What is Myrcene?

Myrcene, also known as β-myrcene, is a naturally occurring terpene found in a variety of plants, herbs, and spices1,2. The compound is responsible for the distinctive earthy and musky aroma that is often associated with herb2. Myrcene can also be found in hops, peppercorns, mangoes, lemongrass, sweet basil, bay leaves, wild thyme, parsley, and even in the essential oils of juniper1,2.

In the herb space, myrcene is often dubbed as the “mother of terpenes” due to its prevalence1. It is the most commonly occurring terpene in these plants, making up about 20% to 50% of the terpene profile in modern strains3,4. The prevalence of myrcene contributes to the plant’s overall properties1.

Benefits of Myrcene

Myrcene plays a significant role in determining the effects of different strains. It is often associated with the ‘couchlock’ effect, a sensation of deep relaxation and sedation that is common in certain strains1. This effect is particularly pronounced in strains with high levels of myrcene like Grand Daddy Purple2.

Interestingly, the presence of myrcene is sometimes used as an indicator to distinguish between different types of strains. It is often stated that strains with more than 0.5% myrcene are considered as ‘Indica’, which are primarily sedating, while strains with less than 0.5% myrcene are classified as ‘Sativa’, which are generally more uplifting / energizing5,6.

Myrcene is also known for its potential therapeutic benefits. It has been associated with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, suggesting its potential use in treating conditions such as arthritis and pain1,2. Moreover, its sedating properties could be beneficial for conditions like insomnia1,2.

It’s important to note that the classification of strains as ‘indica’ or ‘sativa’ based on myrcene content is not absolute. The chemical profile of different strains can be influenced by various factors, including environmental conditions and growing methods1. Therefore, to truly understand the effects of a particular strain, it’s recommended you test them yourself and monitor how certain terpenes affect you.


1 “Myrcene: What Is It and What Are Its Effects? | Terpenes - The Cannigma.” Cannigma.

2 Magrabi, Tina, and Dr. Lewis Jassey. “What Is Myrcene? Benefits & Uses of This Cannabis Terpene.” Leafwell.

3 Franciosi, Anthony. “Myrcene: The Complete Guide for Tokers.” Honest Marijuana.

4 “What is Myrcene? Benefits & Effects of This Cannabis Terpene.” Finest Labs.

5 “Indica vs. Sativa: What Gives Indica Its Sedative Properties?” High Times.

6 “Indica vs. Sativa + The Importance of Terpenes.” Calyx Containers.

Study References