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June 21, 2023

Limonene Terpenes

A Guide to the Effects, Benefits, and Uses

If you love using cleaning products with a citrus scent or like a slice of lemon in your water or tea, you’re enjoying the scent of the limonene terpene. Found in many different strains of cannabis as well as other plants, herbs, and fruits, limonene is known for its uplifting, mood-boosting properties. Find out more about terpenes and the potential benefits of limonene in this guide from True Terpenes.

Understanding Terpenes

Terpenes are organic aromatic compounds found in many plants, including cannabis. These fragrant oils are secreted by the cannabis trichomes, tiny, hair-like growths found on the flower and leaves. Terpenes can relax or stimulate the user and have different effects depending on type and potency. 

As the cannabis industry grows throughout the United States, more and more dispensaries are focusing on educating their customers about terpene profiles. All cannabis products have a unique terpene profile, a mix of compounds in different concentrations that make up the overall composition of the cultivar. Limonene is just one of the dozens of terpenes found in a cannabis plant, which can also include:

  • Humene
  • Linalool
  • Myrcene
  • Pinene

While all cannabis plants contain terpenes, these compounds do not produce any psychoactive effects. Instead, terpenes work with cannabinoids and other compounds in the cannabis plant to affect the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Directly connected to the nervous system, the ECS affects how a person responds to smoking or consuming cannabis. 

It is believed that cannabinoids and terpenes work together to produce what is known as the “entourage effect.” That is, terpenes like limonene may enhance certain therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

Limonene Smell and Taste

Limonene is most commonly associated with citrus fruits: lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits all contain limonene in their rinds.

What Does Limonene Smell Like?

Limonene is notable for its acidic, crisp smell. When you peel an orange or cut up a lime, you might describe the sensory effect as a bright or sharp scent.

What Does Limonene Taste Like?

The flavor profile of limonene can shift depending on the other cannabis terpenes found alongside it. Thus, limonene may produce a sweet, sour, tangy, or even bitter flavor.

Limonene Terpene Effects

Limonene is usually associated with mood elevation. It is found in both indica-dominant and sativa-dominant cannabis strains. It is not usually the dominant terpene in a cannabis cultivar – it may be secondary to myrcene or beta-caryophyllene. And you may not notice a citrus aroma in every cannabis strain that contains limonene, especially if it makes up a small component of the terpene profile.

Cannabis strains that feature limonene include:

  • Berry White
  • Do-Si-Dos
  • Quantum Kush
  • Sour Diesel
  • Super Lemon Haze

Because limonene may affect serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain, it is considered a terpene that can create a sense of euphoria. Even if you have never used cannabis, you might notice that a strong citrusy smell makes you feel happy, awake, or energetic.

The Benefits of Limonene

Limonene is well-known in the field of aromatherapy for its wellness benefits. This terpene can help relieve stress and elevate a person’s mood. Cutting-edge phytotherapy research shows that limonene may be good for your health and immune system, as well.

Limonene for Health Issues

Limonene has many potential therapeutic benefits, although much more research is needed into its effects on the brain and ECS, safety, and efficacy. However, initial studies show promising possible limonene terpene benefits, such as:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties: We now know there is a strong link between chronic inflammation and long-term health issues. This terpene may help reduce inflammation throughout the body, which can help people living with chronic conditions like arthritis.
  • Antioxidant properties: Limonene is an antioxidant, meaning it protects cells from damage by free radicals. Consuming limonene could help reduce oxidative stress throughout the body.
  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties: Limonene wards off the bacteria and fungus that can cause health issues – which also explains why it is used so frequently in cleaning agents.
  • Heart health: This terpene could play a role in maintaining healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels, helping to reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Digestive issues: Some people take limonene supplements to help with heartburn or acid reflux.

Limonene Uses

Limonene applications are not limited to the cannabis industry. While it’s a popular compound in many cannabis strains, you’ll also find limonene terpenes used as a food flavoring agent and in scented products, from lotions to candles.

Like other terpenes, limonene may interact with several different systems in the body. Ongoing phytotherapy research will hopefully uncover even more beneficial applications for d-limonene.

Where Else Do You Find Limonene?

Beyond fruits like lemons and oranges, you’ll find limonene in herbs such as mint and juniper. This terpene is used in many commercial applications, such as:

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Creams, perfumes, and cosmetics
  • Insect repellants
  • Essential oils and aromatherapy products
  • Dietary supplements

Additionally, limonene is used as a flavoring in many packaged foods, beverages, and candies.

Get More Insights from True Terpenes

True Terpenes is a leading industry producer of safe and effective terpene isolates and blends. Our products are used in the beverage, cannabis, cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical industries. With precise scientific analysis and cutting-edge research, we are proud to be a trusted resource for terpene education. True Terpene supplies our terpene blends to businesses around the world while maintaining the highest standards of safety and quality. For more information on limonene terpene effects and benefits, visit our terpene education content or contact us today.

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