CBD + Myrcene

Myrcene, one of the most common terpenes in cannabis, produces earthy, balsamic, spicy, and clove-like odors. According to a 1997 study in Switzerland, it is the most abundant terpene in cannabis, sometimes composing up to 50 percent of the terpene volume in a cannabis plant. More important, myrcene has been found to be a precursor to many other terpenes in cannabis, meaning it helps form them.

It is found in more plants than simply marijuana, however. Myrcene is also produced in high amounts in mangos, basil, hops, lemon grass, and other plants. The amount of myrcene in a particular sample of cannabis determines if the plant will exhibit an indica or sativa effect.

Steep Hill Labs reports that marijuana samples with more than 0.5 percent myrcene will be indica, while those with less than 0.5 percent will be sativa. Myrcene is a constituent element of menthol and citronella and is arguably the most cited terpene.

The myrcene terpene offers many therapeutic effects, including relaxing muscles and killing pain. It is also an anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory. Like another terpene, limonene, myrcene has an effect on the permeability of cell membranes, meaning it can act as a regulator of other terpenes and cannabinoids, enhancing or buffering their effects (very similar to how CBD modulates the efficacy of THC).

Myrcene also possesses antimicrobial, antiseptic, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogen effects. Because it helps some other cannabinoids and terpenes pass through cell membranes, it allows more THC to reach brain cells, thus increasing the potency of cannabis. It’s the perfect example of the entourage effect in which both terpenes and cannabinoids work together synergistically to produce or enhance a particular therapeutic effect that could not be obtained from a single cannabinoid or terpene alone.

This powerful terpene also has been shown to slow bacterial growth, inhibit cell mutation (one of its roles in fighting cancer), suppress muscle spasms (making it a powerful tool in the fight against epilepsy and dystonia), and is even helpful for those suffering from psychosis because of its tranquilizing effect.