In this week’s edition of Terpene Tuesday, we are going to take a deep dive on limonene. Limonene is among the most interesting and important terpenes, due to it’s medical benefits. Even outside of cannabis, limonene is extracted from plants and appears in food, supplements, cosmetics, detergents, and more! Before we get into the benefits of limonene, along with some strains high in this aromatic terpene, let’s cover some general information.
What is limonene?
Limonene is a volatile terpene found in the rinds of fruits such as citrus and lemon, along with rosemary, juniper, and peppermint. More importantly, though, it is a very powerful cannabis terpene. This terpene is associated with a fruity, citrus aroma, and smells very pleasant. Next to myrcene, it is the most abundant terpene found in the cannabis plant.
Limonene occurs in trace amounts in cannabis, at just 1-2%, but can still be very powerful. This is especially true due to its interaction with other terpenes and cannabinoids through the entourage effect.
Limonene benefits and effects
Limonene is a very energetic and uplifting terpene, and can be considered a mood elevator. Users find themselves feeling very euphoric and joyful, making limonene heavy strains great for treating anxiety and depression.
The science behind limonene
Initial studies have shown promising results for limonene’s anti-tumor and cancer prevention properties. In one such study conducted on rodents, limonene reduced the growth and spread of skin and mammary tumors. Upon these findings, more tests were conducted, this time on humans. It was found that limonene can be effective at reducing breast cancer tumor growth. Another study showed that daily limonene supplementation can reduce the spread and growth of breast tumors by eliminating a protein in the body that promotes such growth.
More studies showed similar results regarding lung cancer and brain cancer, where limonene was actually able to kill tumor cells. Now, these results required doses of limonene found in higher concentrations than what cannabis typically provides. But, the initial results are promising. And with cannabis breeding, perhaps we are not far off from strains high enough in limonene to support this treatment. For now, however, many people aware of these findings use limonene supplements to boost their body’s cancer fighting abilities.
This terpene also helps with the absorption of other cannabis terpenes, which helps strengthen the entourage effect. So, when you consume a cannabis strain high in limonene content, you are consuming a very synergistic strain.
Common limonene uses
Limonene uses range from basic health optimization to treatment for mental health issues or pain. You may be able to use limonene for:
- Anxiety and depression
Cannabis strains high in limonene
Cannabis strains that exhibit higher levels of limonene are generally going to be classified as sativa. After all, this is a mood elevating terpene. However, strains such as Hindu Kush are high in limonene, despite being heavy indicas. Here are some of the most limonene abundant strains we know of:
- Hindu Kush
- Dirty Girl
- Gorilla Glue #4
- Lemon OG
- Blob OG
- Cookies and Cream
- Emerald Jack
- Liberty Haze
- Mazar x Blueberry
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