Mangoes are not only low in calories but also provides vitamin C and folic acid at 44% and 11%. The Indian mango (Mangifera indica), is grown in tropic and subtropical zone plantations and it’s increasingly getting popular.
A cultural fruit
Mango has become the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. It seems that the presence of mango is particularly marked in Indian culture. The dried mango peel and its seeds are used in Ayurveda, while its leaves decorate the door of Indian houses. The latter is often the pride of important ceremonies, including weddings and holidays. With the use of precious mango flowers, the goddess Saraswati was worshiped.
While the mature fruit is a symbol of prosperity and the tireless urge to the end, that’s why during the Ugadi festival, a dish called Ugadi pachadi is made of it.
As it was mentioned at the beginning, a portion of mango (100 g) provides only 60 kcal (250 KJ), although there are varieties slightly calorific (Apple, 79 kcal / 100g). Fresh fruit contains a large amount of nutrients, although the most significant are vitamin C and folic acid.
Researchers also pay attention to the presence of other compounds contained in the peel or mango pulp. First of all, these are triterpenes, including lupeol with antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties (confirmed in vitro studies). In addition, mango peel contains carotenoids, including α and β-carotene and lutein, which support the proper vision.
Pro-health properties are not only manifested by mango fruit, but also by the bark of the tree. Extract from this raw material, called Vimang, is a rich source of polyphenols that can be used in diseases related to age, including atherosclerosis.
Tree bark and leaves are also a unique source of mangiferin – a compound with multidirectional pharmacological action (antiallergic, lipolytic, antidiabetic and immunostimulatory), and additionally due to strong antioxidant properties – anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive. Although it belongs to the group of polyphenols, which are most often characterized by poor oral bioavailability, mangiferin is a notable exception here. In addition, it has the ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, so it can have neuroprotective effects.
Researchers are still researching on mangiferin. Meanwhile, some cannabis enthusiasts claim that if you consume fresh, ripe mango 45 minutes before smoking cannabis, you will get a more intense psychoactive effect.
What’s the compound in mango that causes psychoactive effect? The source materials say that it’s the β-myrcene, which belongs to the class of terpenes, naturally produced by a variety of plants. Terpenes are volatile compounds, they have an intense smell and respond as chemical building blocks for more complex molecules like cannabinoids and specific hormones. Aside from the mango fruit, myrcene is also found in hops, basil, and lemongrass.
How does my myrcene increase the intensity of sensations after smoking marijuana?
There are two theories to this:
1. Myrcene may increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, in other words, the THC contained in marijuana is able to reach the central nervous system easily.
2. The terpenes increase the activation of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor by THC since myrcene is the allosteric modulator of this receptor.
What are the scientific facts? First of all, there is strong evidence that myrcene affects the activity of the central nervous system. In a mice study, it showed a calming and relaxing effect, although the doses administered were very high. In addition, myrcene deepened and prolonged sleep induced by barbiturates. Another study in mice showed that the compound has an anticonvulsant effect. In contrast, lemongrass oil (whose main ingredient is myrcene) had an anxiolytic effect in rodents.
Myrcene in Cannabis
It is worth noting that myrcene is also present in cannabis. Depending on the specific variety of this plant, the terpene content varies from 0.04% to 1.9%.
A certain analytical laboratory has shown that the calming properties of cannabis can only be observed if the content of myristate in marijuana exceeds 0.5%.
Myrcene in mangoes
Photo credits: Steep Hill
Like cannabis, various mangoes contain different concentrations of myrcene. In one study, the content of this terpene was evaluated in 20 mango varieties. It was shown that various varieties of mango contained from 0.09 to 1.29 mg per kg of fruit.
Assuming that 100% of myrcene is absorbed and that the average person consumes a quarter of a gram of hemp at once and one whole mango (150 g of fruit). The content of myrcene in mango accounts for only about 4% of the content of this terpene in marijuana, which seems to be too little to obtain for the central nervous system.
In conclusion, the myrcene contained in marijuana is a significant terpene that can cause sedative and anxiolytic effects. What about myrcene in mangoes? Does myrcene in mango make you high? The answer to this question is Yes with a “but”. Yes, only if you take a very high dosage of myrcene.