It’s quite likely that you may have already heard a cannabis user or two vouch for the fact that mangoes actually boost the euphoric effects of cannabis. But is this truly fact or just fiction?
Fact: myrcene, one of the chemicals in mangoes, has been known to interact with THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. So as it turns out, it’s not the stuff of folklore or old wives’ tales, after all.
Myrcene can, to some extent, alter the euphoric effects of cannabis – however, it’s not clear to what degree it does this.
How Myrcene Works within Mangoes
Some cannabis users swear by the fact that consuming a mango before their smoking session brings about a high that is not only faster-acting but also stronger and generally longer lasting.
Now, there isn’t much evidence on the matter as yet, although some research does suggest that certain chemicals in mangoes, such as myrcene, can alter how cannabis affects our endocannabinoid (ECS) system. This is where the CB1 and CB2 receptors interact with the herb, regulating elements such as mood, appetite, thought patterns, relaxation and anxiety levels, etc.
Interestingly, myrcene is also found in thyme, bay, basil, hops, leaves and – well, cannabis. Do you find this puzzling?
You see, terpenes are readily found in cannabis plants – chemicals that give the plant its unique aroma and flavour. Myrcene is a type of terpene. Therefore, terpenes such as myrcene found naturally in the cannabis plant play a vital role in how the effects are experienced. To reiterate, they have a direct impact on how THC binds with cannabinoid receptors in the body, while also exerting their own unique effects.
And on the other end of the spectrum, we have mangoes, which indeed contain terpenes as well – which have the ability to easily interact with cannabis.
You’ve probably heard of the ‘entourage effect’ – a direct result of the plethora of cannabinoids and terpenes present in marijuana – THC being the most common and talked about one – but there are other cannabinoids that make cannabis strains unique, such as CBD or CBN.
It’s this entourage effect that’s responsible for affecting everyone at an individual level; consuming a combination of all the various chemical compounds found in marijuana will not have the same effect as consuming just one compound (or two) alone.
The Science on Mangoes and Marijuana
As mentioned, the link between cannabis and mangoes has not being established clearly through scientific research. Majority of explanations that you might come across today focus primarily on myrcene’s involvement – however, many of those explanations often overlook the fact that there are other terpenes present in mangoes – that may impact marijuana’s effects.
So as it stands, more research is required to clearly understand this link.
Factually speaking, myrcene has sedative effects. In fact, it is often associated with the ‘couch lock’ or ‘glued to couch’ properties attributed to indica strains – where a user is in a state of deep euphoria and does not want to or rather loses the ability to leave his/her couch, literally. In contrast, sativa strains have a very uplifting and energetic effect.
It’s quite interesting to note that myrcene is the single major chemical responsible for turning THC’s energetic effect into the couch-lock effect. For reference, strains that contain more than 0.5% myrcene have sedative ‘couch-lock’ properties.
So let’s tap our fingers together and think about this for a moment: every time you consume a nice and ripe mango, your system receives a generous amount of myrcene – its effects can help us understand why cannabis users reportedly experience ‘enhanced’ effects when consuming their herb after a round of mangoes.
As a matter of fact, it’s no surprise that myrcene also boasts analgesic properties, much like a lot of marijuana strains which are taken medicinally to relieve pain. This is one of the topmost reasons why cannabis users enjoy consuming mangoes before their session – to boost marijuana’s pain-relieving benefits.
Some regular cannabis users have even reported that myrcene can make the blood-brain barrier more permeable – meaning that the cannabinoids ingested from the marijuana are better absorbed, making them ‘higher’. We can’t say that we support these claims because there simply isn’t sufficient clinical evidence to back them up.
In any case, we ought to remember that the entourage effect and the role terpenes play is still something that science has yet to research extensively. It’s quite possible that not all of myrcene’s effects have been discovered or fully documented as of now. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if there are other compounds in mangoes that are playing a supporting role to contribute to this enhanced effect when consumed before marijuana.
Cannabis and Mangoes – An Expert Analysis
So far, what we can take away from the above is that the myrcene present in mangoes and cannabis makes for a superb flavour profile which can prove useful for medicated recipes. But to add weight to mangoes’ so-called magical powers to amplify cannabis’s high, Dr. Jeffrey Raber weighs in his expert analysis – CEO at The Werc Shop testing lab.
Dr. Raber says these claims are not entirely false, although he has stressed on the fact that the majority of information on mangoes and cannabis that is currently flying about is speculative in nature, rather than that backed by solid scientific research.
One of the key things to consider as far as Dr. Raber’s 2 cents on the matter are concerned – is that the whole mangoes and marijuana subject can be complex and as such, shouldn’t be generalized. This is so because both mango and cannabis plants come in different varieties, with their unique terpene profiles. The terpenes present in certain plant may enhance or mitigate effects of the terpenes present in mangoes when the two interact – e.g. when terpenes from a specific variety of cannabis interact with terpenes from a certain breed of mangoes. So it’s all very subjective.
He further added that myrcene does have the ability to boost the duration and intensity of cannabis’s effects because the terpene present in it facilitates THC in terms of crossing the blood-brain barrier faster – thus, helping the body absorb cannabinoids from the marijuana a lot faster. Think of it as vaping or smoking marijuana versus ingesting it in an edible – the former will bring about the effects much faster, even though those effects may not be as long lasting since edibles break down in the liver, causing the herb to stay in the system a lot longer.
Back on-topic: Dr. Raber stated that he already had a fairly good tolerance to cannabis and knew beforehand that he probably wasn’t the best test subject to assess all the intricacies of the mango plus marijuana high. However, since he comes into contact regularly with seasoned cannabis users, he decided to conduct a poll among close friends and acquaintances.
The reactions he got ranged from ‘completely indifferent’ to ‘excited and enthusiastic nods’. Raber said that he wasn’t surprised at all by the feedback he got as there are hundreds to thousands of mango varieties, each with their own myrcene profile – much like there are thousands of cannabis plant varieties boasting their unique THC and myrcene content.
Therefore, finding the right mango and cannabis plant to maximize the high is like finding the right cannabis dose while cooking – there isn’t a universal value to go by because it’s a matter of ‘what works best for you’, as well as other attributes like the quality of cannabis plants and individual metabolism and tolerance level. –Source
There are, however, studies as early as the 1970s which indicate myrcene’s uncanny ability to improve the cell membranes’ ability to better absorb some chemicals. Even though the study had nothing to do with marijuana and mangoes – in theory, if you consume mangoes before your smoking sesh, you are better preparing your body’s cells for THC uptake – the main chemical responsible for the euphoric feeling.
It’s all starting to make sense, isn’t it?
Best Way to Increase High with Mangoes
The reports that we have mostly uncovered thus far are anecdotal – still, cannabis consumers left and right are claiming mangoes’ ability to enhance and amplify their high – we’ve discussed at length how myrcene, to some degree, explains this effect.
Why not try this for yourself and see what the experience is like? Keep in mind though that you’ll need to have your mango a good 45-60 minutes before smoking cannabis, for the best effect. Also, ensure that you pick a nice and fresh, ripe mango that’s fragrant.
The same applies to your cannabis – pick high quality herb as that will contain the most amount of myrcene.
Despite your best efforts, it’s important to understand that the ‘mango effect’ may not work the same for everyone. Mangoes also have varying myrcene levels so it’s more of a hit and miss than anything else. Give it a few tries and you might find the right fit!
So one thing is certain – myrcene is the secret power ingredient in mangoes that lend to marijuana’s enhanced effects, but how noticeable this effect will be can vary drastically from person to person.
Enjoy your sweet and smokey high with some great cannabis seeds!