Terpene Profile: Limonene, The Cannabis Plant’s Uplifting Mood-Booster
You probably know by now that we’re big on terpenes. They’re a major component of the cannabis plant’s enticing aromas and flavors, but they’re much more than just a pretty smell. In addition to lending specific strains their signature characteristics, research shows they can have major effects on our bodies and our minds.
Terpenes are hardly the only “active ingredients” in the cannabis plant. You’re probably already familiar with cannabinoids—including THC and CBD—which interact with our bodies in different (but equally fascinating) ways. By comparison, terpenes typically have a more subtle effect, but we’d argue they’re no less important.
One of the most notable is today’s star terpene: Limonene. Its pleasing citrus aroma sparks joy in many of our favorite strains—Lemon OG, anyone?—but it does much more than that. Read on for the flavorful details.
How Does It Affect Our Bodies?
Despite its name, limonene is actually found primarily in orange rinds, though it appears in other citrus fruits, pine trees, and in palo santo, one of our favorite ceremonial aromas. For decades, limonene has been used in medicines, foods, and even natural cleaning products.
Limonene exhibits a peculiarly uplifting effect, tending to brighten our mood and even serving as an all-natural antidepressant. But one of limonene’s greatest attributes is that, due to its chemical composition, it tends to help facilitate the absorption of other terpenes through our skin, mucous membranes, and gut.
This is significant: As researchers are learning, the gut can be likened to a “second brain,” playing a large role in our regulatory functions and even our emotions. It’s believed that limonene helps maintain healthy digestion and gut function, but its benefits don’t end there. Some other areas of study include:
Anti-Cancer: While there are a lot of wild claims about cannabis “curing cancer,” limonene does actually show some promise. The University of Arizona published a pair of studies suggesting that limonene not only helps modulate and boost our immune system, but it may also play a role in controlling the spread of certain cancers.
Anti-Fungal: Limonene isn’t alone in helping fight stubborn fungal infections like thrush and athlete’s foot. Because it’s so readily absorbed through the skin, it may become an important, all-natural first line of defense against such outbreaks.
Mood Uplift: As we wrote earlier, many fans feel that limonene helps impart a generalized feeling of uplift and well-being. Speaking of which, this seems like a good point to share some of our favorite high-limonene strains.
More research needs to be done as to whether the limonene in cannabis has the same effect as those utilized in the aforementioned studies. Regardless, with it's energizing aroma, limonene lends flower a pleasant smell and feel that's always enjoyable.
Cannabis Strains with a High Limonene Content
Limonene is abundant in many cannabis strains, although not all strains containing limonene actually smell like lemon! That said, strains with “lemon” in their name are a good clue.
A notably fast-acting strain, this pleasingly lemon-scented kush relative imparts a heavy, head-centered high. It's sometimes described as “happy,” “creative” and “lucid.”
A potent and sleepy strain, some call it a great “dessert” due both for its heavy sedating qualities and its delicious, citrus-tinged flavors and aromas.
White Fire OG
Social butterflies turn to this strain in groups or as a creative prompt. It's also popular among patients dealing with pain, anxiety, and other symptoms.
We need more research regarding whether the limonene in cannabis has the same effect as when it's found elsewhere, but regardless, it’s an enjoyable terpene that makes for an energizing high! Stop by our Tacoma dispensary to check out some limonene-rich strains for yourself or order online now.