June 8, 2021 at 12:27 pm #33045L420Participant
I’ve always heard that if you eat a mango an hour or so before a cannabis session that it can boost your high because mangoes have a lot of myrcene terpenes. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of research out there, so wondering if any expert has the facts on this. Also, I’m curious if the myrcene terpenes from mangoes would interact differently based on if the strain is indica or sativa?June 9, 2021 at 11:44 am #33062
Hey, L420! Thanks for starting this thread… which is definitely controversial to the cannabis industry, to say the least!
I’m currently developing the new Cooking with Cannabis course in partnership with the American Culinary Federation and writing the textbook for the course as well. This is one of the topics that I dive into great detail on. Below is an excerpt from the book that includes references to my logic behind breaking this all down.
Consumption Determines Function!
Aside from the effects of terpenes with cannabis, there are other claims that have been made that are widely known in the industry. The best example is that if you eat mango before you get high you will get higher and it will last longer. Why? Because there is myrcene in mango, and myrcene is evidently supposed to open up the blood-brain barrier and allow more THC to get into your brain… For decades this mango claim has been praised and some people swear by their life that it’s true. There are also plenty of mango edibles claiming to make you feel higher.
What’s interesting about this claim is that people tend to forget that THC and other cannabinoids are lipophilic, meaning they love fat and have no issue crossing fatty membranes like the blood-brain barrier. Ethan Russo explains this best by simply stating that THC doesn’t need help crossing the blood-brain barrier! From there, other studies have also shown that most of the primary terpenes found in cannabis such as myrcene, pinene, linalool, caryophyllene, and limonene do not alter THC’s ability to bind with CB receptors.
What’s really fascinating is that there are hundreds of different mango varieties that all vary in their terpene content, of which most of them have moderate to minimal amounts of myrcene in them, or none detected at all. Depending on the variety, some of the most abundant terpenes include ocimene, terpinolene, pinene, toluene, limonene, and carene. The ripeness of each variety also needs to be considered when discussing the terpene profile of the fruit. Just like cannabis, terpenes in mango aren’t there for our pleasure, they are there to protect the plant. Genetics and environmental conditions will determine the terpene profile of the harvested fruit.
What’s also super contradictory to this claim that myrcene will make you higher, is that myrcene is the most abundantly found terpene found in cannabis, right next to beta-caryophyllene, pinene, limonene, and a few other usual suspects. So, if you eat some mango and then get high, you’re going to get a lot more myrcene in your system a lot faster since you just inhaled it, than you would from the mango being digested. How is the little to zero amount of myrcene in your mango that’s just been destroyed by your stomach acid and liver going to do the same thing as the myrcene you just smoked that had an immediate effect? It just doesn’t add up when you break this all down.
Now, this doesn’t mean that terpenes can’t work in other areas, like modulating neurotransmitters and hormones (monoamines). However, I think it’s safe to say the mango myth can be set to rest based on the ideas that myrcene won’t make you higher in mangos because THC doesn’t need help crossing the BBB, myrcene doesn’t increase THC potency at CB receptors, most mangoes don’t have a lot of myrcene, and the digestion and metabolism of terpenes significantly changes them.
So, if you want to enjoy mangoes because they are delicious, go for it, but please stop telling people they get you higher. I assure you, if this were true, plenty of other plants would get people much higher than mango, considering the minimal amount of myrcene and terpenes as a whole in the fruit.
Go figure, at the time of writing this book a new terpene study came out that indicated that some terpenes like pinene, humulene, linalool, and other terpenes were able to boost cannabinoid activity at CB receptors. Naturally, the cannabis social media community went apeshit over it, but I was skeptical, so I dove in. The study was performed with mice and was done by injecting them with these terpenes at incredibly high doses, 50-200mg/kg of body weight. These terpenes weren’t lit on fire and inhaled or put through stomach acid or liver metabolism, they were injected and at super high doses. So, it’s a cool study in the sense that it opens up the door for more research, but it doesn’t mean that the terpenes in your mango are doing a damn thing to THC when you eat them.
Why am I diving into this in such detail? There are two reasons. First, I hope this bites me in the ass someday because a placebo-controlled study is performed and proves that mango or other food ingredients can make people higher due to the terpene profiles, specifically with myrcene. At that point I will contact the researchers and break down my logic, to determine where I went wrong. Remember, being proven wrong is only an opportunity to learn as long as you can keep your ego in check. The second reason I go into this detail is I hope this encourages you to think critically. I assure you that there are many claims about cannabis, that science will eventually prove to be fact or fiction. In the few years I’ve been obsessively researching cannabis, there have been many stoner facts that have been laid to rest, and the plant is still federally illegal. I’m sure there will be things I believe to be true based on the science that’s available today, that will be debunked by the science of tomorrow. This is incredibly exciting! Regardless of what you think to be true based on anecdotal evidence, instinct, or science, have an open mind with a touch of skepticism, and try to separate your feelings from logic. We will eventually all be proven wrong at some point… embrace it!June 14, 2021 at 3:07 pm #33142L420Participant
Wow, thanks, Brandon. This is by far the most in-depth answer I’ve seen on this. I’m a bit bummed to hear the truth, but it looks like we can consider this myth busted!
Is there anything out there that actually boosts your high the way people think mangoes do?June 14, 2021 at 9:36 pm #33156dawnarbo72Participant
That is so funny one of my budtenders and I were just having a conversation about mangoes. Thank you thank you thank you for your very detailed description. What about peanut butter? Since it is made up of that “good’ fat? Does it help carry through the BBB faster. Therefore making you feel higher faster and for a longer period of time?June 15, 2021 at 7:51 pm #33220Dan ParksModerator
Unofficial results from a guy in Jamaica with a 50 ft Hamilton Mango tree in the back yard and a fat “Juli” Mango tree in the front yard… Who is eating Mangos in all the same ways that “Bubba” ate Shrimp in FORREST GUMP…
NO. IT DOESN’T HAVE ANY EFFECT ON MY HIGH(s), but they do taste great regardless. (The first 100 times)
In my “Bubba” voice: “Mango bread, mango pancakes, mango syrup, mango butter, mango jelly, mango ice-cream, mango milkshakes…”
Going to try the Peanut Butter test NOW. 🙂June 18, 2021 at 8:05 am #33242
Fat is great for increasing the bioavailability of cannabinoids via digestion, but it’s not going to do a damn thing regarding the BBB. The peanut butter itself, or any fat, isn’t carrying the THC into the brain. Instead, when cannabinoids are delivered in fat, the fat simply increases the amount that is absorbed by the body.
THC is lipophilic – fat-loving – meaning it has no problem crossing the BBB. Check out the Ethan Russon podcast on Shaping Fire – I believe it’s episode 11. He chats about the entire myrcene mango nonsense and explains this about the BBB.
Lipophylic compounds, don’t need help crossing the BBB, but they can use some help increasing their bioavailability, depending on how they are consumed.
You know of keto fat coffee? The whole idea of adding fat to the coffee is to increase the absorption of the micronutrients in the coffee. Why is it so good to add fat to sauteed vegetables? Not just to make them taste better… but to actually make sure you retain some of their nutritional properties. This same idea applies to cannabinoids.June 18, 2021 at 8:06 am #33243
Hahahahaha now I’m going to be thinking about mango shrimp combinations all day!
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