What is Limonene?

Written by BlackbirdGo December 27, 2018
The Plant

We’re moving on from cannabinoids to learn about some other important chemical compounds in your weed known as terpenes.

What are Terpenes?

As we discussed in this article, Terpenes are the aromatic chemical compounds that give cannabis its distinct smell and taste. Terpenes are not unique to cannabis and are found throughout nature; plants with strong fragrances like basil or eucalyptus are also full of terpenes.

Like cannabinoids, terpenes are found in their highest concentration on trichomes, the sticky resinous crystals on cannabis flower. The potency and diversity of terpenes found in these trichomes are dependent on the strain of cannabis. Strains higher in a specific terpene will have a distinctive smell associated with that terpene. In fact, many strain names, such as Lemon Haze or Berry White, are derived from the smell of the plant itself, a direct reflection of their terpene profile.

Terpenes are known as secondary metabolites. Secondary metabolites are chemical compounds that do not play primary functions in the growth, development, or reproduction of an organism. This means that terpenes most likely developed to either attract insects for pollination or to deter other organisms from eating and destroying the plant; however, humans have found pharmacological uses for terpenes.

Humans have been using terpenes in the form of essential oils for thousands of years. Research suggests that these chemicals interact with receptors in our endocrine, neuroendocrine, and endocannabinoid systems—the systems responsible for homeostasis within the body. Terpenes promote the natural production of chemicals in our bodies and, therefore, our overall health by activating receptors in each of these systems.

What is Limonene?

Limonene is one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis. It is characterized by a bright orange-like fragrance and zesty flavor. Outside of cannabis, limonene is found in the peels of many citrus fruits like lemon and lime, as well as other plants not typically associated with citrus like black pepper and dill.

Where can you find Limonene?

Limonene is found more often in sativa strains than it is in indica strains. Popular strains with high levels of limonene include Super Lemon Haze and Sour Diesel. Limonene is known to have uplifting and energizing qualities, great for creativity and productivity. If you’re in a creative slump, we recommend Kynd’s Super Lemon Haze Disposable Vape Pen. Their proprietary extraction process produces an extract with beautiful clarity and flavor while preserving the full spectrum of cannabinoid and terpene profiles.

What are the medical benefits of Limonene?

While there is a long medical history of using limonene in homeopathic treatments, the prohibition of cannabis severely limits the amount of information available for the combined effect of cannabis and limonene. As always, this information is intended solely for educational purposes. If you have serious medical issues, you should reach out to a trusted medical professional.

The Entourage Effect and Total Plant Medicine

Research suggests that the use of pure extracts of any terpene or cannabinoid is not as effective as when they are paired with other terpenes or cannabinoids. These compounds have a synergistic effect, working in tandem to interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system. Studies have shown that consistent use, as well as the use of a variety of terpenes at different potencies, shows better results in the treatment of various symptoms.

Think of it like taking a multivitamin—the increased and consistent levels of vitamins in your immune system promote the overall efficiency of your immune system and will show improvement over time. Similarly, research suggests that consistency of use of cannabinoids and terpenes promotes the overall effectiveness of the endocannabinoid system.