Mangoes and Marijuana: A Recipe for Higher Living
Have you heard that you can increase your cannabis high by eating mangoes?
There is some science behind the statement: The the two plants share a terpene called myrcene. Widely used in both the perfume and brewing industries, myrcene is an aromatic hydrocarbon that can be found, in varying degrees, in the essential oils of a large number of plants including black pepper, hops, bay leaves, basil, lemongrass, mangoes, and of course, marijuana. Myrcene has many therapeutic benefits including antibacterial, analgesic, and sedative effects. Myrcene, like marijuana, also shows promise in treating diabetes.
An Expert Weighs In
So the myrcene present in both mangoes and marijuana made them a good flavor match when developing medicated recipes for sure, but was there really anything to the claims of mango’s magical power over the cannabis high?
Dr. Jeffrey Raber, CEO of The Werc Shop testing lab (www.thewercshop.com), says YES.
According to Dr. Raber, there actually is something to the claims, although he stresses that a lot of the information about mangoes and marijuana is speculative at best, as it hasn’t been extensively tested.
One of the things Raber says that makes this subject so complex and difficult to generalize is the fact that each plant variety, both mango and cannabis, contains different terpene profiles, and those other terpenes could in theory either enhance or mitigate the effects of other terpenes.
Myrcene is thought to enhance the intensity and length of marijuana’s high because the terpene helps THC cross the blood-brain barrier faster and aid in the body’s absorption of cannabinoids.
Dr. Raber pointed out that there are thousands of varieties of mangoes, each with varying levels of myrcene, just as there are thousands of varieties of cannabis, each with varying degrees of myrcene and THC content. Achieving the right combination is a lot like achieving the perfect cannabis dose in cooking, it’s a matter of what works best for the individual’s metabolism along with the quality of the plants.
If you want to try the theory out yourself, Dr. Raber says consuming mangoes 45 to 90 minutes before consuming cannabis will give your body enough time to absorb the fruit’s myrcene, which can then synergize with the marijuana’s cannabinoids and other terpenes.
Since myrcene burns off at temperatures in excess of 147 degrees F, you will want to be sure to eat raw mangoes. Also since you would absorb different terpenes at different levels depending on whether you smoked or vaped the cannabis, Dr. Raber says this could also influence how much of the marijuana and mangoes effects you feel, or don’t feel.
Without lab testing, it’s hard to know for sure how high the myrcene level in your mangoes or your marijuana actually is, but you can increase your chances of high myrcene strains of both with these tips:
The more fragrant the better! The perfume industry uses myrcene for a reason, so if you have a particularly aromatic strain of mango or marijuana, chances are better it will have high myrcene levels. Myrcene aromas can include elements of peaches, grapes, vanilla, wine, pepper, and herbaceous greens.
Generally speaking, higher quality cannabis has higher myrcene levels.
One of myrcene’s therapeutic benefits is its sedative effect. Likewise, indica strains of marijuana, especially those known for inducing couch lock, are most likely to be high in myrcene.
The riper the mango the better.
According to The Big Book of Buds (2001 Quick American Archives) high myrcene mango strains include Cavalo, Rosa, Espada, Paulista.
Color offers no clues as to a mango’s ripeness, instead gently squeeze the fruit and look for one that gives slightly much like a ripe peach or avocado.
Sniff the stem end, if it has a fruity aroma, you’ll know you have a ripe, juicy mango.
Mangoes will continue to ripen after picking, becoming softer and sweeter.
For best results, store whole unripe or just ripe mangoes at room temperature, not in the refrigerator.
Speed up ripening by storing whole mangoes in a closed paper bag.