Myrcene: what is this fruity cannabis terpene anyway?
Terpenes (tur-peen) are a large class of organic compounds, produced by a variety of plants including the cannabis plant.
They are often very strong smelling and are thought to have protective, insect-repelling qualities. Terpenes are the major components of plant resins, such as the resins found on the “buds” or flowers of the cannabis plant.
Terpenes are also the primary constituents in the essential oils produced by many other plants and flowers.
The aroma and flavor of the cannabis plant, come mostly from the different terpenes found in the flowers or buds of the plant. One of the terpenes found in many strains of cannabis is called “Myrcene”.
Myrcene can also be found in other plants like, hops, thyme, and even in some fruits like “the Mango”.
Of the many terpenes found in the cannabis plant, myrcene is usually the most abundant, with levels reaching about .47%
When ingested into the human body, myrcene has the ability to bind to the CB1 receptors in the brain.
Myrcene is also thought to have antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and pain reducing properties, which may be part of the reason cannabis is so beneficial in these areas.
Overly- ripe mangoes are known to contain a high amount of myrcene. When eaten about an hour before ingesting cannabis, myrcene has been shown to increase the effects of the cannabis. This is thought to be due to the fact that myrcene also binds to the CB1 receptors. This causes a “PRIMING” in them – getting them ready for the incoming THC and other cannabinoids. It is also believed that the myrcene helps the cannabinoids pass through the blood-brain barrier more easily. This aids in making the cannabinoids effects kick in quicker.
In other words, if you eat a couple overly-ripe mangoes, an hour or so before medicating, the effects will come on quicker, be felt stronger, and possibly even last longer.
This calls for some much needed research in the kitchen. I think I see a mango-cannabis upside down cake in the near future!
More on Marijuana and Mangoes
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