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Limonene: Get Energized About This Lemony Terpene

Simply put, terpenes determine how things smell. Pine trees have them, oranges have them, and cannabis has them—about 100 of them, actually. Limonene is the second most abundant terpene in cannabis, though it’s not in every strain.

If you’ve ever smoked a strain with a citrusy aroma, though, chances are it’s got a little bit of limonene in it. Skin creams, fragrances, medicinal ointments, and house cleaners with a lemon or orange scent are pretty likely to feature it, too. 

Medical Benefits of Limonene

D-limonene, one form of this popular terpene, has been shown to slow tumor growth in mice, though clearly we need some human-based studies to learn more about how it can be used medically.

Limonene is often incorporated into diet supplements because it can help curb the appetite. It may also help people suffering from bronchitis, and has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

We need more research to determine whether the terpenes in cannabis have the same effects as those in other plants or as the terpenes on their own and whether consumption method impacts how our body reacts to them. Fingers crossed we start hearing more about that soon!

Limonene in Cannabis

This terpene is found in trace amounts of 1 or 2% in cannabis and it vaporizes at 348 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius). It has a tendency to promote relaxation, so if you’re in a particularly stressed mood, seeking out a strain with high levels of limonene might just be the perfect move. 

Its therapeutic elements don’t stop there, though. Most of the strains with high levels of limonene are known anecdotally for their ability to relieve physical pain. So if your mental strain is paired up with some body-aches, try a limonene-heavy strain. It’s likely to help your mind and body take a real break from all your life’s stressors.

Best Limonene-Heavy Strains

Limonene is found in so many common household items, but it’s also a featured component of some of the best strains out there. Here are our favorite limonene strains.

Hindu Kush: This heavy indica has an earthy aroma that’s sweetened by its citrusy limonene. It’s known to help people with pain relief and insomnia.

Sour Diesel: Known for its pungent smell, this uplifting sativa is great for helping with stress and depression.

Lemon G: With a name like this, it’s no surprise this sativa hybrid is a flagship limonene strain. Its health benefits include relief from pain and stress, and it has a natural citrus aroma.

Strawberry Banana: Though this indica is named after some non-citrus fruits, it’s pretty heavy on the limonene. It doesn’t have the couchlock, immediate bedtime effect that many other indicas have, but it will relax you and eliminate high levels of stress.

Ultimately, how your body reacts to limonene, and the limonene in cannabis in particular, will depend on your own unique physiology. With any cannabis, make sure to start low and go slow so that you can monitor effects and dial in to your perfect dose. Keeping a cannabis journal can help you create a record of great strains and your ideal doses so that you can replicate experiences if you’d like.