Terpene Tuesday: Limonene

Heady Vermont Staff 5 Nov 2019

Recognizable for its zesty citrus fragrance and unique mood-brightening, energizing effects, limonene is a core ingredient found primarily in the rinds of lemon, grapefruit, orange, and lime. It’s also one of the most abundant cannabis terpenes, found in strains like Lemon OG and Do-Si-Dos, and is well-known for its variety of potential therapeutic benefits.

Limonene in everyday life

Limonene is one of the most common terpenes found in nature and exists in citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges. In fact, it is especially abundant in orange peels and comprises around 97% of the rind’s essential oils. You can find this lemony-flavored compound as an additive in various popular foods and drinks, including sodas, candies, and desserts.

Unsurprisingly, limonene is also a popular ingredient in cleaning supplies and cosmetics. Because of its strong aroma, limonene makes an excellent botanical insecticide that you can find in pesticide products like eco-friendly insect repellents.

Due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and mood-boosting powers, limonene is available in concentrated dietary supplements in liquid and capsule form.

Finally, this citrusy compound is one of the most popular ingredients in essential oils due to its uplifting and therapeutic properties.

Strains rich in limonene

You’d assume that strains containing limonene would exhibit a lemony smell, but that isn’t always the case when it comes to cannabis. Check out your lab tested product carefully to make sure it is high in limonene, 2% being generally the highest percent.

  • Lemon OG
  • White Fire OG
  • Do-Si-Dos
  • Wedding Cake
  • Banana OG
  • Black Cherry Soda
  • Jet Fuel OG
  • LA Kush Cake
  • Blue Runtz
  • Suver Haze
  • Lifter

Therapeutic properties

Limonene adds a citrus aroma and anecdotally enhances cannabis’ mood-elevating effects. It also works with several neurotransmitter systems in the body, including the serotonin and GABA systems, to contribute to alertness, mood, and thinking.

This versatile terpene also facilitiates the absorption of other terpenes through our skin, mucous membranes, and gut.

Limonene has shown anti-inflammatory, wound healing and anticancer effects in laboratory studies. This terpene was shown to alter the signaling pathways within cancer cells in a way that stops cancer cells from multiplying and causes their death, a process called “apoptosis”.

In animal trials, D-limonene slowed the growth of pancreatic, stomach, colon, skin, and liver cancers. It also slowed formation of tumors and their progression in animals exposed to cancer-causing substances.

However, these anticancer effects have not yet been proven in humans.

Limonene is a natural essential oil that has been used for centuries to treat nausea and vomiting. It’s a powerful anti-emetic that effectively stops nausea and vomiting. Limonene is also a carminative, meaning it helps to expel gas from the stomach and intestines. This oil can be used to treat both adults and children who are experiencing nausea and vomiting.

Limonene can be taken in several ways to treat nausea and vomiting. It it usually inhaled but can also be diffused, or applied topically.

See all referenced studies below!

Cannabis Terpene β-limonene

Limonene terpene profile:

Aroma: Fruit, Citrus

Found in: Lemon Rinds, Orange Rind, Juniper

Vaporizes: 349°F

Strains: Lemon OG, White Fire OG, Do-Si-Dos, Wedding Cake, Banana OG, Black Cherry Soda

Properties: Elevated Mood, Stress Relief, Anti-Fungal and Anti-Bacterial Properties, Anti-Inflammatory, Anticancer, Aids in terpene absorption 

Scientific studies

  • A review published in Chemico-Biological Interactions looked at numerous studies on the therapeutic effects of limonene. The paper concluded that limonene acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and anticancer agent.
  • Limonene may have the power to protect the body from various disorders by modulating how specific immune cells behave.
  • Studies conducted by the University of Arizona found that limonene can boost the immune system and play a role in managing the spread of some cancers.
  • Not only is limonene healthy to consume when it exists in foods, but it also appears to be safe to take as a supplement.
  • One of Limonene’s most significant strengths is its ability to help facilitate the absorption of various terpenes through the skin, gut, and mucous membranes.
  • Phase I and pharmacokinetic study of D-limonene in patients with advanced cancer.
  • The effect of lemon inhalation aromatherapy on nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.

Cannabis Terpene Limonene

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