Modern cannabis is pretty wild, right?
Whether we’re aware or not, the factors that make a favorite strain a favorite include more than just its stanky exhale and brief magic carpet ride. From the ever-growing catalog of novel cannabinoids and organic compounds to the hundreds of mild medicinal, intermediate and super-potent recreational strains on shelves today, multiple components work together to define each cultivar—and the journey to finding your preferred variety may truly never end given all of that. But curious stoners who wonder what specifically endears them to certain phenotypes, step one is an introduction to the next terpene in our ongoing series, and the one most commonly found in cannabis: myrcene.
What Is Myrcene?
Myrcene is a monoterpene—which means it has a super-simple chemical structure—making it an essential building block for more complex terps. Since it’s in so many contemporary strains, the common stash is almost certainly myrcene dominant. However, this terpene is found in not just weed, but in an assortment of other botanicals, many of which have their own therapeutic uses. Hops, lemongrass, verbena, mangoes and thyme are all rich in myrcene, which, when isolated, exhibits a sweet, earthy aroma.
What Does Myrcene Do?
Research has found myrcene to be an effective pain reliever, sedative and muscle relaxant. There is also evidence it can alleviate symptoms associated with diabetes when used in conjunction with a terpene called thujone. Another study found that myrcene protects DNA from certain toxins.
New science aside, myrcene is ancient folk medicine. Generations used it to improve not just general quality of life, but also to treat specific ailments, like gastrointestinal distress, inflammation, respiratory issues and even cancer.
Where Can I Find Myrcene?
Myrcene is all over your local dispo. You can find it in many different kinds of cultivars, including perky daytime strains, pacifying bedtime varieties, and balanced crosses of the two.
Here are a few of our top picks to get you started:
This popular cultivar delivers a swoony, euphoric onset that eases into cushy relaxation. Depending on the individual’s resting state, the effects can be uplifting or soothing, so results are positive, but they vary. Therapeutic users describe relief from chronic pain, inflammation and anxiety. Expect a berry-skunk perfume and smooth, earthy exhale.
BUY: Potland, 1761 NE Dekum St., 503-432-8629, thepotland.co.
Team wake-and-bake is likely already acquainted with Pineapple Express, but morning smoking is not necessary to partake. Users report energizing mental effects, like enhanced cognition, along with a mild body buzz. Therapeutic potentials include relief from fatigue, chronic pain and loss of appetite. Expect a citrus-funk aroma and skunk-fruit exhale.
BUY: Cultiv8, 5230 SE 52nd Ave., 503-206-8634.
For users on the lower-THC end of the stoner spectrum, this peppy 1-to-1 THC-to-CBD strain is a stash box necessity. The THC level typically hovers around 7%, so anticipate a sparkling giggle ride that is mostly manageable, even for low-tolerance smokers. Therapeutic users have turned to this strain for relief from arthritis, fibromyalgia and migraines. Expect a woody funk with a hint of mango and a sweet, grassy exhale.
BUY: Lifted Northwest, 11121 SE Division St., 503-894-9495, liftednorthwest.com.
Garlic Drip delivers a classic sedative high, which, for the uninitiated, results in couchlocked euphoria that dissolves into giggly munchies. Some users say they feel chatty after a session with this strain, so maybe share some with the squad, or smoke up before you call Mom. Possible medicinal uses include relief from insomnia, mood swings and chronic pain. Expect a dank, earthy perfume and funky, herbal exhale.
BUY: Eden Cannabis, 7420 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-477-4368, edencraftcannabis.com.