Myrcene is one of the most common terpenes, found in almost all cannabis strains.
As a quick reminder — terpenes are fragrant oils found in plants (not just cannabis) that produce a unique taste and smell. Myrcene gets its name from the Brazilian shrub Myrcia sphaerocarpa, which was used as an ancient herbal remedy. Today, synthesized myrcene is commonly used as a food additive, and is also used in air fresheners.
What aromas are associated with myrcene?
Myrcene gives cannabis an earthy, fruity, and musky aroma. Beyond cannabis, myrcene is found in mangoes, hops, thyme, lemongrass, and cloves.
Keep in mind, each cannabis strain has many terpenes that work together to create a complex aroma profile.
What are the reported effects of myrcene?
When myrcene is the dominant terpene, consumers have reported a calming sensation, but those effects may change based on the make up of the whole plant and the amount of myrcene present. While it has been stated that myrcene may create effects like relaxation, the science behind these claims is extremely limited. Many of the most-cited studies that show these effects (read more here, here, and here) were conducted on mice. So, we don’t really know what role myrcene plays in humans, or more specifically, when humans consume cannabis. Research on cannabis and its related effects is still being conducted, and over time, more information on terpenes such as myrcene will become widely available. It’s important to balance any perceived positive effects with the reported negative effects of cannabis consumption.
The bottom line: there just isn’t enough research to link the amount of myrcene in a strain to its effect. You can use a strain’s terpene profile to choose your favorite aroma or taste.