Hemp products are derived from the flowers of the hemp plant, which are naturally rich in a wide array of compounds.
As we discover more and more about hemp through scientific and clinical studies, we are starting to gain a better appreciation for the other compounds in hemp besides CBD and what they are capable of.
If there’s one trend that’s hitting the hemp market these days, it’s terpenes.
Out of all of the desirable terpenes that exist in hemp, myrcene is among the highest on the list.
We’ll be taking a closer look at myrcene in order to appreciate what this unique terpene is capable of, and to understand how it plays a role in the experience that we have when we take our daily dose of CBD.
What are Terpenes?
Before we get into the unique attributes and effects of myrcene, we need to explain what a terpene is in the first place.
Terpenes are chemical compounds that are found in the essential oils of plants.
The hemp plant naturally boasts a wide variety of terpenes in its chemical composition.
Terpenes produce the particular flavor and aroma of the plant, and they exist mostly to ward off diseases and predators.
Terpenes have a wide variety of potential properties that can be very useful to the human body as well, including potential anti-inflammatory properties, anxiolytic properties, antimicrobial, neuroprotective, and even mood-stabilizing properties according to preliminary research. However, further studies are required to truly assess and determine the true effects.
Perhaps you’re familiar with the concept of cannabis strains.
The strain of a hemp plant is determined by the unique chemical composition that it possesses, which differs in terms of its terpene profile.
This means that some strains have more of one specific terpene(s) than the others do.
As a result, each strain can produce slightly different effects, and many people have a particular strain that they prefer due to the effects produced by the terpenes that are present that of course mix with the presence of cannabinoids such as CBD and THC.
How Can I Get Terpenes with My CBD Routine?
Now, it’s important to know that not all CBD products contain terpenes. There are three kinds of hemp extracts:
- Full Spectrum: Contains compounds as they naturally occur in hemp, full spectrum means you’re getting all of the cannabinoids including CBD, and all of the terpenes present in that specific strain.
- Broad Spectrum: Similar, with the only difference being that the THC has been isolated and removed from the extract produced during the extraction process.
- CBD Isolate: Just pure CBD that has been chemically isolated and removed from the rest of the hemp plant’s chemical composition. Therefore, CBD isolate products contain zero terpenes, or other compounds besides CBD.
So, if you desire terpenes, a full or broad spectrum hemp product is the way to go.
Of course there are some companies that are rolling out CBD isolate products that have a terpene profile introduced into the mix, typically referred to as "terpsolate".
This will naturally give you every terpene that’s naturally present in that specific strain of hemp, along with the CBD that you desire.
Myrcene: The Basics
So, what is myrcene?
Well, it’s actually the dominant terpene in practically every cannabis strain that’s being cultivated right now.
Myrcene makes up roughly 20 percent of a strain’s terpene profile, and some strains actually have almost 40 percent as the result of crossbreeding practices used to produce high myrcene strains.
Myrcene provides the spicy, peppery and pine-like flavor and aroma that we associate with hemp.
Knowing how much myrcene is in cannabis, it’s no wonder why that flavor and aroma note is particularly strong compared to the rest.
It’s also worth noting that cannabis/hemp is not the only plant high in myrcene.
Both lemongrass and hops, as in beer, naturally contain high levels of myrcene, which is why you’ll get that unique pine-like aroma and flavor from these two substances as well.
Maybe you’re familiar with the concept of indica, sativa and hybrid strains.
These are the 3 categories of cannabis strains, and each produce unique effects.
Sativa strains are known for being more energizing and cerebral.
Indica strains are known for being more calming, while offering sensations in the body as much as the mind.
And as you may have guessed, hybrid strains are a mix of indica and sativa effects, often time the hybrid strain of cannabis is a sativa or indica dominant hybrid.
So, is myrcene associated with indica or sativa strains?
Interestingly, myrcene largely determines whether a strain is indica or sativa.
Strains that have more than 0.5 percent myrcene are considered indica, while strains with less than that amount are sativa.
What Myrcene May Do
Because myrcene has been a naturally occurring terpene as long as the planet has been in existence, it has been studied throughout history for its various potential properties.
Unsurprisingly, myrcene has been used medicinally by various cultures for centuries, as people have sought out plants that contain high levels of this terpene specifically for its potential effects.
So, what does science have to say about what myrcene may be capable of?
Well, one thing that we’ve discovered is that myrcene likely plays a big role in hemp’s calming effects.
Yes, CBD alone is capable of potentially producing these effects, but it seems that myrcene can take those potential effects to the next level.
Studies have shown that myrcene may behave like a sedative in a way that’s gentle and natural.
That same study shows that myrcene may also have muscle relaxant effects, which means that it isn’t just for mood – it may also be able to potentially relax both the body and the mind.
Of course this is just based off preliminary research, meaning further research is required before making any definitive claims.
This is one reason why those with muscle pain tend to gravitate toward indica strains rather than sativa strains.
Primarily why, too, that indica strains are more associated with potential pain relief. But again, that's purely speculative based off preliminary research.
Speaking of sedative-like effects, research suggests that myrcene may enhance sleep, which is yet another reason why many people use indica strains over sativa strains for this particular purpose.
Indica strains are largely associated with nighttime use.
Indica strains are often sought after for the potential heavy feeling of relaxation they may bring to your body.
We often refer to indica strains as "IndaCouch".
Easy to imagine then, that myrcene plays a big role in these noted effects.
We said that myrcene may provide effects that relax the muscles, and it may also ease pain.
The finding suggested that myrcene may work as an anti-inflammatory, as well as a potential antinoceptive, which means it may assist with nerve pain, plus areas in the muscle and joint regions. But of course, further research is required before being able to say this definitively.
Another thing worth noting is that myrcene, like many terpenes, may boast potential antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants help fight free radicals that can produce oxidative stress that leads to cell damage.
Myrcene may have antimicrobial effects as well, as many terpenes are known for offering.
So, are all of these potential effects achievable with hemp? Here’s the thing – it is hard to know.
We know that many people who opt for high-myrcene strains report these effects anecdotally and almost universally, which would give us good reason to believe that the myrcene content in hemp is more than adequate to potentially experience all that the terpene has to offer.
However, research is still in its early stages.
Also, worth noting, myrcene may be most effective in a full spectrum or whole plant product, because of the synergistic nature of the chemical composition of the plant.
Therefore, a small amount of myrcene in a low dose of hemp may actually be more bioavailable than we think.
What we do know, however, is that myrcene is just one of the many exciting compounds in the hemp plant that can be consumed daily.
Therefore, if myrcene offers properties that appeal to you, seek out a hemp product that contains this stellar terpene.
Which can easily be found by taking a look at the 3rd party lab results for the product you are looking to buy.
Myrcene is a terpene dominant in the hemp plant, and it’s primarily known for its calming effects.
If you’re chasing a relaxing experience when you consume CBD, then you may want to opt for a CBD product that contains this terpene.
As you can see, it’s highly desirable all on its own, making it worth seeking out.
The current studies surrounding terpenes like myrcene are certainly looking promising. But's it's crucial for you to understand that these potential properties are purely based off of preliminary research studies.
Which means we do not guarantee these potential effects or any effects for that matter, when consuming CBD products with or without terpenes until definitive results are discovered.
What have your experiences been with the terpene, myrcene? What other terpenes would you like to see us discus on upcoming Terpene Tuesday posts?