What is Myrcene?

Myrcene is a terpene found typically indica-dominant strains but it’s in sativa-dominant strains too at a lesser amount.

Myrcene, a monoterpene, is unique because it allows chemicals to cross the blood-brain barrier more easily, allowing for cannabinoids to have a faster onset. It is one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis, as it represents over 20% of the terpene profile.

The Myrcene terpene consumed on its own will not get you high. However, high levels of Myrcene are often associated with the experience of fast-acting and powerful highs. Research published in 2016 in the journal Nutraceuticals suggested that this sensation may be due to the Myrcene terpene playing a key role in facilitating the transport of cannabinoids into your brain. Additionally, Myrcene has been linked to enhanced transdermal absorption, potentially opening up another avenue for greater cannabinoid uptake.


In popular culture, cannabis strains high in Myrcene have been reported to produce “couch lock,” or sedation. Although there is no clinical evidence to support these claims, there was one study published in 2002 in the journal Phytomedicine that showed Myrcene may have a sedative effect in mice at very high doses. Myrcene increased barbiturate sleeping time when compared to a control group, which demonstrates the terpene’s prospects as a sedative. The study concluded that Myrcene, in elevated amounts, may sedate and reduce locomotion in animals. Additional insight is needed into the terpene’s related effects on humans and if it is indeed capable of producing couch lock.


A 2015 study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology used human cartilage cells to investigate Myrcene’s potential effects on osteoarthritis. The researchers found that Myrcene had an anti-inflammatory influence on the cells while it slowed damage and disease progression. They also noted that this assertion warrants additional research.


Any list of potential Myrcene effects should include its possible anti-tumour properties. Due in part to its anti-inflammatory effects, the Myrcene terpene may contribute to the death of cancerous tumours. A 2015 study published in the Journal of the Korean Society for Applied Biological Chemistry suggested that Myrcene may play a role in encouraging anti-metastatic activity in human breast cancer cells. Because the study was performed on cells and not directly on humans, more research is necessary to determine if Myrcene could have a direct impact on killing malignant tumours in cancer patients.


The Myrcene terpene may have the ability to protect against ultraviolet light-induced ageing in human skin, according to a 2017 study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine. By acting partially as an antioxidant, Myrcene may very well be a beneficial additive to anti-aging and sunscreen lotions.

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