If you are familiar with the fragrance of oranges, you are familiar with limonene. It is an oil extracted from citrus fruit peels, and it has a prominent presence in many varieties of cannabis. There are over 100 terpenes in the cannabis plant, and limonene is the third most abundant in many strains. As the second most prevalent terpene on Earth, people have been extracting essential oils from citrus fruits for centuries. Today, limonene is often used as a natural treatment for a variety of health issues. Furthermore, it is a popular ingredient as a flavoring agent in food manufacturing, household cleaning agents, cosmetics, fragrances, and body creams. This article goes through limonene’s uses, potential benefits, side effects, and many more. Stay with us to discover everything you need to know when it comes to limonene.
Limonene TerpeneLimonene comes from the word “limon”, which means "lemon". This is an abundant cannabis terpene with an unmistakable citrus aroma, most commonly resembling lemon, tangerine, and grapefruit. This chemical is also concentrated especially in the rind of citrus fruits such as limes and oranges, contributing to the characteristic odor of its peel or juice. Limonene is also a major component of the aromatic scents and resins characteristic of numerous coniferous and broadleaved trees, such as red and silver maple, cottonwoods, aspens, rosemary, and various pines. Hidden in the very same glands that produce cannabinoids, the limonene terpene is an aromatic oil with a distinctive citrus flavor. It is one of the many varieties of terpenes that have been identified in cannabis plants, developed for adaptive purposes, such as repel predators and lure pollinators. In fact, this unique terpene, along with myrcene, plays a key role in many healing processes when consumed with cannabinoids, thanks to its beneficial medical effects.
Limonene EffectsCannabis strains high in limonene often provide an energetic experience owing to its typical mood elevation and euphoria effects. It’s also well known for its potent antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal effects.
Limonene BenefitsLimonene is one of the most well-studied terpenes found in cannabis and has a variety of effects on the immune system. It also facilitates the assimilation of other substances by increasing the cell permeability of the human body. Moreover, limonene has been currently studied for its properties and potential against many diseases. Researchers have proved that this amazing cannabis terpene appears to have a variety of benefits that can prevent and treat many types of disorders. Among them, we find:
- Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects: Limonene has the ability to reduce disease activity and organ damage while reducing inflammatory markers by bringing down nitric oxide production, which plays a crucial role in inflammatory pathways that relate to osteoarthritis, ulcerative colitis, and even cancer.
- Antioxidant benefits: This terpene inhibits free radicals that lead to oxidative stress, decreasing cellular damage and inflammation by providing antioxidant effects to these cells.
- Anti-cancer effects: Researchers have published limonene’s ability to inhibit the growth of the cells while suppressing the proliferation of transplanted tumors, proving that it could be used as a possible treatment and prevention for certain types of cancers.
- Boost your heart health: Limonene reduces blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, cholesterol, blood sugar, and triglyceride levels, lowering your risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States.
- Improves diabetes symptoms: Limonene burns excess energy, rather than storing inside the body while reducing appetite.
- Supports healthy digestion: This terpene acts as a gastric protectant, preventing stomach ulcers. Other studies have shown that it improves digestive issues, due to its potent antibacterial activity against E. Coli and Listeria for example, plus antifungal effects.
- Treats bronchitis and asthma: While these findings are optimistic, and their results are promising, the lack of research studies with clinical trials conducted in humans makes it difficult to understand limonene’s efficacy in treating asthma and other respiratory diseases.
Limonene Structure and Boiling PointLimonene (1-methyl-4-prop-1-en-2-yl-cyclohexene) is an unsaturated hydrocarbon, classed as a terpene. At room temperature, it is a colorless oily liquid with the smell of oranges. The structure is a cyclic monoterpene, formed by two units of isoprene and 6 very rigid member rings, reinforced with a double bond. Its molecular formula is C10H16 and its boiling point is 176 °C (348.8 °F).
Limonene AllergyLimonene, just like many other terpenes and solvents, may cause irritation when directly applied to the skin. Additionally, it can develop symptoms like watery eyes, vasodilation, and consequent effects on the nose, eyes, bronchial tubes, and lungs. Apart from this, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes it as a safe food additive and a flavoring for humans with very low toxicity, when consumed in moderation. Adverse effects are rarely encountered.
Limonene in Skin CareLimonene has become popular in skin care products and other cosmetics not only because it brings forth light, natural, and pleasant citrus smell, but also for its many important benefits Beyond its nice aroma, this colorless substance is an effective carrier ingredient, meaning that it increases other ingredient’s effects, helping them to penetrate the surface of the skin more effectively, reaching below the surface and providing enhanced results. Furthermore, it is widely used in a variety of skincare products and cosmetics due to its anti-inflammatory effects, which help heal sunburns and other minor irritations. Limonene also reduces puffiness under the eyes or around other areas of the face.
Limonene StrainsEvery cannabis strain has its own unique chemical profile. If your favorite bud contains “lemon” or other sour fruits in its name, then it is likely to contain large amounts of limonene. While we wait for further research on the medical applications of it, let’s check the following elevated limonene content strains:
- Sour Lifter
- Goji OG
- White Widow
- Berry White
- Black Cherry Soda
- Purple Hindu Kush
- Banana Kush
- Quantum Kush
- Lemon Skunk