Terpene Spotlight: Myrcene
In the future, when the herb is legal nationwide, it should be possible to access strain-specific cannabis oils, as well as made-to-order marijuana extracts with a full array of terpenes artfully tailored to meet the needs and desires of individual users.
That’s from an article written in March of 2014. Things have changed dramatically in the past two years, and there will be even more dramatic changes before the end of 2016. Here at Medicine Box, we’re already creating strain-specific edibles and tinctures and we’re very interested in the potential of terpenes.
We’ve already talked about some of the terpenes in the Afgoo strain, but today I’d like to explore myrcene, a terpene found in Afgoo and many other strains of cannabis. It’s also found in many foods, such as mangoes, apricots, hops, sweet basil, thyme, parsley, and lemongrass. Myrcene can contribute to the “couchlock” effect common in many indica strains.
Therapeutic Uses of Myrcene
Myrcene has a variety of potential therapeutic uses. It actually synergizes the antibiotic potency of other terpenes and it can actually help protect against the effects of cannabis contaminated by mold. (All the same, make sure your cannabis has been thoroughly tested before you make a purchase.)
A recent study on the use of clove oil in the treatment of diabetes noted that myrcene was a prominent terpene in the clove oil. CBDs are also being studied as a potential treatment for diabetes; it would be interesting the see research that makes use of the entourage effect between CBDs and terpenes.
Myrcene also has anti-inflammatory properties and is being studied for potential arthritis treatments.
Myrcene allows THC to pass through the blood brain barrier much more efficiently than it would on its own. This means that the effects of cannabis, such as pain relief and euphoria, are stronger and longer lasting. Eating foods high in myrcene about an hour before (the timing varies with individual metabolism) consuming cannabis (regardless of your preferred method of consumption) will intensify the effects.
Foods high in myrcene might also be a way to intensify your edibles without actually eating another one. We always recommend that people start off with a small dose of any edible cannabis product and stick to small doses until they’re familiar with their personal tolerances and preferences. However, if your initial small dose isn’t giving you the results you want, don’t just eat another edible. Instead, try eating something high in myrcene, like the balsamic mango chicken below.
Balsamic Mango Marinated Grilled Chicken
- 4 boneless chicken breasts (pounded lightly to thin out if they are too thick) 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
- 1 cup mango nectar
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large RIPE mango, peeled and chopped
- Additional thyme sprigs for garnish, if desired
1. Combine chicken in a large zip bag with mango nectar, vinegar, olive oil and thyme- along with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Zip the bag closed and move the chicken around in the bag to coat with the marinade. Lie the bag flat in the refrigerator for at least one hour and up to 2 hours, turning the bag every so often to redistribute the marinade.
2. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Spray the grill with grilling spray (or rub the grates with oil). Drain the marinade from the chicken and grill about 4 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through.
3. Serve grilled chicken topped with chopped mango and thyme sprigs, if using. [Use the thyme — it’s high in myrcene. -Jill]
Talk to us about terpenes! Do you have specific terpenes that you look for when you buy cannabis?