The Mighty Myrcene
If you are looking to Cannabis to help you sleep, make sure you get a healthy dose of the terpene Myrcene in your strain. Ideally, you would have an Indica strain featuring the cannabinoids CBD, THC and CBN. But since Indica and Sativa strains are so interbred now, it is the terpenes that make the biggest differentiation among all the choices currently on the market.
Myrcene is a terpene that often occurs in highly fragrant plants and herbs such as mangoes, hops, bay leaves, thyme, lemongrass and basil. It is produced by numerous Cannabis strains and produces sedative, indica-like effects. It acts as a sleep aid and muscle relaxant. Other benefits are anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and pain relief. Anecdotal evidence suggests that eating a ripe mango prior to consuming Cannabis may accentuate or extend its psychoactive
effects, due to the fruit's concentration of Mycrene, which is naturally synergistic with THC and allows the cannabinoids to more easily bridge the blood-brain barrier. True or not, it would be delicious.
Mycrene is a recognized sedative as part of hops preparations (Humulus lupulus), employed to aid sleep in Germany (Bisset and Wichtl, 2004). Furthermore, Mycrene acted as a muscle relaxant in mice and potentiated barbituate sleep time in high doses (do Vale et al., 2002). This data supports the hypothesis that Mycrene is a prominent sedative terpenoid in cannabis and combined with THC, may produce the 'couch-lock' phenomenon of certain chemotypes that is alternatively decried or appreciated by recreational cannabis conusmers.
Provides the 'couch-lock' factor in cannabis (Wichtl 2004, Russo 2011)
Blocks inflammation (Lorenzetti et al. 1991)
Sedating (Wichtl 2004)
Early days but shows promise for osteoarthritis (Rufino 2015)