Mangoes and Cannabis
Posted by Glenn Beierle on 10/16/2018 in Medical Marijuana
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Have you heard the rumors? Some people say that if you eat a mango before using marijuana, you experience more of its psychoactive effects. If mangoes do make you more responsive to cannabis, understanding the science behind it could help us improve treatments. Keep reading to learn about the connection between mangoes and marijuana and how we can use it to improve patients’ health.
Do Mangoes Enhance Marijuana’s Benefits?
We do not have direct scientific evidence showing whether mangoes can increase the effect of marijuana. However, the research we have on the components in mangoes and marijuana suggests a link.
Since cannabis has a Schedule I status in the United States, the DEA forbids most resources for cannabis research. The scientific community has a low amount of data on marijuana because of the hurdles this legislation creates. Our information so far does not cover mangoes and cannabis, but it has some insights on myrcene, a compound found in both of them.
Why Do Mangoes Increase Cannabis Medicine’s Effects?
When the components in marijuana enhance each others’ effects, we call it the entourage effect. You may know about this term in the context of cannabinoids complementing one another. But, the entourage effect can happen with other cannabis compounds, as well.
In addition to cannabinoids like THC and CBD, marijuana contains components called terpenes. Terpenes appear in many plants, including aromatic herbs, so even people who never use cannabis medicine consume them. Just like cannabinoids, each terpene has unique health benefits.
Both mangoes and cannabis have the terpene myrcene, and studies suggest that myrcene can enhance the psychoactive effects of THC. Evidence shows it could increase the number of cannabinoids your CB1 receptor can take in at one time, giving you a more intense effect. It lets THC take effect more quickly, too.
Myrcene seems to contribute to the body high that many people call “couch-lock.” You can find higher levels of it in indica strains than sativa strains, and indica strains have a higher chance of causing this body high. Specifically, a concentration of 0.5 percent or higher of myrcene increases the effect.
Eating a mango before using your medicine could increase its benefits because of the entourage effect myrcene has on THC. The information we know about these components supports the idea of mangoes enhancing marijuana’s psychoactive effects. However, since we don’t have data on mangoes, in particular, we don’t know the extent of this interaction.
How Do I Combine Mangoes and Cannabis for Better Treatment?
We don’t have conclusive evidence on the extent of mangoes’ effect on marijuana. But, eating one before medicating doesn’t cause harm. So, why not try it out yourself to see if it enhances your treatment? Keep in mind that mangoes will only help patients looking for extra benefits from THC who don’t mind the “high” it causes. If you use high-CBD or CBD-only medicine, you probably won’t notice a difference. However, you may feel increased relief if you already experience benefits from THC medication.
You need to eat a mango a little while before taking your medicine to experience the entourage effect. Most people will see results if they consume it 45 minutes before medicating. Try to eat the freshest mango possible, too — older mangoes may have a lower amount of myrcene since terpene levels degrade over time. Plus, fresh mangoes have more nutrients than older mangoes. If you want the added benefits of a mango’s vitamins, you want to avoid as much degradation as possible. You can also try frozen mango, since freezing the fruits locks in terpenes and nutrients.
Myrcene as a Remedy
When you increase your myrcene intake, you also get to enjoy the health benefits it provides on its own. Research suggests that myrcene offers relief for:
Of course, we don’t mean you should eat a mango and call it a day when you have one of these conditions. Myrcene mainly enhances relief for these conditions in its normal amounts. It may require a high level of myrcene for it to treat symptoms by itself.
Strains High in Myrcene
Do you want to try a strain high in myrcene now that you know about its effects and benefits? Indica strains and indica-dominant hybrids tend to have the highest levels of myrcene. Strains known for their high myrcene content include:
- White Widow (Hybrid): Relieves fatigue, depression and pain
- Pure Kush (Indica): Helps with insomnia, nausea and appetite problems
- Himalayan Gold (Hybrid): Reduces stress, depression and pain
- El Nino (Hybrid): Relieves pain, insomnia and mood issues
- Skunk No. 1 (Hybrid): Soothes muscle spasms and pain
Other Terpenes in Marijuana
Myrcene is only one of more than 200 terpenes found in marijuana. You can find even more beneficial terpenes in cannabis, such as:
- Limonene: Anti-carcinogenic, antidepressant, digestive aid, antifungal
- Linalool: Anti-inflammatory, sedative, anti-epileptic, antipsychotic
- Caryophyllene: Antioxidant, painkilling, anti-inflammatory
- Alpha-Bisabolol: Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory
- Borneol: Stress relieving, sedative, painkilling
- Delta-3 Carene: Anti-inflammatory, stimulates bone growth, reduces fluid buildup
- Eucalyptol: Painkilling, mental stimulant, anti-carcinogenic
- Nerolidol: Enhances topical skin penetration, antifungal, sedative
- Pinene: Opens up airways, expectorant
In contrast to myrcene’s THC-enhancing effects, many terpenes cancel out the side effects of THC. As far back as the 10th century, people who used marijuana consumed terpene-rich foods to reduce THC intoxication. They didn’t know it at the time, but their popular remedies for side effects and “marijuana hangovers” contained terpenes like pinene and limonene. With further research, we may have cannabis medicine in the future that includes terpenes to mellow out THC’s side effects.
Consult a Medical Expert
If you want to try cannabis medicine high in myrcene, you don’t have to search for it alone. Professionals in the medical marijuana industry can help you find medication rich in the terpenes you want.
Visit a marijuana-trained doctor today for an informed opinion on what products to try. A dispensary staff member can also assist you while you shop for medicine. Find a dispensary near you that has the strains and products you want.