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Terpene 101: Myrcene

Myrcene is the most commonly occurring terpene in commercial cannabis. This terpene has an earthy, musky smell balanced out by a fruity aroma reminiscent of red grapes. This terpene usually imparts that distinctive but hard to classify “funky” smell of some strains. It is also naturally occurring in fruits and herbs such as mangoes, thyme, and lemongrass. It is present in hops and is responsible for the balsam- like fragrance in many beers. 

Roughly 40% of commercial strains are myrcene dominant across all three cannabis classifications – Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid. It has been claimed that strains containing myrcene above a concentration of 0.5% are automatically Indica dominant and have strong sedating effects. Studies have a long way to go before conclusive evidence can be found. The level of myrcene found across all three cannabis classifications is roughly the same and hovers near the 0.5% mark. However, the presence of myrcene may amplify a strain’s sedative properties through the entourage effect. 

Although the sedative qualities of myrcene are still inconclusive, it has been determined that this terpene can block the cancer-causing effects of certain toxins while also providing antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits. Myrcene can be found in many mellow strains, such as Blue Dream. Its presence contributes to the euphoric and cerebral high this strain is known for. 

Myrcene is also fundamental to the existence of other terpenes because it is a monoterpene and is one of the building blocks of other, more complex types. Other popular terpene dominant strains to try are Grape Ape, OG Kush, and Agent Orange. These are good strains to try if you are looking to relieve pain, inflammation and possibly, insomnia.