Terpenes can be easily described as the essential oils found in the cannabis plant. Fruits and plants naturally produce terpenes, which produce fragrant aroma and act as a nature barrier against disease and pests. Terpenes are known to be responsible for the characteristic aroma and flavor of cannabis and is even the reason why strains may have a complex, unique, and varying scents. New research into terpenes has revealed that terpenes may also have a medicinally beneficial role to play.
With more evidence emerging about the vital role that terpenes have to play in cannabis consumption, let’s take a look at the most abundant terpene naturally found in cannabis, myrcene. Its aroma can be described as earthy, musky, and fruity, similar to cloves and red grapes. In nature, myrcene is found in many places, including mangoes, hops, bay leaves, lemongrass, thyme, and basil.
Myrcene is a known muscle relaxant, and thus very sedating, in fact, strains that contain 0.5% of this terpene are typically indicas. For this reason, myrcene is often associated with the “couch-lock”effect. Simultaneously, myrcene is joyful and euphoric, making it a good aid for relaxation and stress reduction. Insomnia sufferers may find the sedative nature of myrcene allows them to find rest. In addition, myrcene is also anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antimutagenic, and an analgesic, which makes it a powerful healer. Myrcene is also a powerful pain aid, as it functions to cause sedation and muscle relaxation.
There is evidence to suggest that eating a mango about 45 minutes before consuming cannabis products will lead to a faster onset and stronger effect. This is due to the fact that mangoes contain high concentrations of myrcene, which allows more cannabinoids to cross the blood-brain barrier.