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Written By: Emily Spring
When you experience the benefits of full spectrum CBD oil, you can’t necessarily give cannabidiol (CBD) all the credit. While CBD is a powerful cannabinoid, there are other components involved in the oil’s effects.
Point is: CBD doesn’t work alone.
While CBD naturally occurs in the hemp plant, there are additional compounds found in full spectrum CBD oil that work together to provide the therapeutic effects that many have come to appreciate. These compounds include:
To focus on one piece of the puzzle—terpenes are the naturally-occurring chemicals that give plants, flowers, and fruits their distinctive aroma. One of the most common terpenes in hemp is myrcene (pronounced “MUR-seen”). But why is this important? To fully understand why CBD has the many benefits that it does, you need to understand how terpenes like myrcene work.
Terpenes are chemicals that give plants their aromas. According to Dr. Eberhard Breitmaier’s informative book, Terpenes, there are over 20,000 occuring in nature. Let’s take a look at some common terpenes:
Because of their powerful aromas, terpenes are frequently used in perfumes and cleaning products. But terpenes do more than just make things smell good. They’re also responsible for causing you to feel certain therapeutic effects when you consume them or even just breathe in their scent.
Many people use terpenes on a daily basis—specifically for the therapeutic benefits.
Additionally, terpenes are the primary ingredient in nearly all essential oils and are therefore popular in holistic and all-natural healing practices. They are primarily responsible for the effects that you feel when you add essential oil to a diffuser, such as when practicing aromatherapy. For example, linalool—whether in hemp or lavender essential oil—has long been said to promote relaxation. Recent research has begun to confirm its effectiveness in doing so.
Myrcene is a terpene that produces a specific musky and earthy smell. It’s commonly found in:
In addition, myrcene is one of the most common terpenes found in hemp, and thus in full spectrum CBD oil.
Even though it is one of the smallest terpenes (in terms of its molecular size), it packs a powerful punch when it comes to the effects it can have on the body.
Myrcene has many benefits that may help CBD achieve its popular effects. Recent research confirms the wisdom in folk knowledge, suggesting that this terpene may aid in maintaining healthy sleep patterns, reducing nervousness, and more.
Herbal medicines containing myrcene have been used for years to promote restful sleep. For example, in Mexico, lemongrass tea is commonly used for relaxation before bed. This has been a tried and tested tradition.
Furthermore, research on mice by T.G. do Vale and E.C. Furtado has shown that myrcene:
The combined effects are thought to be useful in the treatment of several different ailments. Most notably, it helps to soothe bodily tension and promotes restful sleep.
Scientists in Brazil studied the effects of myrcene on mice in 1990. They came to the conclusion that myrcene was able to reduce discomfort by stimulating the spinal cord and the brain’s production of certain chemicals.
Additional studies have also been done on myrcene’s ability to reduce swelling. For instance, when it comes to the terpenes derived from the cannabis plant (which includes myrcene) a study found them to relieve inflammation.
Just when you didn’t think that myrcene could have any more benefits, research has also shown that it may act as an antibacterial. Because myrcene is a big component of tea tree oil, researchers set out to test the antibacterial properties of the terpene.
The experiment suggested that:
As you can see from some of the above studies, Western science is only beginning to test the efficacy of traditional herbal remedies. In addition to the benefits already discussed, the herbs that contain myrcene have also been used in folk medicine for a variety of other reasons. For instance, they've been used to help:
The list of ways that myrcene might help to improve overall health could go on and on. As more research is conducted, it may turn out that myrcene and other terpenes have an even wider range of health benefits than we currently know.
Mangoes have been reported to increase the effects of cannabis. This is commonly believed to be due to myrcenes (which are found in mangoes).
Additionally, myrcene is known to lower the resistance of the blood to brain barrier—a wall that functions to keep chemicals present in the blood from crossing over into the nervous system.
By lowering this barrier’s resistance, myrcene allows both its own and other chemicals to cross more efficiently. Thus, when certain cannabinoids are ingested in tandem with high levels of myrcene, the effects of the cannabinoid can occur quicker.
In the past, scientists have focused most of their studies on how cannabinoids like CBD and THC work in isolation. Not much research has been done on terpenes and how they affect the human body—with or without the presence of cannabinoids.
Fortunately, the National Institute of Health recently published a notice of intent to promote more research on the minor cannabinoids and terpenes found in the cannabis plant. The purpose of this initiative is to develop a better understanding of how cannabis works based on the terpenes and cannabinoids that make up the compound.
Interested in trying out the positive effects of myrcene? Plant People’s full-spectrum hemp CBD drops contain myrcene and linalool so that you can experience its host of benefits, including:
Whatever it is you’re looking for, if CBD can help, Plant People has you covered. Should you have any questions about our CBD products, reach out today. Our experts are as friendly as they are knowledgeable!
Written by Emily Spring
Emily Spring is the Director of Marketing at Plant People. A longtime proponent of balanced living, she has enjoyed over 8 years driving growth in the lifestyle, health and wellness sectors with deep experience in functional solutions for optimizing anyone's everyday life.
Reviewed by Gabe Kennedy
Co-Founder of Plant People, Gabe Kennedy is an acclaimed chef and entrepreneur. Growing up in a house of healers and herbalists, he is passionate about the power of food as a tool for health, and actualized this passion and belief system into his company, Plant People. Named to Forbes 30 under 30 Gabe has shaped menus and cooked his way around the world with his mission to promote a more communal, green and healthy world.
Gabe is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. You can learn more about his work at his website.
Prof. Dr. Eberhard Breitmaier. Terpenes: Flavors, Fragrances, Pharmaca, Pheromones.
Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Lavender and the Nervous System. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/
Phytomedicine. Central effects of citral, myrcene and limonene, constituents of essential oil chemotypes from Lippia alba (Mill.) n.e. Brown. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12587690
Journal of Ethnopharmacology. The GABAergic system contributes to the anxiolytic-like effect of essential oil from Cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass). https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874111004788
Medical News Today. Everything You Need to Know About Inflammation. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423
Natural Medicines. The Antibacterial Effects of Myrcene on Staphylococcus aureus and Its Role in the Essential Oil of the Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/285862473_The_Antibacterial_Effects_of_Myrcene_on_Staphylococcus_aureus_and_Its_Role_in_the_Essential_Oil_of_the_Tea_Tree_Melaleuca_alternifolia
Science Direct. Myrcene. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/myrcene