Myrcene: The “Couch Lock” Terpene
Myrcene is one of many terpenes found in cannabis. You can easily recognize it by its spicy, musky scent that often smells and tastes like cloves or earth. It occurs naturally in many plants, including cannabis, hops, ylang-ylang, lemongrass, parsley, bay and thyme. There’s more to terpenes than just enhancing the aroma and flavor of cannabis however. Terpenes work with cannabinoids like THC and CBD to enhance their effectiveness in what’s called “the entourage effect.” The entourage effect basically means that while THC may be a star, it’s not nearly as great without the support of the other compounds. These compounds work together holistically to create all the wonderful medicinal and recreational effects of marijuana.
Myrcene is also a deciding factor in whether a plant will be indica or sativa. Any strain that is higher than .05% in myrcene becomes indica. Sativa strains, known for mentally energizing and uplifting effects, have very little to no myrcene. Myrcene’s effects are mainly sedative and relaxing in nature making it the main culprit in strains that cause “couch-lock.”
Medically, myrcene has been shown effective in treating a variety of conditions, including stress, inflammation, muscle pain, insomnia, diabetes and cancer. It enhances the effects of THC and CBD and increases the body’s cannabinoid receptors.
Fun fact: Eating fresh mango 45 minutes before consuming cannabis will increase your body’s cannabinoid receptors and enhance your experience. Mango is exceptionally high in myrcene.
Summary: Myrcene, identified by its strong musky, earth smell, is responsible for the “couch-lock” effect of indica strains. It provides pain relief, helps reduce inflammation and has been used as a folk remedy for diabetes. Recreational users looking for relaxing, body-down strains should look for myrcene in the terpene profile.
Check out Natural Cannabis Company’s selection of indica strains high in myrcene.
High myrcene strains to try: AK-47, Dutch Treat, OG Kush, Grape Ape and Purple Afghani