Lemons, Limes, Oranges, Grapefruit, Dill
Citrus , Sour
Elevated Mood, Stress Relief
This is the second installment in our weekly series, “Let’s Talk Terpenes,” published every Monday. For more information, read the introduction to this series, “Let’s Talk Terpenes: A Guide For Medical Marijuana Patients.”
Limonene is the second most abundant terpene in all cannabis strains, however not all strains necessarily have it. Some of those that do have increased levels include OG Kush, Sour Diesel, Super Lemon Haze, Trainwreck and Bubba Kush.
As its name implies, limonene gives strains a citrusy aroma and flavor that resembles lemons, which is no surprise as it is commonly found in citrus fruits. Mood elevation and euphoria are typical effects from cannabis strains high in limonene, which can aid with anxiety and depression. Limonene can also provide stress relief and often will yield a more energetic experience.
Sativa strains tend to have higher levels of limonene, however it can be found in several indica and hybrid blends as well. Strains that have “lemon” or “sour” in their name (Sour Diesel, Lemon Kush, etc.) are usually rich in limonene, but that’s not always the case – Jack Herer and Jack the Ripper are also potent with the terpene.
Like many terpenes, plants produce limonene as a form of protection, and its antibacterial and antioxidant effects are scientifically established. It also has an impact on brain function that scientists are working to better understand for the treatment of a variety of ailments, namely anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Research also shows digestive issues may be improved through limonene’s potent antibacterial and antifungal effects.
Studies show that consumed orally or inhaled, limonene reduced anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder in mice, but the results were different dependent upon the individual mouse and the type of test administered. This may indicate that these medicinal benefits may work for some, but bring no relief to others.
A 2012 study examined its anxiolytic effects, indicating limonene can aid with anxiety related conditions.
In a study of patients dealing with depression, inhaled limonene vapour normalised stress hormone levels, improved immune function, and reduced the necessity for anti-depressant medication in 9 out of 12 patients.
It’s not exactly clear how limonene achieves these therapeutic effects though. Inhalation of limonene vapor increases serotonin and dopamine levels in key regions of the brain that are associated with anxiety, depression, and OCD. It is also unclear how limonene boosts these brain chemical levels, and if limonene merely stimulates the brain’s olfactory system, or if it directly affects brain cells, themselves, or a combination of both. The actual mechanism is an area for future research.
A study from 2012 suggests limonene’s anti-inflammatory nature may play a vital role in possible cancer prevention. In 2010, a study looked at the efficacy of limonene for potentially treating asthma with promising results.
Limonene is known to allow more efficient absorption of other cannabis terpenes, making it a critical component in the overall effect unique to each strain.
All citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, etc. contain large amounts of this compound. It is also present in the seeds of caraway and dill. Limonene is commonly used in the production of cleaning and pest control products. In cosmetics and personal care products, itis used in the formulation of aftershave lotions, bath products, bubble baths, cleansing products, eye shadows, hair products, lipsticks, mascara, moisturizers, perfumes and colognes, shampoos, skin care products and suntan products.
Whether you’re looking to brighten your mood or relieve stress and anxiety, knowing how much limonene is in your cannabis can play an important role in choosing your ideal strain. Feel free to email us to assist with any questions you may have, or if you’re looking for a doctor, clinic or dispensary, visit our homepage to access our database.