Dear Nurse Olga,
I am reading more and more that terpenes play a bigger role in cannabis then previously known. One that I’m most curious about is Myrcene. What is this one beneficial for?
Just like any other medication, you will find that cannabis will work best for you after you’ve educated yourself a bit about what’s in it and how it works. Good for you for staying curious!
The major components of cannabis that affect how it makes you feel are cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, CBG, and terpenes. Terpenes are the oils in the cannabis plant that give each strain it’s unique scent, effect, and medicinal properties.
One of the most abundant (and important) terpenes in cannabis is myrcene. This terpene can enhance all the other terpenes by making the blood-brain barrier easier to penetrate, which makes it easier for all the cannabinoids and terpenes in your cannabis to reach your brain.
Myrcene is a pain killer, antibiotic, and antimutagenic (prevents gene mutations in cells). β-myrcene acts to prevent gastric and duodenal ulcers from forming, and may be helpful in preventing peptic ulcer disease. Myrcene is also an antioxidant and an antiseptic, helping to manage pain along with relaxing muscles and reducing inflammation. Myrcene in high doses can reduce anxiety and cure insomnia.
Like many terpenes, myrcene is not only found in cannabis. There are several plants that have myrcene in their extracts, such as bay, mango, wild thyme, parsley, cardamom, and hops, and ingesting myrcene from multiple sources can really enhance your experience. For example, mangoes are high in myrcene and are known for enhancing the effects of cannabis.
How does this help you at the dispensary? Just as reading food labels at the grocery store can help you limit the amount of fat, sugar, and cholesterol in your diet by making it easy for you to compare one food item with another, reading the “labels” on the terpene profiles will allow you to customize each high to suit your unique needs. Already knowing if you want a relaxing indica for evenings or a stimulating sativa for the workday is a good start, and knowing the effects of the terpenes listed in each profile will give you an idea of how it will affect you. For example, if you are having trouble sleeping, you might want to look for something that has very high numbers in myrcene.
Olga Hall has been a registered nurse for 15 years in many different settings. When she started seeing more and more patients coming into the emergency room after overdosing on prescribed narcotics, she began researching the benefits of cannabis for pain management. Olga’s goal is to help end the suffering she has seen first hand by teaching others how to integrate cannabis into their lives.