The herb is more than just a powerful potion...people learning about what they smoking.
Educated consumers around the world are taking these Cypress Hill lyrics to heart and in turn the industry is listening. With the success of medical and recreational Cannabis access around the country patients and customers are demanding knowledge about the products they consume. If you walk into a dispensary and ask your budtender for their recommendation on flower their first question would probably be, “Do you prefer sativa or indica?” Although these are the most common classifications for Cannabis today, what makes a sativa uplifting or an indica couch-lock you with the munchies...let’s just say it’s complicated. Cannabis contains unknown hundreds if not thousands of chemical compounds, many unique to the plant, that have made it important to human society for millennia.
Google Mangos and Weed and you’ll have your pick of Reddit articles, YouTube videos and blogs (like mine) saying that it’s a must try to get you higher And the main hypothesis as to why boils down to one of the most common Cannabis terpenes - Myrcene. When analyzing the volatile components of different varieties of mangoes researchers have shown some credibility to this with several varieties showing 30-50% of the total composition to be myrcene. However, another look shows alternating varieties with 50-60% terpinolene or up to 75% 3-carene. The answers in nature are never easy.
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC has been understood for decades to be the primary cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive activity of Cannabis. The mode of action responsible for your high is the interaction of the THC molecule and the endocannabinoid receptor in your brain, CB1. The blood-brain barrier is a grouping of cells that selectively restricts the movement of chemicals to the brain. Medicinally, it has been shown that myrcene increases cell permeation allowing for a more fluid cell membrane. So, simply it could be understood that increased myrcene concentration in the blood will make the blood-brain barrier more fluid, thus allowing more THC molecules to pass into the brain and AHHHHHH…...what?????
Myrcene is one of the most common terpenes present in Cannabis strains. The aroma of this terp can vary based on complexity and interaction with other aromatics present in your flower. Earthy or herbaceous in some strains, myrcene can also have characteristics of fruit or spicy in others. Sour Diesel and Harlequin are two strains with a large concentration of myrcene and each are attributed with a very earthy pungency. Then there’s Agent Orange and Candy Jack, each myrcene and limonene rich, that have very complex fruity aromas and flavors.
Myrcene and Inflammation
The medicinal benefits of plant essential oils have been utilized throughout human history. Until prohibition, medicinal Cannabis was a cure all found in many neighborhood drug stores for ailments. As we enter the end of prohibition around the world many of the medicinal benefits of Cannabis are now being researched by scientists. Recently, a team of scientists in Portugal discovered that “myrcene has significant anti-inflammatory [effects in human cells] and, thus, its ability to halt or, at least, slow down cartilage destruction and osteoarthritis progression warrants further investigation.” Much more research is needed, however the medicinal properties of the variety of chemical compounds found in Cannabis are being understood today more than at any time in human history.