What is Limonene?

Lemonene, ɟ-limonene, and limonene are three names for this terpene. Terpenes are aromatic chemicals found in plants (including Cannabis sativa) and foods. Limonene is one of the most abundant terpenes in nature because it occurs in pure essential oils from a variety of citrus fruits. Limonene is utilized in fragrances, cleaning supplies, and as a flavor component for meals after being extracted from orange fruit nectar.

Limonene is often regarded to be plentiful in limonene-rich strains, yet this isn’t always the case. To be sure that the strain you’re buying contains limonene, look for lab-tested goods.

Limonene is a volatile terpene that has been found in trace amounts in almost all cannabis varieties, although it makes up 10-30% of the dry weight of most flowers.

High-limonene cannabis strains

While some strains have higher levels of limonene than others, these amounts vary considerably across harvests based on genetics, growing techniques, and curing procedures. The only way to know for sure if your strain has a lot of limonene is to buy lab-tested samples.

According to data from Leafly’s laboratory partners, the following well-liked strains have limonene-dominant terpene profiles:

  • Banana OG
  • Berry White
  • Black Cherry Soda
  • Cinex
  • Do-Si-Dos
  • MAC
  • Purple Hindu Kush
  • Quantum Kush
  • Strawberry Banana
  • Tahoe OG
  • Wedding Cake
  • White Fire OG

Limonene’s potential effects and benefits

Limonene, despite its neuroprotective effects, is still largely unknown in terms of how it works in the brain and body, as well as how much is needed to achieve these effects. Many limonene studies so far have used large amounts—much greater than those found in cannabis. More study on cannabis-derived limonene is needed, but existing research suggests potential for the following applications:

  • Elevated mood
  • Stress relief
  • Antifungal properties
  • Antibacterial properties
  • May help relieve heartburn and gastric reflux
  • Improves absorption of other terpenes and chemicals by way of the skin, mucous membranes, and digestive tract

Limonene has also been shown to have anti-tumor properties in lab animals. Limonene slowed the growth of skin and mammary tumors in laboratory rodents. These investigations were followed up with a Phase I human clinical trial, which found that limonene was somewhat helpful at reducing breast cancer tumor development for almost a year. Later research revealed that daily limonene consumption for 2-6 weeks suppressed a protein that promotes breast cancer tumor growth, suggesting that daily limonene intake may slow the development and spread of breast tumors.

Limonene has been found to induce tumor cell death in laboratory research models of lung and brain cancers. Limonene’s benefits in breast cancer, however, necessitate higher doses than those found in cannabis alone. It’s uncertain whether the presence of specific cannabinoids boosts limonene’s anti-cancer properties. There isn’t enough evidence right now to claim that limonene-rich cannabis products will be effective against cancer in people.

Future research on limonene

It’s also unclear how limonene works. Inhalation of limonene vapor raises serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, which are linked to anxiety, sadness, and OCD. Is it merely triggering the brain’s olfactory system or is it also affecting brain cells directly? We don’t yet know.

Limonene, unlike some of the other terpenes such as linalool and b-caryophyllene, has no known brain targets. Limonene’s targets in the brain and body remain unknown, which may impede users from taking advantage of limonene’s therapeutic effects.

Dosing considerations for Limonene.

The amount of limonene to use varies by a number of variables, including the user’s age, health, and other factors. There isn’t enough scientific knowledge at this time to establish a suitable range of dosages for limonene. Keep in mind that natural treatments aren’t always completely safe, and dosages can be crucial. Before using any natural product, double-check the label instructions and talk with your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional.

Supporting research

Limonene’s relative chemical stability, however, limits research on its effects. Only a few preclinical studies have been done. Limonene is thought to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cardioprotective properties.

In 2006, the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products in Israel conducted an in vitro experiment with citrus oil. They determined that a “mixture of citrus oil and MgCl2” might be used as a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent.

According to a second in vitro study published in the Journal of Oleo Science, limonene inhibits proinflammatory cytokines. A buildup of proinflammatory cytokines can cause long-term inflammation. “ᴅ-Limonene may be regarded as an anti-inflammatory medication,” the researchers write.

