Myrcene

Updated: May 7

Myrcene, sometimes denoted as β-myrcene, is the most dominant terpene in hemp and sometimes constitutes more than 50 percent of the terpene weight by volume of a particular sample of the herb.

One of this terpene's major efficacies is relaxation and a decrease of anxiety. In great enough doses, it can act as a sedative and be effective in the treatment of conditions such as PTSD, social anxiety, and a variety of sleep disorders.


"One of the most interesting and potentially valuable characteristics of this terpene is its ability to synergize with other terpenes and cannabinoids and to allow them to more easily permeate cell membranes."

One of the most interesting and potentially valuable characteristics of this terpene is its ability to synergize with other terpenes and cannabinoids and to allow them to more easily permeate, or pass through, cell membranes. This includes the critical blood-brain barrier (BBB), increasing transport of cannabinoids to the CB1 receptors of the brain. This mechanism allows myrcene to enhance the potency of other molecules by allowing them to enjoy greater bioavailability.


Like many other terpenes and also cannabinoids, myrcene has been noted as an anti-inflammatory, potentially providing relief to literally hundreds of disease states and conditions based in or involving inflammation. Like humulene, it is also produced by the hops used to brew beer.

The myrcene molecule


Although it is the most common terpene in hemp and found in many other plant species, myrcene is estimated to be dominant in about 40 percent of popular hemp cultivars and chemotypes (BCP dominates 30 percent of cultivars, while limonene commands the top spot in 14 percent of them, terpinolene in 11 percent.


Pinene, the most common terpene in nature, dominates in 4 percent of hemp cultivars. More data regarding percentages of various terpenes produced by hemp can be found in this widely cited 1997 study.

Pinene, the most common terpene in nature, dominates in 4 percent of hemp cultivars. More data regarding percentages of various terpenes produced by hemp can be found in this widely cited 1997 study.


Like many other cannabinoids and terpenes, myrcene demonstrates a biphasic response curve in terms of its ability to decrease anxiety. A 2002 study demonstrated that myrcene decreases anxiety and can play an effective role in the treatment of conditions such as insomnia in low quantities. In larger doses, however, it can deliver the polar opposite efficacy of increased anxiety.

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