One of the most common terpenes found in cannabis is myrcene. Because it is so commonly found, it is considered one of the ten primary terpenes. Myrcene is a monoterpene, which means that it has one of the simplest chemical structures of any aroma molecule. This then allows it to act as a fundamental building block for other more complex terpenes. Other examples of monoterpenes are; limonene, pinene, and linalool. According to Leafly, myrcene represents over 20% of the terpene profile in modern commercial strains, although individual samples vary widely in their terpene content. Its been thought that strains containing more than 0.5% Myrcene are more likely to induce sedative effects thus easily attributing higher Myrcene levels to indicas, but more recent data has shown flower products typically had similar, if not equal myrcene levels across indicas, hybrids, and sativas.
Another myth that tends to be associated with Myrcene is the mango myth...a theory that eating a ripe mango prior to consuming cannabis can significantly enhance your high because of its high myrcene content. It may be that mangos do in some way improve your high, but it’s not going to be from myrcene. One big red flag to this theory is the amount of myrcene. There is about a 23 fold difference in the amounts found in cannabis and mangos, so eating one, at a low amount of myrcene isn't likely to affect the larger amount found in our flower.
Myrcene has a long history of being used as a sleep aid in folk medicine. Some other health benefits include easing the symptoms of chronic pain and inflammation. Terpenes help cannabinoids in absorbing into the blood brain barrier, binding to receptors in the endocannabinoid system, this helps encourage analgesic responses. While researchers are starting to study that response more, most current data comes from research with animals.
Famous cannabis strains high in the myrcene terpene have historically represented well-known indica and hybrid varieties. Myrcene is particularly prominent in the following strains that are derived from OG Kush:
Many myrcene strains are known for producing joyful and euphoric effects, in addition to an overall feeling of relaxation. Myrcene, with all of its incredible potential, is one of many terpenes that when studied together, may be the key to the future of cannabis medicine.