Cannabis Terpenes 101: Limonene

The cannabis experience entails multiple components. Yes, there’s the inebriation of the matter. Most people smoke to feel the psychoactive effects and expand their minds.

Yet, there’s more to the cannabis experience than “getting high.” 

After all, we’re discussing a plant from the earth–of our soil–that’s been enjoyed for thousands of years. The surrounding mythology couldn’t grow around cannabis as it has if “getting stoned” was all it brought to the table.

Cannabis (namely, strains with viable levels of THC) and the experiences it yields are immutably tied to its psychoactive components, but its other properties are as–if not more–vital to users.

Look at wine or scotch. Both can get you a little tipsy, but there’s so much more to enjoying either form of alcohol than how drunk they get you. 

While wine has tannins and scotch, a trademark smokey malt, cannabis has terpenes, lending it a distinguished aromatic profile plus multiple other benefits. Limonene is one such terpene–a crucial one found in many cannabis strains and the topic of this article.

What Is Limonene?

Limonene has powerful aromas that offer a protective layer to plants, staving off predators and harmful microbes.

You’ll locate limonene in lemons, oranges, limes, and other forms of citrus. Orange peels contain it in droves, comprising approximately 97% of orange peel-derived essential oils. 

Often referred to as d-limonene, limonene is one of nature’s more abundant terpenes, offering various health and wellness benefits, seemingly possessing the following properties [1]:

  • Antioxidant.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Disease prevention.
  • Anti-stress.

It’s also worth noting how a cannabis flower’s resin gland produces limonene [2]. 

Limonene Effects And Its Role In Cannabis

Primarily, limonene’s role in cannabis is aromatherapeutic, adding an uplifting kick to any strain you’re consuming.

You’ll locate limonene in sativas, indicas, or hybrids. However, most associate it with the exhilarating boost it adds to sativa strains. Also, it can help mitigate the couch-lock effect associated with indicas [3].

Research indicates limonene bolsters the body’s absorption of cannabinoids via the gut and skin. Thus, many experts believe higher doses of specific cannabis strains can regulate improved gut functioning and healthy digestion [4].

Limonene, like its many other terpene counterparts, also contributes to the entourage effect of cannabis.

While it can be easy to think THC content is the most crucial indicator of a strain’s quality, it’s only one facet. All components of a strain combine and contribute to its overall provided experience and effects. A veritable “entourage” of factors dictates the quality levels of a given cannabis product.

A terpene like limonene adds a balancing component to the entourage effect. It levels out the more anxiety-inducing aspects of THC while providing an uplifting boost, enhancing the overall experience.

Limonene’s Therapeutic Benefits

Research suggests that limonene can help mitigate symptoms of stress and mood disorders, improving anxiety [5].

Furthermore, research with rats suggests limonene decreases behaviors associated with depression. Additionally, it might even improve memory [6]. 

Other studies indicate limonene aiding with digestion and in cholesterol level regulation. It also seems to fortify our immune systems while improving sleep quality [7].

Also, further research discusses how limonene might effectively combat nausea [8].

We’ll add the disclosure that our dispensary is for legal recreational adult cannabis usage, and we’re not medical professionals. This isn’t medical advice. Discussed above are the potential medicinal properties limonene appears to have through our research and general product knowledge.

Are you contemplating purchasing a cannabis strain high in limonene content for therapeutic or health-based reasons? If so, we wish to stress the importance of speaking with a licensed healthcare professional and not self-medicating.

Limonene In Cannabis Strains

The limonene content in various strains–whether sativa, indica, or hybrid–enhances other terpenes’ anti-stress and sedative effects. Generally speaking, it interacts with other cannabinoids to make them more impactful and effective.

Popular strains with limonene include Skywalker OG 2, London Pound Cake, Purple Punch, and Wedding Cake Popcorn.

Depending on whether these strains are indica or sativa, you can expect the limonene to balance things out. It will make it so that potent indicas won’t send you to bed right away, and it will ensure the energetic punch provided by sativas doesn’t morph into anxiety. 

When present in hybrid, the predominant effects of limonene revolve around whether the strain leans indica or sativa. If the hybrid leans indica, you’ll be uplifted from the couch, and if it leans sativa, you’ll feel a sense of calm, balancing your bursts of energy. 

Limonene And Aromatherapy

Studies with rodents indicate how limonene’s role in aromatherapy positively impacts stress and anxiety symptoms, helping neutralize them. It can also support enhanced digestion, possibly mitigating the chances of developing stomach ulcers [9]. 

Citrus aromas–like what’s found in limonene–offer pleasant scents. These smells help uplift mood, provide a calming effect, and make people more cheerful. Frequent aromatherapeutic use cases include diffusion sprays for homes, in vehicles, and in massage therapy [10].

For these reasons–and many more highlighted throughout this article–limonene can play a crucial role in enhancing the effects of cannabis consumption. 

Of course, this means finding cannabis products containing limonene, which can be complicated if you don’t have labeled products in front of you.

Identifying Limonene In Cannabis Products

The most seamless and convenient way to identify limonene in cannabis products is by reading labels. Lab-tested products–like what we sell at Phasal–clearly indicate the terpenes contained within a given strain we’re selling. 

That said, you aren’t always going to enjoy such a luxury. Sometimes, you need to play detective and must do so with your sense of smell. If you detect bright, pungent, citrusy scents, there’s likely some limonene in the strain–although that’s not a guarantee. 

We suggest shopping with reliable dispensaries who know what’s contained in their cannabis products. This way, you won’t have to guess whether your cannabis contains limonene–you’ll know it does.

Also, we’ll reiterate the value of speaking with a medical professional about what type of cannabis might be best for your needs. Not all strains with limonene contain the same effects, and you shouldn’t seek it blanketly. 

Precautions And Considerations

A limonene allergy typically coincides with an allergy to citrus fruit peels; dermatitis symptoms can develop from touching the outside of a citrus fruit. Yet, it’s still entirely harmless to drink juice from these fruits [11]. 

Dosing cannabis of all types for therapeutic reasons requires a cautious approach. Start low and gradually increase until you discover your optimal dosage amount. Also, we’ll repeat again the need to consult with a healthcare provider before relying on cannabis for medicinal or wellness purposes.

Don’t overdo it with any strains, including those with limonene. Constant smoking or vaping will eventually dull the effects and defeat the purpose of partaking in cannabis products.

Final Thoughts

Limonene is a terpene that gives cannabis strains their mood-boosting properties and multiple other health benefits like digestive health. It contributes to a well-rounded cannabis experience, and more research will continue to be done to discover the positive components of this foundational terpene. 

Reply in our comment section below with your thoughts on limonene and your experiences with it. Have you tried one of Phasal’s limonene-forward strains? Tell us what you think.

Or, visit our menu to discover our many high-quality cannabis products rich with limonene and see what all the fuss is about for yourself.



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