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Myrcene (pronounced “mur-seen”)

June 20, 2022

We asked our plant scientist to share some knowledge about the often unsung heroes of our favorite plant and what contributes to your experience when you light up your bong or pre-rolls. We are, of course, talking about terpenes. Terpenes are organic compounds produced predominantly in plants that are responsible for our plant friends’ aromas, flavors, and even colors. Terpenes have lived in the shadows of the more popular and well-known cannabinoids THC and CBD. Though THC and CBD get the lion’s share of attention for their psychoactive and therapeutic properties, terpenes offer their own benefits and are becoming a focal point in cannabis research and education for consumers as the industry matures.

Myrcene, or β-myrcene, is one of the most pivotal and widely-recognized terpenes in cannabis strains today. In addition to cannabis, Myrcene can be found in basil, mangos, lemongrass, hops, cloves, and a host of other plants. Myrcene is a cannabinoid and terpene modulator — an organic chemical that can enhance the properties of other cannabis compounds. It does this through its ability to permeate cells and increase the uptake of the other compounds into the human body.

Myrcene is known to have calming, pain-fighting, and sedative properties. Many cannabis connoisseurs associate Myrcene with heavy Indica dominant strains and immediately think of “couch lock,” a slang term for being too sedated to function or get up off the couch. While this might be a shared experience, it’s not Myrcene alone that causes couch lock. Couch lock is the result of the combination of THC and Myrcene interacting with your body’s chemistry simultaneously. The Myrcene is essentially enhancing the effects of the THC, which is the psychoactive component of the strain. This is an excellent example of “the entourage effect”— when a set of cannabinoids and terpenes co-exist in a strain and enhance each other, offering combined benefits and effects not available when the compounds occur in isolation.

Myrcene can also be found in uplifting strains such as our Lemon Sour Diesel–a popular legacy strain that is known for its uplifting and heady high qualities. Myrcene is the dominant terpene in our Lemon Sour Diesel, but the secondary and tertiary terpenes in this strain are a-Pinene and D-Limonene. Here Myrcene, in concert with a-Pinene, D-Limonene, and high levels of THC in this Sativa dominant strain, produces an uplifting and energized experience, which is quite the opposite of couch lock. And, Myrcene is also found in high quantities within our Peanut Butter Soufflé strain, which has a more balanced high with a euphoric start and a mellow and relaxed finish. This strain’s secondary and tertiary terpenes are Caryophyllene and Linalool, respectively.

In high amounts, with the appropriate complimentary terpenes, Myrcene enhances the prevailing sensation and the effects of other compounds present within the strain and produces different results — varying from uplifting to sedating. At LAKE GRADE, we are all about education when it comes to cannabis and our customers. We recommend you do your own research and experiment, trying different strains on for size to find out what works best for you and your canna goals. Our house rule is to start slow, see how your body reacts to the strain, and increase the dose once you’ve acclimated to its effects. If you are new to cannabis, one or two puffs of our Pre-Rolls is the perfect amount to see how your body responds. After a while, you can work up to half and then a full Pre-Roll. Whatever strain you decide to go with, you can be sure that Myrcene will be in the mix, offering all of its therapeutic benefits.

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