Will Mango Juice Make My Edibles Hit Harder?
An oft-repeated (and blogged about) bit of “wisdom” states that mango juice will help humans process THC, allowing it to bind to the CB1 cannabinoid receptors inside the body with more efficiency, leading to a better high. Unfortunately, as with a good majority of oldskool cannabis “facts” and folklore, this help may not hold up to modern scientific scrutiny.
We talk about this a bit more in our article on “Everything You Need to Know about Indica vs. Sativa” but the interplay between THC and the other terpenes/cannabinoids contained within cannabis is very important. More than just the THC itself, terpenes play a large role in shaping and altering the effects of a strain of cannabis – Different combinations of terpene types and other cannabinoids (CBD, CBN, etc.) are what give specific strains higher sensations of alertness, drowsiness, energy, creativity, in a process casually referred to as “the entourage effect“.
Of Myrcene and Mangoes
One of the most prominent terpenes found in cannabis is called “β-Myrcene”, or more commonly just “myrcene”. Myrcene is found in a host of different plants, including lemongrass, bay leaves, cardamom, and, yes, mangoes. Cannabis also has high percentages of myrcene, with many strains commonly carrying over 45% myrcene in their total terepnoid profile.
So how does all of this tie into mango juice helping you get high? The theory is that myrcene helps bind cannabinoids (such as THC) to the body’s cannabinoid receptors – The more myrcene you have, the more your CB1/CB2 receptors will be ready & available to slot in the THC molecules, meaning a bigger high. The easy solution? Eat a mango or drink a glass of mango juice before you get high – This will make sure your cannabinoid receptors are as receptive as they can be.
But The Truth Is…
Unfortunately this isn’t backed by science. In a study published May of 2020, a New Zealand based research team determined that for whatever the entourage effect is, it isn’t caused by interactions of terpenes at the cannabinoid receptors. While terpenes certain do still have something to do with how different strains of cannabis effect us differently, terpene interaction with CB1/CB2 receptors isn’t it.
Still, they obviously do something, so why not just eat a mango anyway? Well, while we certainly recommend eating mangoes for the sake of their own deliciousness, it’s important to know that the amount of myrcene contained in the average mango isn’t enough to add much to your high.
Comparing studies of myrcene content between your average Cannabis sativa strain and your average mango strain we can see that a half gram of cannabis contains roughly 4 milligrams of myrcene, while a single mango will contain somewhere around 0.09 milligrams – Doing the math, this means that the myrcene contribution from the mango isn’t significant in the slightest, and people will get way more myrcene out of smoking a single joint than eating even several mangoes in a row.
There are a lot of varying reasons why cannabis edibles may have a hard time effecting certain people, and unfortunately at least one reason edibles won’t make you get high that’s impossible to overcome. And while we would argue that “something” is better than “absolutely nothing”, if you’re someone with the CYP2C9 AA enzyme? It may be better to just stick to smoking your weed to get high, rather than getting a tiny buzz from expensive edibles.
Still, consuming over smoking cannabis is a unique experience, and we would say it’s worth experimenting with diet, exercise, and other metabolism-boosting body hacks before giving up on the world of edibles entirely. Just don’t expect folk wisdom “miracle solutions” like mango juice to solve the problem. Best of luck with your next edibles session – Happy munching!
Want to learn more about the world of edibles? Make sure to check out other articles in our “What Are Edibles?” series, such as “How to Make Edibles” or “How Long do Edibles Stay In Your System?“