Cannabis Terpenes: Myrcene

The increase in legalized recreational cannabis usage for adults across the US has bred a new type of consumer: The cannabis connoisseur.

Long ago, the stereotype or stigmatization associated with cannabis enthusiasts wasn’t much different than what you’d see in Cheech and Chong. Basically, it was giggling, aimlessness, bags of Funions, and Grateful Dead concerts.

This isn’t an anti-Funion or “Down with Grateful Dead” article. There remains room for these things in our lives (if you enjoy them). 

However, the destigmatization of cannabis has shown us there are many ways to enjoy and consume cannabis, and there’s more to appreciate about it than its psychoactive effects. 

For instance, cannabis often contains terpenes, naturally occurring chemical compounds responsible for the associated flavors, colors, and aromas. In other words, terpenes impact the smell of taste in each strain and have therapeutic components.

Myrcene is a crucial terpene. It’s found in more strains than its counterparts, providing specific effects that enhance the overall cannabis experience for each user.

What Is Myrcene?

Myrcene is abundant in hops and cannabis. It’s typically amply incorporated into food additives as a flavoring and aroma agent to manufacture beverages and food [1].

Individual cannabis samples have much variance in terpene content, but–generally speaking–myrcene comprises one-fifth of modern strains’ terpene profiles [2].

Myrcene is most associated with a musky, pungent, and earthy scent with a hint of salt and pepper [3].

Additionally, you’ll find myrcene hints in beer, responsible for its balsam spicy aroma. It’s also prominent in lemongrass, which is used prominently in traditional medicine. 

Myrcene’s Role in Cannabis

You’ll notice that myrcene is often dominant in a given flower or strain. 

To the above point, expect 40% of the strains you find in a legal state to heavily feature myrcene.

Myrcene has a synergistic relationship with cannabinoids like THC and CBD to trigger and bolster the psychoactive potential of the plant [4].

Terpenes–myrcene included–combine with cannabinoids in our bodies to enhance their impact on each other. This is known as the entourage effect. It’s based on the notion that all components of cannabis contribute to its overall effectiveness instead of its THC, CBD, or other cannabinoid content alone.

Researchers believe myrcene’s potency and benefits exponentially increase when introduced to a comprehensive phytocannabinoid ecosystem. It’s a better team player than a solo act, doing its best work when interacting with other compounds.

One study indicates that combining myrcene with CBD is conducive to decreased inflammation, pain reduction, and fighting cancer. With THC, it excels at muscle relaxation and pain reduction and offers a tranquil, sedative effect [5].

Therapeutic Benefits of Myrcene

Myrcene’s roots exist in its therapeutic applications as a sedative or relaxing sleep aid. Medical studies suggest a substantial 200mg/kg dose can increase sleep by 2.6 times [6].

Scientific reports also speak to myrcene’s standing as an anti-inflammatory terpene, as it might inhibit inflammation triggered by LPS. This extends to cell migration–a crucial component of general inflammatory responses and pleurisy [7].

Additionally, myrcene offers muscle-relaxing properties, bolstered by its ability to increase the speed of the desired effects, making you feel the soothing effects quicker [8]. It’s also an effective analgesic, helping soothe pain in joints and ailing musculature [9].  

We’ll add a disclaimer that we aren’t a medical dispensary. We sell legal, recreational adult-use cannabis and aren’t qualified to give medical advice. Speak with your physician or another healthcare specialist before using cannabis for medical or therapeutic purposes.

Myrcene in Different Cannabis Strains

This section will function as something of a myth-buster.

Specifically, a common misconception about myrcene in cannabis strains is that anything with over 0.5% of myrcene will be more of an indica due to its relaxing and sedative effects. 

On the other end of the spectrum, many believe anything under 0.5% of myrcene will be more of a sativa since the sedative effects won’t be as intense. 

Naturally, hybrids would fall into the middle of this myrcene spectrum.

Yet, most research indicates the above theory to not be the case. Flower products–whether indica, sativa, or hybrid–tend to have similar amounts of myrcene.

Popular strains with myrcene include Blue Dream, Remedy, and OG Kush. Expect these strains to relax you and provide the zen and calming effects many people come to associate with consuming cannabis.

A lot of people associate the “couch lock” effect with myrcene-heavy strains. While this can have setbacks, it also benefits highly active or busy people who need to decompress and merely melt into a couch as they soothe their physical aches and pains or emotional stress.

Myrcene and Aromatherapy

Myrcene is a frequently utilized component in aromatherapy. For instance, it’s often featured in essential oils to aid in full-body relaxation and ease joint and muscle pain, enhancing the quality and onset of sleep. 

Between 5% and 30% of myrcene levels can be found in lemongrass essential oil, which relieves anxiety and tension while bolstering a user’s calmness [10].

We’ll reiterate once more the value of discussing cannabis usage with a healthcare professional if you intend to use it therapeutically. They’ll help you discover ways to incorporate myrcene into your cannabis consumption to enhance its beneficial effects while offsetting the negatives.

Identifying Myrcene in Cannabis Products

The most seamless way to detect whether myrcene is in cannabis products is by reading labels. Anything lab-tested will likely have the terpene content clearly conveyed on the packaging.

That said, you won’t always have this luxury. Sometimes, you must embrace your inner Sherlock Holmes to discover whether myrcene is present in a given strain. In this instance, smell your bud for spicy, musky, and earthy notes–this will signify that myrcene is present.

Still, smell and taste alone aren’t enough to assure you that myrcene is richly abundant in your cannabis. Instead, the wisest approach we can offer is shopping with reliable dispensaries who know the terpenes in their strains, like the team at Stash.

Precautions and Considerations

While it’s possible to have extreme reactions to myrcene (like anaphylaxis), it’s incredibly rare and almost negligible. The primary concerns you’ll have are with its sedative effects and the potential for couch lock. 

For example, you don’t want to be on your way out to a social event, consume myrcene-heavy cannabis, and lose the will to leave your abode.

With very “sleepy” strains, we suggest lower doses due to their potency. You’ll get a lot from a little without gluing yourself to your couch. You can continue to increase your doses over time but should still temper them based on potency levels.

One last time, we’ll speak to the value of discussing your cannabis usage with a healthcare professional. They’ll help you discover a way to incorporate cannabis into your life in a manner most conducive to enhancing your overall health and wellness.


Myrcene is the most frequently present terpene in cannabis. It is known for its musky aromas and soothing and healing properties. 

As cannabis culture becomes more mainstream and acceptable in the public eye, more will be gleaned about what terpenes like myrcene can offer.

Explore myrcene-rich strains today in Stash’s online menu. Our cannabis is of the highest quality, and we’ve got a wide variety for you to choose from, including multiple strains that maximize the benefits of myrcene.



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