β myrcene contributes significantly to the effects of a cannabis strain. For example, a strain where high levels of β myrcene concentrations exist will be more sedative than a strain with low levels of myrcene. This is because myrcene binds to the cannabinoid receptor CB1, which is responsible for regulating pain perception, mood, memory, appetite, and other cognitive functions. Through this mechanism myrcene largely determines the effect of cannabis sativa.
Myrcene also inhibits the uptake of serotonin by binding to the serotonin transporter protein. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation. A deficiency in serotonin has been linked to depression and anxiety. By inhibiting the uptake of serotonin, myrcene helps to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Many significant biological properties have been attributed to myrcene. These include analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antidepressive, anxiolytic and sedative effects.
Some therapeutic benefits observed in the area of aging and degenerative diseases include:
- Reduced inflammation
- Protection against Alzheimer's disease
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Chain breaking antioxidant activity
- Improved collagen and elastin fibers
Let's take a closer look at the physical and chemical properties of myrcene.
Myrcene has a variety of effects on the human body. Perhaps the most well-known effect of β-myrcene in high doses is its sedative effect. Strains of cannabis that are high in myrcene are often used to treat insomnia and pain. This property is what makes myrcene-rich strains like blue dream so popular among cannabis consumers. The sedative effects of myrcene can help to ease anxiety and promote relaxation. Myrcene is also an antispasmodic, which means it can help to relieve muscle spasms.
In addition to its sedative and antispasmodic properties, myrcene has also been shown to increase the permeability of the blood brain barrier. This allows more THC to reach the brain enhancing psychoactive responses , which explains why myrcene-rich strains of cannabis are often more potent than those that are low in β-myrcene.