Terpene Tuesday: Limonene

Terpene Tuesday: Limonene

It’s Tuesday! While it’s not usually the most exciting day of the week, we love Tuesdays at E1011 Labs because it means we get to talk about one of our all-time favorite things – terpenes!

This week we’ve got the spotlight on the fruity terpene Limonene.

What are Terpenes?

Before we get too into the weeds about limonene itself, let’s go over some background info on terpenes and their benefits. 

Terpenes are aromatic molecules that are present in all plants. They are what give lilac its floral smell and pine trees their sharp scent. Cannabis and hemp, plants known for producing a deep skunky odor, are chock full of various terpenes. Each strain contains its own unique blend, which is why different cannabis strains will vary in smell.

How many terpenes are there? In cannabis alone, there are over 100 individual terpenes that can be present. That’s a lot of smells for just one plant, but that only starts to scratch the surface. Botanists have discovered over 20,000 different terpenes.

What do Terpenes do?

These little molecules do more than just smell nice. Terpenes are originally an evolutionary quirk of plants intended to attract pollinators with sweet scents or ward away potential predators with bitter and unpleasant odors. 

When consumed by human beings, terpenes can produce a myriad of therapeutic and beneficial effects. Studies suggest that terpenes can possess anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and even anti-cancer characteristics. Some research indicates that using a combination of cannabinoids and terpenes for epilepsy can help to reduce seizures. Need a refresher on terpenes before we dive in? Our blog A Guide to Terpenes, is a perfect reminder!

 

Let's Look at Limonene

Now that we’ve refreshed our general terpene knowledge let’s have a look at one of the most important hemp terpenes – limonene. 

Limonene is a tangy smelling terpene that’s found in many citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits. Limonene can also be used in the production of extracts and fruit-flavored drinks. When present in cannabis, limonene is one of the easiest terpenes for a sharp nose to identify. The sour bitterness of limonene can stand out against some of the more musky earthy aromas of other cannabis terpenes, resulting in flower with a strong fruit-like smell.

Individual cannabinoids can reach upwards of 30% of a strain’s dry weight. Terpenes, on the other hand, make up a much smaller percentage. A given terpene generally will only account for less than 2% of a flower’s dry weight. However, even in such a small dose, limonene packs quite a powerful punch. 


While the smell of limonene can be extremely recognizable to a trained connoisseur, relying on fragrance alone is not a sure-fire way to tell if the terpene is present in cannabis. The only way to be sure is to read the lab results of your particular product. 

 

Medicinal Benefits of Limonene

As mentioned earlier, terpenes are more than just nice aromas. Just like cannabinoids, terpenes can have therapeutic effects when consumed by humans. Limonene, in particular, has tons of curative characteristics.

Possibly one of the most exciting studies looking into these characteristics examined mice with cancer and found that limonene seems to inhibit tumor growth. Limonene is also incredibly effective at permeating proteins. This makes its natural anti-fungal properties even better. Some other medicinal benefits of Limonene include: 

  • Anti-inflammatory properties 
  • Gastric reflux relief 
  • Heartburn relief 
  • Stress relief 
  • Mood regulation

On its own limonene can be a great addition to any wellness routine, but when coupled with additional terpenes and cannabinoids, these therapeutic effects can be greatly enhanced. Scientists call this phenomenon the entourage effect

Where to Find Limonene

Many strains of cannabis and hemp contain limonene. Keep an eye out for flower that appears to have a yellowish hue, as this can be an indication of high limonene content.

Experience limonene with our revolutionary CBD Delivery device Elon. Elon pairs with an eco-friendly disposable Stem that’s filled with CBD-rich hemp flower. Our two proprietary hemp blends Stem Uplift and Stem Relax contain varied terpene and cannabinoid profiles, but both contain limonene. 

Tune in next Tuesday when we shift the spotlight from limonene to another exciting terpene – Pinene!