Terpene of the Month: Limonene
At the beginning of the year we introduced myrcene and pinene, two of the 200+ volatile aromatic compounds called terpenes that create the unique flavors and aromas of different cannabis strains. Terpenes generally enhance the health benefits of cannabis while reducing intoxication, which can cause anxiety. Additionally, each terpene has unique therapeutic benefits.
What is Limonene?
This month we’re introducing limonene, which has a distinct citrusy, lemony aroma. Limonene is commonly found in the rind of citrus fruits and is often used in food, perfume, medicines and household cleaning products.
Benefits of Limonene
Limonene has very low toxicity (though allergies may occur in rare cases) and it also offers a number of therapeutic uses and benefits. These are two reasons for its broad use in many different applications. Limonene has anti-fungal properties that make it an excellent cleaning agent and detoxifier, and it has traditionally been used to stimulate the immune system. Research indicates that it may be an effective treatment for anxiety and depression, and patients report that limonene-rich strains have a noticeably uplifting, mood-boosting effect.
Limonene has anti-inflammatory properties and research suggests it may be a possible treatment for asthma. It also appears to reduce cancer cell proliferation; research on mice found that limonene reduces the incidence of skin cancer tumors, slows their formation and may even cause apoptosis (cancer cell death). Similar results have been observed in mammary carcinomas, glioblastoma and prostate cancer cells. One study suggested that limonene could be taken as a dietary supplement to prevent gastric inflammation and colitis.
Finding the Right Strain
To identify strains rich in limonene, use your nose or select strains that are listed as having a lemony aroma. Terpene levels vary from harvest to harvest, but some strains consistently produce high levels. According to the most recent tests of our concentrated terpene extracts, our strain with the highest limonene level is Cherry Pie, available in our Reserve and Craft Reserve O.penVAPE cartridges.