Research shows that there are more than 100 different terpenes in the cannabis plant, and the limonene terpene is one of the most abundant of them all. But what is limonene? What does the limonene terpene do, and are there any interesting limonene benefits to be aware of?
In this guide, we’ll cover all you need to know about limonene. We’ll look at limonene terpene effects, examine the limonene structure under the microscope, and highlight some particular limonene strains that you might like to try.
What Is Limonene?
Before we think about the possible therapeutic effects or benefits of limonene, let’s begin with a definition of what limonene terpene actually is. Limonene is a terpene – terpene is a natural, aromatic compound found in many different plants and responsible for different plant smells and tastes.
Limonene, which is also sometimes referred to as D-limonene, occurs naturally in cannabis plants, as well as in a range of other plants like mint, rosemary, and pine, and various citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, and oranges. You can find limonene in the peel of these fruits and it helps to give them their distinctive citrus scent.
From a scientific perspective, limonene is a colorless liquid. It’s part of the hydrocarbon family, which means that the limonene structure is made up of a mixture of hydrogen and carbon atoms bonded together in a unique formation.
Common Uses of Limonene
So, we know what limonene is, but what are some D-limonene benefits and potential uses? Well, there are actually several functional uses for this fascinating compound:
- Limonene can be extracted alongside other compounds in certain essential oils – like rosemary essential oil – and used for aromatherapy.
- Limonene can also be used as a natural, organic herbicide, which may be effective in agriculture and farming.
- Other interesting limonene terpene effects include the fact that it works well as a solvent, and can be used for removing paint and oil from surfaces.
- There are also potential health-related D-limonene benefits (more on that below), and the medical world is looking into ways to use this terpene to treat different conditions.
Limonene’s Potential Effects and Benefits
Out of the many terpene profiles found in a typical cannabis strain, limonene stands out for its unique range of benefits and potential uses. Here are some of the main health-related limonene benefits:
- Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties
Just like several other cannabinoid and terpene compounds from cannabis plants, one of the benefits of limonene is that it can serve as an anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown that limonene has the potential to reduce inflammation throughout the body as well as serve as an antioxidant and battle oxidative stress and damage to various bodily organs.
- Anti-Anxiety and Antidepressant Properties
Not only does limonene provide a helping hand to the immune system, but limonene strains may also have anti-anxiety effects, too. Some studies in mice and humans have shown that the use of limonene can help to lessen feelings of stress and anxiety by reducing the presence of cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone.
- Antiplasmodial Properties
In addition to its anti-stress, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, some research has suggested that limonene may have antiplasmodial properties, too. Antiplasmodial refers to anything that can defend against or fight certain types of parasites, especially those that are responsible for causing malaria.
- Anticancer Properties
A limonene-dominant cannabis strain or product might even be able to aid in the fight against cancer. One 2018 study showed that limonene helped slow down and even stop the growth of cancerous cells in mice. Other studies have come to similar conclusions and even suggested that limonene may help make cancer-killing drugs more effective.
How Does Limonene Interact with Other Terpenes?
Certain cannabinoids and terpenes are said to interact with one another in a so-called “entourage effect.” Studies are still ongoing to find out more about this, but it is believed that limonene can interact with certain terpenes and cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, to make them more efficient and effective. It’s also said that limonene can help reduce the risk of anxiety caused by THC.
Does Limonene Get You High?
No, limonene cannot get you high. In fact, no terpene can get you high, as the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis is the cannabinoid known as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Limonene may have an impact on a person’s mood or feelings, but shouldn’t produce intoxicating or high-like feelings.
Limonene and the Entourage Effect
As mentioned above, studies suggest that limonene has a part to play in the entourage effect, which involves terpenes, cannabinoids, and other cannabis compounds like flavonoids all working together to make each other more effective.
In other words, if a person consumes a mixture of cannabinoids and terpenes, they may feel more noticeable and powerful effects than someone who only consumes one cannabinoid or a small selection of terpenes.
There’s a lot of evidence to support the concept of an entourage effect, and in the case of limonene, it has been suggested that this terpene may help to make the anti-stress and relaxing or sedative effects of other terpenes and cannabinoids more prominent.
Cannabis Strains with the Highest Limonene Content
There are lots of different cannabis strains out there, and some can have much higher amounts of certain terpenes or cannabinoids than others. Here are some examples of limonene-heavy strains that you can find from a trusted cannabis cultivator in California:
- Do-Si-Dos – Also known as Dosidos or Dosi, this is an Indica-dominant strain.
- Strawberry Banana – Also known as Strawnana, it’s an Indica-heavy strain.
- Wedding Cake – A hybrid strain made of Animal Mints and Triangle Kush.
- Unicornz: A hybrid strain with a sweet and fruity flavor profile that is said to produce a euphoric and uplifting high. It’s also known for its dense and resinous buds.
- Kushlato: A potent Indica-dominant hybrid strain that combines the relaxing effects of OG Kush and Gelato. It has a sweet and earthy flavor profile and is known for its ability to induce deep relaxation and sleepiness.
- RS11: A sativa-dominant hybrid strain that is said to produce a clear-headed and energizing high. It has a piney and citrusy aroma and is known for its dense and resinous buds.
- Skywalker OG 2.0: An indica-dominant hybrid strain that is a cross between Skywalker and OG Kush. It has a sweet and spicy flavor profile and is known for its relaxing and sedative effects. It may also produce a strong body buzz.
- Confidential OG: An indica-dominant hybrid strain with a musky and earthy aroma. It is said to produce a calming and sedative high that may also induce appetite and sleepiness. It has dense and resinous buds that are covered in trichomes.
- Banana OG – This is an Indica-dominant strain made from a mixture of OG Kush and Banana.
- Tahoe OG – A popular Indica-heavy strain, also known as Tahoe OG Kush.
- Berry White – A hybrid strain made from White Widow and Blueberry.
How Can I Try Limonene-Rich Cannabis Strains?
The easiest way to try limonene-rich strains is to find a trusted supplier or dispensary near you. If you’re unsure about anything, ask the staff to help you. They should be able to provide recommendations and let you know which strains have the most limonene.