Myrcene is the key to Your Brain
When you are smoking or vaping cannabis, the myrcene terpenes in the plant interact with THC molecules in passing through the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) more efficiently through a synergy process called the ‘Entourage Effect’. The average time for THC to reach the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) receptors in the brain, thus making you high, is about seven seconds.
However, if you have eaten a mango (or other plants that contain high amounts of myrcene) you effectively double the amount of myrcene in your bloodstream and, because of this, the time it takes for the effect of THC to reach your brain is reduced by half. In addition, mangoes increase the duration and strength of the psychoactive effects, resulting in a much stronger euphoric feeling with sativa strains and a more sedated (or ‘couch-locked’) feeling with indica strains.
An added benefit for medical cannabis users is that the pain-relieving and muscle-relaxing effects of marijuana are also increased by consuming mangoes because of those high level of myrcene.
Studies Continue Cannabis Evolution
Now that we know mangoes can increase the psychoactive effects of a cannabis strain, further analysis on myrcene has revealed several potentially therapeutic benefits.
A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology called “Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-terpenoid Entourage Effects” suggests that the level of myrcene does more than increase the psychoactive effects. In high doses, myrcene is the stuff that makes you sleepy, and in combination with CBD, helps to decrease inflammation. The same study even suggested that the combination of myrcene, CBD and CBG could potentially help combat the growth of certain cancer tumours.
Of course, while millions of people are already using medical marijuana for a variety of different conditions, there is a need for much more in-depth analysis before we can genuinely connect the effects of cannabis with any potential benefits in the treatment or prevention of cancer.
But with a simple tropical fruit like mangoes enhancing the effects of cannabis, we have to wonder what the future holds as scientific research into marijuana continues to evolve.