Myrcene Is So Much More Than The 'Couch Lock' Terpene - RxLeaf

Myrcene Is So Much More Than The ‘Couch Lock’ Terpene

Emily Robertson
Woman on couch

Terpenes are important medicine and myrcene brings a full body buzz that kills pain, relaxes, and puts you into ‘couch lock.’ Not a bad thing if you’re trying to get better. 

Terpenes are steadily gaining prominence in cannabis medicine as we learn more and more about exactly how important these compounds are to the overall effect of healing. Having the proper terpenes to treat your condition is more important than the decision of indica versus sativa.

Close up of cannabis bud showing trichomes

The alluring and unique aroma of cannabis comes from terpenes, as does the flavor profile.  One of the most common terpenes found in the cannabis plant is myrcene. It may be famous for the ‘couch lock’ effect , but its healing properties and palate are crucial attributes that make this monoterpene extremely important for your health.

Close up of Shatter

Image Credit: Roxana Gonzalez

What is a Terpene?

As mentioned, terpenes are responsible for the scents and flavours found in cannabis and a variety of other plants. For instance, the terpene linalool is found in cannabis but also gives lavender its relaxing, soft scent and floral flavour.

Terpenes do more than this, however. They also protect plants from disease, as well as insect and animal predators. Additionally, terpenes give off the scent to draw pollinators.

Cannabis Plant Close up

Image Credit: Brandon Crawford

Terpenes combine with cannabinoids to create the Entourage Effect, which is when compounds join together to heighten medicinal benefits. Terpenes, however, are non-psychoactive hydrocarbons. They’re found in thin hair-like trichomes that are most evident and potent when a plant is flowering. However, you won’t be able to see them properly with the naked eye. But during flowering, you’ll certainly be able to smell them!

Trichomes terpenes macro view

Image Credit: Gleti

What is Myrcene?

Myrcene is one of the major terpenes found in cannabis. It gives an earthy smell, similar to cloves, with flavor notes like balsamic and red grape, as well as a mild spice. It also helps to form many secondary terpenes found in cannabis.

Myrcene is best known for its relaxing and sedative qualities, particularly in strains that contain upwards of 0.5% myrcene. It is associated with indicas, in particular, which are also famous for their sedative abilities. It’s for this reason that myrcene is associated with ‘couch lock’. But in cases where sedation and relaxing is desired, such as anxiety or PTSD, the presence of myrcene is much appreciated.

Myrcene can also alleviate chronic pain and acts as an anti-inflammatory, and may play a role in the treatment of cancer.  This healing terpene is also found in other plants like hops, thyme, and lemongrass.

cannabis buds

Image Credit: Lifestyle Discover

Strains High in Myrcene

If you’re looking for sedative qualities, then go for a strain that a higher myrcene content.

  • White Widow is a hybrid between a South Indian indica and a South American sativa landrace. It has particularly high quantities of myrcene, which produces an earthy, woody aroma. While also providing some sedative effects, White Widow also produces euphoria.
  • Special Kush 1 is another hybrid that has an especially high myrcene content. It offers an earthy aroma, but also the skunky notes that cannabis is known for. If you suffer with chronic pain, Special Kush 1 is the strain for you.
  • Skunk XL is an incredibly well known and loved. It hails from Afghan, Mexican, and Colombian landraces to produce a 50/50 indica and sativa hybrid. This strain offers a much more potent head high that will bring you a strong sense of relaxation. Additionally, its palate makes this strain an enjoyable one to consume. The aromas and flavours are sweet and fruity, to contrast the woody, earthy notes of the other strains.
Woman Relaxing on a Couch while smiling

Image Credit: Kaspars Grinvalds

Of course, there are plenty of other strains that are high in myrcene content. Your budtender at your local dispensary will be able to direct you to other high-myrcene strains. It’s often about trial and error, but myrcene produces euphoria alongside relaxation.

The full medicinal purpose of myrcene have yet to be discovered. Future research on the healing properties of cannabis terpenes will be most important.


Emily Robertson

Emily Robertson has been writing freelance and contract work since 2011. She has written on a variety of topics, including travel writing of North America and the growing legalized cannabis industry across the globe. Robertson has a master’s degree in literature and gender studies, and brings this through in her writing by always trying to explore different perspectives. Born and raised in southwestern Ontario, Robertson moved to Glasgow, Scotland in 2016 to undergo her doctorate in Scottish Literature. She lives in the West End with her dog, Henley.

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