Researchers in China studied the chemical using an animal model of high-fat, diet-induced obesity following reports that it promotes fat accumulation in the liver. Limonene was found to have “use as a dietary supplement for preventing and treating metabolic diseases.”

The Journal of Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine published a 2018 study that found the effects of ᴅ-limonene on “stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats” (SHRsp). Following stroke, ᴅ-limonene was found to lower the “systolic blood pressure in SHRsp rats.” It also prevented memory and cognitive impairment.

Safety and side effects

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved limonene as a safe food additive and flavoring since 1994. When researchers looked at the chemical’s toxicity, they discovered that it had “slightly low acute oral toxicity.” The only reported adverse effect was the potential for skin irritation from limonene-infused shampoos, lotions, or sprays.

Limonene cannabis strains for anxiety, depression, and stress relief.

Limonene is a terpene that is found in cannabis and nature. The scent of citrus fruit peels is made up mostly of limonene, so you’re correct in assuming that this terpene derives its name from the lemon. Limonene has been used as a fragrance additive because to its pleasant smell.

Limonene is biodegradable and nontoxic, in moderate amounts. Higher doses, however, can result in negative side effects. One gram per kilogram of body weight (around 68 grams of limonene for a 150-pound person) is an unsafe amount to consume. While this is substantially greater than what you’d find in cannabis flower or cannabis products, dietary supplements containing limonene are available, so it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor before adding large quantities of limonene to your diet.

The precursor to the cannabinoids, geranyl pyrophosphate, is transformed into limonene in the presence of enzymes. Limonene may be excreted as limonene or converted to other cannabis terpenes after it is produced.

Limonene, like many terpenes, is produced by plants to help them defend themselves against harmful germs. Its antibacterial and antioxidant properties have been well-documented, but it also has an impact on brain function that scientists are looking to better understand for the treatment of a range of illnesses—including anxiety and other mental health problems.

The potential benefits of limonene on anxiety, depression, and stress

Both orally ingested limonene and inhaled limonene vapor have been reported to reduce anxiety in lab mice. Limonene also helped to decrease obsessive compulsive disorder-like behavior (OCD) in mice, according to studies. However, limonene’s efficacy appears to be strain or type of anxiety test used, perhaps suggesting that its anxiolytic effects may operate for some but not others.

Limonene may be beneficial as an antidepressant. Only a few human studies have been done on limonene’s antidepressant efficacy, although one modest study of 12 hospitalised patients with depression found encouraging results. Limonene vapor inhalation reduced the need for antidepressant medications in 9 of the patients, normalized stress hormone levels, and enhanced immune function, according to one small study.

The mechanism by which limonene produces these therapeutic effects is unclear. Inhalation of limonene vapor increases serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain areas linked with anxiety, sadness, and OCD. It’s uncertain how limonene raises these neurotransmitter levels at this time. Is it possible that limonene merely activates the brain’s olfactory system or does it actually have an effect on brain cells? Future study is needed to determine whether there is a combination of both stimulating the olfactory system and direct cell action.

Limonene give strains a lemon aroma

A strain’s fragrance is not determined by a single terpene, but rather by a mix of all the terpenes it has. Even if the combination includes numerous terpenes, one terpene alone will have a distinct fragrance from many other Terpenes combined.

This is something you can put your hands on at certain dispensaries, where you may smell the fragrance of individual terpenes in what are known as “terpene stations.” nNone of these odors smells particularly like cannabis flower; this is because cannabis does not just contain one terpene—it contains a variety.

It’s possible that knowing the name and even smelling a strain’s fragrance may not be enough to determine its unique terpene profile. Only lab testing can tell you for sure what the terpene profile of a cannabis strain or product is.

Unfortunately, most states do not demand cannabis products to be tested for terpene levels, and few businesses provide this information on product labels. There are a couple of cannabis firms, however, that offer terpene profiles to customers on product labels, and some retail stores now have these items available. Look for lab-tested terpene profiles on the label of any strains your budtender recommends if you want to know the terpene profile of a strain.

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