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LIMONENE: The Terpene with a Citrus Twist

Photo: Adobe Stock

Author: Curt Robbins of CannabisAfficionado.com

Limonene (also known as D-Limonene), as its name implies, delivers a scent similar to citrus fruits, including grapefruit, lemon, lime, and orange.

Of the 20,000 terpenes found in nature and the 200 that may manifest in a particular strain of cannabis, limonene is one of the major players. This terpene sometimes constitutes up to 16 percent of the volume (by weight) of a particular sample of cannabis.

Terpenes are the highly aromatic molecules produced by thousands of plants in nature, typically as a defense mechanism against predators and pests. The human body, as it evolved alongside plants, developed specialized receptors in its brain, nervous system, and immune system that are compatible with not only internally produced enzymes, proteins, and other life-giving chemicals, but also phytochemicals from the plant world—including terpenes from cannabis.

The Details of Limonene

Limonene (also known as D-Limonene), as its name implies, delivers a scent similar to citrus fruits, including grapefruit, lemon, lime, and orange. In terms of medicinal efficacy, this major (primary) terpene acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory (good for sufferers of arthritis, cancer, and fibromyalgia), and anti-cancer (like other terpenes and cannabinoids, it has been shown to shrink cancerous tumors). Similar to other terpenes, limonene is commonly used in beauty products, cleaners, food flavoring, medicine, and perfumes.

Beyond its distinctive and alluring aroma, limonene delivers a wide range of medical efficacies, making it a molecule of interest to many within the patient and medical communities. These benefits include its role as an antiasthmatic (driven by its anti-inflammatory properties), which helps those suffering from asthma, bronchitis, and sinus allergies.

Limonene is found most commonly in the cannabis strains Durban Poison, Jack Herer, and Super Lemon Haze, among others. Interesting facts: Limonene is toxic to aquatic life and, as a standalone molecule, is flammable and considered a biofuel.



About Author Curt Robbins:

Curt Robbins is a technical writer, photographer, and compliance documentation specialist for the cannabis industry. Since 2004, he has contributed feature articles to a variety of magazines and media outlets, including High Times, Cannabis Aficionado, Strainprint, CannaBiz Journal, MERRY JANE, MassRoots, WoahStork Learn, The Emerald Magazine, Grow Magazine, Herb.co, The Kind, Skunk, Cannabis Culture, Whaxy, Heads, Weed World, Green Flower Media, Cannabis Health Journal, Green Thumb, and Treating Yourself.

His cannabis-related photography, spanning back more than a decade, is available on Instagram. He tweets from @RobbinsGroupLLC and is active on LinkedIn.


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