Terpenes Make Cannabis What It Is
The cannabis plant is well known for its distinct aroma, flavor and effects, but have you ever wondered where these characteristics come from? Usually, THC and CBD get all of the credit for how bud makes you feel. But it’s terpenes, along with those cannabinoids, that create a pleasurable cannabis experience.
Terpenes (or terps) are the compounds in plants responsible for their smell and taste. In cannabis, the molecules also play a role in how an individual cultivar affects the consumer. If cannabinoids are the gasoline powering a car, then terpenes are the GPS system guiding it.
In this first edition of Boveda Terpene Spotlight, we take a closer look at myrcene. One of the most abundant cannabis terpenes, myrcene is found in several popular strains. Earthy and pungent, this terpene is a favorite among cannabis connoisseurs. Read on to learn more about myrcene!
What is Myrcene?
With notes of balsam, clove and musk, myrcene is found throughout nature. It’s present in mangoes, ylang-ylang, bay, parsley, wild thyme, lemongrass, cardamom and hops (which is why certain beers may smell dank in a familiar way). Myrcene is used commercially in cosmetics and fragrances thanks to its pungent peppery scent.
In each cannabis cultivar—or strain—there are dozens of different terpenes. But across the board, myrcene is a dominant terp. In fact, a study on the subject revealed that myrcene comprises up to 65% of terpene content in cannabis. While cultivators continue to develop strains with a more varied terpene profile, the data is still compelling. Analysis by Leafly.com indicates a presence of around 40% in modern commercial cannabis.
Which Cannabis Strains Contain Myrcene?
As mentioned, the majority of cannabis has some myrcene but many cultivars list the compound as the dominant terpene. This includes classic strains like Blue Dream, Granddaddy Purp and OG Kush as well as modern favorites such as Tangie and the 1:1 Harlequin.
Myrcene is found in sativa, indica and hybrid strains so checking terpene content is the best way to determine if the product contains it. How do you know which myrcene-rich flower is best for you? Ask your friendly dispensary retail staff!
How to Preserve Myrcene Levels in Cannabis
With myrcene playing such an important role in the way multiple cannabis strains taste, smell and affect the consumer, it’s crucial to protect these terps. However, terpenes in general are highly volatile and up to 40% of terpenes are lost within just one week of storage.
Fortunately, there is a way to preserve the myrcene and other cannabis terps: the original terpene shield™ by Boveda. The terpene shield creates a monolayer of water molecules around the cannabis trichomes, which are the frosty crystals covering the plant and where the active ingredients (including terpenes) live. This monolayer locks in the rich aroma, flavor and effects of cannabis. The terps are preserved for consumers to enjoy when they grind and smoke their bud.
Now that consumers are educating themselves on what terpenes are right for them, it’s important to protect the benefits they worked so hard to find. Store all cannabis flower with a terpene shield—the myrcene and other terps must be saved in order to do their job right!