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What is Limonene?

Updated: Jan 4

an orange with the peel exploded in a dark room

Limonene is a common aromatic terpene produced in the trichomes of the cannabis plant. It comes in at around 1% of the volume by weight of the average cannabis flower. Common in Sativa strains, Limonene is an invigorating terpene, to say the least.

Where Does Limonene Come From?

Limonene is primarily found in the peel of citrus fruits.






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The Limonene Flavor Profile

As one might expect, high concentrations of Limonene have a pronounced citrus odor and flavor, somewhat sweet yet tangy and bitter. Looking deeper, there are in fact two forms of Limonene. One you would associate with the sweeter scent of oranges. The other is more bitter, reminiscent of lemons. In fact, the two different Limonine compounds register with distinctly different olfactory receptors.

What Are The Benefits of Limonene?

The therapeutic effects of limonene have been extensively studied, proving anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antinociceptive, anticancer, antidiabetic, antihyperalgesic, antiviral, and gastroprotective effects, among other beneficial effects on health.

Early trials suggest that limonene may be good for your heart and coronary health. One study suggests that consuming limonene may help reduce triglycerides and lower blood sugar levels. It may also help increase “good” cholesterol levels.

Limonene is responsible for increasing serotonin levels which influences how cannabis affects one's mood. That means these terpenes can influence neurotransmitters in our brain which entails that different strains may have different effects on our mood.

Drawbacks of Limonene

People who are allergic to citrus fruit peels are often allergic to limonene. Just touching the outside of citrus fruit can cause contact dermatitis symptoms for these people, but they may be able to drink fresh juice just fine. Studies are showing an increase in such cases. It's recommended that you consult your doctor if such instances arise.

How Much Limonene Should I Take?

Because few limonene studies exist in humans, it’s difficult to provide a dosage recommendation. Nonetheless, dosages of up to 2 grams daily have been safely used in studies.

Limonene and the Entourage Effect

Limonene can influence neurotransmitters in our brain. Different strains may have different effects on our mood depending on the amount of Limonene they possess.

The Take-Away

Limonene is a part of our everyday life. It's been a part of our diet for generations. It has a host of positive effects. As it relates to cannabis, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done. Limonene is an excellent addition to any cannabis product.


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