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What is Limonene and What Are the Benefits of This Cannabis Terpene?

Have you ever wondered what gives strain like Super Lemon Haze, Chernobyl, and Tangie a sweet citrus aroma? That’s limonene, an aromatic cannabis terpene produced in the flower’s resin glands as well as in many everyday items like fruit rinds, cosmetics, and cleaning products. Terpenes are fragrant oils secreted alongside cannabinoids like THC and CBD, and these terpenes not only dictate the smell of marijuana, they can also modify its effects. Some strains tend to express higher levels of the limonene terpene, and oftentimes it’s the sour lemon scent that gives it away. But what’s so special about it?


Limonene’s Effects and Benefits

Limonene has a history in medicine, so it should come as no surprise that the limonene found in cannabis offers therapeutic benefits as well. Some of these studied effects include:

  • 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

High Limonene Cannabis Strains

Whereas THC levels typically makes up 10 to 20 percent of a flower’s biomass, limonene occurs in more trace amounts – generally from none at all to 1 to 2 percent. Some strains exhibit higher levels of limonene than others, and these levels can vary widely across harvests depending on the growing and curing process. In other words, one grower’s Jack Herer may test for high levels of limonene while another’s demonstrates a disappointing lack thereof. The only way to know for sure is through lab-tested batches. If your choices are not tested, you can always try following your nose or search our database for citrus-flavored strains.

Here are some cannabis strains that have the potential to exhibit limonene-rich terpene profiles:
Leafly Super Lemon Haze cannabis strain tileLeafly Super Lemon Haze cannabis strain effects

The presence of limonene is present in both name and aroma with Super Lemon Haze, a sativa strain known for its ability to lift the spirit alongside a sweet lemon flavor.
Leafly Durban Poison cannabis strain tileLeafly Durban Poison cannabis strain effects

The limonene in Durban Poison, a high-energy sativa, isn’t immediately apparent in its subtle sweet and earthy aroma, but you’ll feel its uplifting, stress-relieving effects nonetheless.
Leafly SFV OG cannabis strain tileLeafly SFV OG cannabis strain effects

You know how OG strains tend to have that lemony pine aroma? That’s limonene, and it can also be detected in SFV OG’s blissful, stress-crushing sensations.
Leafly Jack Herer cannabis strain tileLeafly Jack Herer cannabis strain effects

Jack Herer is a fan favorite for a reason: not only does it typically boast high levels of limonene, Jack offers a palette of other terpenes like pinene and myrcene, which promote alertness and relaxation respectively.
Leafly Berry White cannabis strain tileLeafly Berry White cannabis strain effects

Limonene appears most often in sativa strains, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t indica strains with a high limonene potential. Berry White exemplifies this with a limonene content that can be felt in its happy, stress-less effects.

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