Terpene Isolates 101: Myrcene
Updated: Feb 21, 2020
If you’re just getting started with terpenes, odds are you’re wondering how each isolate can be used. Terpene isolates can be used in hemp, CBD, and cannabis products as well as concentrates, vapes, and even in foods, beverages, and aromatherapy infusions. This week, we’re diving deeper into one of the most abundantly found terpene isolates in cannabis: Myrcene.
Myrcene Isolate Terpenes
Myrcene is most often found in fragrant herbs and plants like hops, mangoes, cannabis, bay leaves, thyme, basil, and lemongrass. Myrcene isolate adds a peppery, spicy, balsam fragrance to plants that have high concentrations of it, like the hops used to make beer. Myrcene is pungent and robust and offers a ripe, earthy flavor profile that’s reminiscent of fermented fruits. In some cases, it’s musky and slightly metallic.
This terpene is most commonly responsible for a gentle sedative effect that leaves users feeling relaxed, sleepy, and mentally uplifted. It’s been used for hundreds of years as a sleep-aid and muscle relaxer though some ancient cultures have used plants high in Myrcene as anti-depressants. We’ll dive deeper into that in the next section.
In cannabis plants, Myrcene is commonly found to be the most abundant terpene found in the flowers themselves. In fact, Myrcene often represents 20%-40% of all terpene content in modern commercial strains like OG Kush and Blue Dream. Myrcene is usually the dominant terpene in cannabis flowers, too. If you picked a few random strains from the shelf at your favorite dispensary, you could expect that strain to be Myrcene dominant 40% of the time.
Benefits of Myrcene Terpene Isolate
Myrcene offers a variety of its own health benefits and effects. Studies have shown that Myrcene has anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving properties that soothe symptoms of chronic conditions like arthritis. Some studies conducted on myrcene isolate has shown its antibiotic and anti-mutagenic properties. Anecdotal evidence also suggests it’s usefulness as a light sedative that can help insomniacs and people with anxiety disorders to relax, fall asleep, and stay asleep.
The first study solidifying Myrcene’s usefulness as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory was published in 1990 by Brazillian scientists. The study concluded that Myrcene affects our nervous systems and reduces pain by increasing the amount of naturally produced opioid chemicals produced in our brains and spinal cords.
Plants high in Myrcene (like lemongrass and hops) have been used as a sleep-aid in traditional folk medicine for hundreds of years. In Mexico, lemongrass teas have also been used as sedatives and muscle relaxers. In Germany, the hops used in German beers have been used as an effective sleep aid.
Studies have shown that Myrcene’s anti-mutagenic properties can block the cancer-causing effects of aflatoxins produced by funguses that make their way into our food supply. Myrcene can actually inhibit the production of a liver enzyme that can speed up aflatoxin’s ability to damage our DNA. Myrcene goes even further by protecting against DNA damage caused by similar toxins, like a few other similar terpenes.
Best of all, myrcene terpenes are naturally synergistic with THC, making them a great addition to cannabis products. They can increase the effectiveness of cannabinoids like THC and CBD in a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. Cannabinoids and terpenes work together and allow cannabinoids to be absorbed through the blood-brain barrier more easily. This effect can both accentuate and extend a THC high.
Natural Sources of Myrcene Isolate
TLDR; Myrcene Benefits
Effective for managing anxiety
Effective for managing insomnia
Effective for managing
May treat psychosis
May treat dystonia
May treat epilepsy
May treat Parkinson's
May treat PTSD
May treat Fibromyalgia
May treat depression
May treat hyperactivity (like ADD/ADHD)
Suppresses muscle spasms
Regulator (Makes THC and other cannabinoids more or less effective by affecting the permeability of cell membranes)
Common Uses for Myrcene Isolate
Myrcene terpenes can be safely added to all sorts of products to encourage sleepiness, relaxation, and calm. It can safely be eaten, drank, infused, and inhaled with a little bit of mixing. It can also be used to improve cannabis products like vapes and concentrates that may have lost cannabinoid potency or terpene content during extraction.
Add myrcene terpenes to foods and beverages to enjoy the anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and antibiotic properties within the whole body. A few drops in your evening tea can help you drift off to sleep with ease.
Add myrcene terpenes to essential oil diffusers and aromatherapy infusions to create a sense of calm during meditative bedtime practices like yoga.
Add myrcene terpenes to concentrates made from strains with high myrcene content, such as OG Kush, Blue Dream, Grape Ape, Tangie, and Harlequin to improve quality, potency, flavor, and effects.