While limonene may not seem like a word you have heard before, trust us, you know it well already.

If you’ve ever smelled lemon or lime, you already know what this uplifting scent is like, tart and deliciously fresh – that’s the limonene talking!

Still, there is so much more to learn about this tiny terpene than you may have realized.

For example, did you know that you can find it in your favourite bud? Not just another pretty smell, there is more to this terpene than meets the eye or nose. 

If you don’t know, you soon will! Today, we are discussing where this terpene comes from, its various uses, and the role it plays in weed. 

Are you ready to become an expert on all things limonene as you explore all the terpenes that cannabis has to offer? Take your cannabis game to the next level by learning about terpenes.

Let’s get started!

What is Limonene?

limonene terpene

Limonene falls under a category of compounds known as terpenes. These terpenes are the primary scent-producing molecules found throughout the plant kingdom.

Terpenes can be considered wellness compounds capable of producing various beneficial effects for both plants and humans inside and outside of your go-to icky sticky strains.

This terpene is ubiquitous and thought to be one of the most widespread terpenes on the planet. On a related note, limonene’s crisp and sharp scent is hard to miss. 

Anyone who has smelled a few cannabis strains in their day should be very familiar with this aroma.

Where Does it Come From?

Limonene is present in certain fruits all over the world, including lemon, lime, and oranges.

After all, there’s a reason why limonene sounds so similar to lemon!

This fresh, citrusy compound is also found in citrus fruit rinds, and you’ve likely scraped these surfaces in prior recipes.

Have you ever heard of adding a sprinkle of lime or lemon zest? If so, you’re already familiar with this terpene. You will likely also recognize the familiar limonene fragrance in peppermint, rosemary, and juniper.

Industries have also made fair use of limonene for a very long time. It is commonly used inside many household cleaning products, cosmetics, essential oil, and even food and beverage flavouring. 

This terpene is particularly a favourite scent for many essential oils, especially when promoting weight loss.

Within cannabis cultivars, limonene is a major or primary terpene. This is because limonene is widely found in different cannabis cultivars and present in relatively high volumes compared to other minor terpenes such as Nerolidol or Linalool

Some researchers have estimated that limonene is the third most abundant terpene in cannabis after Myrcene and Caryophyllene.

What is Limonene Used For?


For plants, limonene serves a protective role against specific threats. Plants use this terpene to repel insects and other harmful bugs. The cannabis plant very likely produces this compound for the same reason and several other essential functions.

Limonene is commonly used due to its pleasant and stimulating aroma.

Furthermore, this terpene is said to have numerous medicinal and herbal benefits!

For example, limonene is said to improve digestion, enhance your mood, and decrease anxiety.

Additionally, limonene has anti-inflammatory characteristics that are helpful in various conditions, including arthritis, asthma, and skin conditions. As far as the skin goes, limonene is also thought to help fight against acne.

You may also notice reduced heartburn (acid reflux) and mild appetite-suppressing characteristics. Limonene may help combat GERD and stomach acid indigestion. Furthermore, the beneficial impact on the gut may aid in reducing gastric ulcers.

As far as your cardiovascular system goes, limonene is thought to reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and irregular heartbeats. However, it is essential to note that these results were seen in rats

We do not know if this characteristic may help reduce some of the heart rate-elevating impacts of THC itself. You may want to explore this molecule for those who get panic and anxiety from overconsumption of THC.

Limonene is even thought to help dissolve gallstones. There is further speculation that limonene may have antiseptic properties that help reduce disease-causing microorganisms’ spread and growth.

So, essentially, limonene is like the Swiss Army Knife of terpenes! 

The Effects of Limonene in Cannabis

Limonene does not get you high in its own right. Still, it certainly has a stimulating appeal that can enhance your overall smoking experience. 

This amplification plays into the overall phenomenon known as the entourage effect. In this way, limonene interacts with other cannabinoids to enhance certain therapeutic outcomes. 

dank weed deals

If you didn’t already know, the entourage effect is a concept that suggests that cannabinoids (THC, CBD, and more) and terpenes interact in a synergistic way to provide more benefits.

In other words, adding terpenes and THC together enhances the therapeutic benefits beyond each component in isolation. Therefore, its effects are greater than the sum of its parts. 

One significant result of the use of limonene may be a more intense high. Pay close attention to the content of the strains you smoke, and you may find yourself picking out the one with the most limonene.

Limonene May Do What?

While we lack specific human trials on both limonene alone and cannabis, some studies help provide clues for its medicinal potential. 

The study of limonene has demonstrated numerous examples of benefits to exposure to this molecule. We’ll highlight some of these studies below as they relate to your health.

According to preclinical model studies in the US, limonene serves as a promising preventative and therapeutic agent for breast cancer prevention.

More research is needed on the impacts of limonene on breast cancer, but some promising cancer-fighting properties are worth a study or two.!

Research has also shown that limonene can help kill cancer cells and directly apply to breast cancer.

Curious About What Other Cannabis Terpenes Can Do? Check Out Our Full Guide to the Most Common Cannabis Terpenes Here!

Limonene also possesses antimicrobial properties that help to destroy harmful bacteria. This effect may also help fight against staph infections.

We can see why citrus fruits would want to produce this aromatic compound at such high levels!

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Citrus Fruits

Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory properties of limonene are also believed to aid in skin health and healing. This anti-inflammatory effect might have widespread beneficial impacts on human health. 

If including limonene in topical oil products does help reduce site inflammation, we would do well to find out! 

After all, natural beauty products and healing treatments are a win-win! You can reap the benefits of natural properties while actually understanding the list of ingredients in your products. Who doesn’t want that?

Another study, published in The Journal of Inhalation Toxicology in 2012, determined that limonene could also benefit people with asthma. 

Limonene has also been shown to have antioxidant features. As an antioxidant, it may help promote cellular health. 

All of this taken together, these studies provide plenty of promise around potential utility. 

Cannabis Strains with High Limonene Content

Now that you’ve learned about its multiple healing benefits, you’re probably wondering to yourself, “where can I get my hands on a high-limonene strain!” 

Well, we’re about to tell you! 

Examples of  cannabis strains that contain large volumes of limonene include:

You can find this terpene in both indica and sativa strains, although the levels do vary. You’ll likely have no problem finding this compound in the United States or Canada due to its popularity.

Is Limonene Toxic?

Numerous studies have demonstrated a lack of toxicity when it comes to this terpene.

So far, all the known evidence suggests that no harmful toxicity issues are surrounding this compound!

Since it is present in multiple things that we consume, including various citrus fruits, limonene is considered safe for consumption. However, is it safe to ingest in higher concentrations or quantities? More research is necessary to know for sure.

Terpenes – More Than Just a Pretty Smell

As we learned today, limonene is an absolutely fascinating terpene found most commonly in citrus fruits, but that’s not where its benefits end! 

Both plants and humans appreciate the health-promoting and anti-inflammatory impacts of this terpene.

Reducing inflammation and benefiting patients with breast cancer are only a few of this molecule’s demonstrated effects. 

Along with your favourite tasty, tangy fruits, you’ll commonly find limonene in weed cultivars and essential oil products.

In terms of your favourite icky sticky, the benefits of finding this terpene in your cannabis products could potentially include anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and even cancer-fighting properties.

Further evidence will only help to support limonene’s numerous disease-fighting and health-promoting effects. For now, the research is positive and promising. 

The next time you find a strain that’s high in limonene, enjoy it not just for its delicious aroma and flavour but for all the things it can do for your body, too!

Happy toking!