By Devin Hoilhan
One of the most common and abundant terpene compounds in cannabis is myrcene. It’s fragrance can be found in hops, lemongrass and mangoes. Most commercial strains of cannabis contain over 20% myrcene, on average, of the total terpene profile.
There is a common misconception that any cannabis product with more than 0.5% myrcene will have more Indica leaning effects. If this were true, then nearly every product would be classified as an indica since myrcene is the most common terpene in cannabis products found all across the country. Myrcene has great anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, and sometimes sedative effects, that are most likely attributed to its muscle relaxant properties.
Personally, I would call myrcene a hybrid terpene due to the role it plays with other terpenes. My favorite thing about myrcene is that it changes the blood-brain barrier to allow cannabinoids and terpenes to penetrate into the brain easier therefore increasing their effects. I believe it’s more helpful to use that information when dealing with myrcene at high levels. In my experience a strain with a high myrcene level is going to lean towards the effects of the next highest terpene.
For example, a strain with 1% myrcene and 0.9% limonene is going to have more sativa leaning effects, and a product with 1% myrcene and 0.9% linalool is going to have more indica leaning effects. Although, that statement is based on my personal experience and feedback I’ve received from patients. Overall, we really don’t know too much about the individual effects of each terpene and cannabinoid on people, which is why we need to be allowed to do more research with human subjects to determine how cannabinoids and terpenes work, both independently and synergistically.