
In a sense, terpenes help other chemicals within the plant to work together – the entourage effect.
Terpenes are produced in almost every plant and act as a line of defence against disease. They are especially common in marijuana. But, they also have some benefits of their own and can add their own unique “brand” to a cannabis strain through flavour, taste and smell.
One of the most common terpenes within cannabis is Myrcene.
What is Myrcene?
Myrcene, sometimes called beta myrcene is a terpene and a component of a number of plants and even fruits. You may be surprised to learn that this terpene is found in plants such as lemongrass, basil, thyme, and hops – where it adds that balsam fragrance to your beer. So there’s a high likelihood you’ve experience myrcene in some way or another.
But, of course, myrcene is also found in the cannabis flower.
This common terpene is actually also known to be the sedating agent of the cannabis plant and even the aforementioned hops.
How common is myrcene in cannabis?
It is, in fact, one of the most prominent terpenes contained within cannabis. On average, myrcene will represent over 20% of the terpenes present within the cannabis plant. However, myrcene has been known to comprise up to 65% of the terpene content in specific strains.
Because of this, myrcene is often the most dominant terpene within a specific flower. This is especially true in commercial cannabis, where you might expect to encounter a myrcene-dominant plant almost half the time.
Other terpenes don’t even come close to this figure!
The White Widow, Special Kush 1, and Skunk XL strains all generally contain high levels of myrcene.
How does myrcene impact the taste of cannabis?
Cannabis that has high traces of myrcene are often described as smelling and tasting earthy, musky or even spicy.
Because of its presence in fruits, specifically mangoes, it’s not surprising that some people can also recognize sweet undertones and flavours.
What effect does high levels of myrcene have?
As mentioned, myrcene acts as somewhat of a sedating agent. As such, cannabis plants with high levels of myrcene should be expected to produce a relaxing, calming, or soothing effect.
In fact, myrcene is also associated with herbal remedies for insomnia, with plants such as lemongrass used as a relaxant. Due to its sedative reputation, it’s easy to see why!
So, if your preferred cannabis strain tends to provide a relaxing effect, then it’s likely you’ve had some experience with high-myrcene cannabis.
High-myrcene Cannabis Strains
We’ve already mentioned a few of them, but if you’re eager to try some different strains to help you relax, then perhaps the below will provide a more comprehensive list:
- 9 Pound Hammer
- Blue Dream
- Brooklyn Mango
- OG Kush
- Strawberry Cough
- White Rhino
- White Widow
There’s many more we could add to the list, but you’d be reading for quite some time if we did. But trust us, there’s plenty out there for you to experiment.
High-myrcene flower can be found across indica, sativa and hybrid strains and its common in both THC and CBD strains – so there’s no shortage of cannabis to try!
Indica vs. Sativa Strains
But how do myrcene levels differ in indica and sativa strains?
It’s a good question, and it’s commonly mentioned that you should be able to tell the difference between strains just by knowing their myrcene levels.
However, this isn’t the case. It’s simply not reliable to judge by only the myrcene levels of the plant, for the fact that it’s more likely that both strains (and hybrids) actually share similar amounts of myrcene levels.
Myrcene and its importance…
Because myrcene is one of the most common terpenes in cannabis, whether you’re a novice or an expert, there’s a high likelihood you’ll consume a myrcene-dominant strain sooner or later.
When you do, you’ll likely experience a sedating and relaxing effect. As such, it’s best to reserve your experience with a high-myrcene strain for days where you can be a little lazy and stay on the couch. Or even pick a relaxing evening for it. Otherwise, you may find yourself a little less focused than usual.