One of Kynd’s most popular strains is Super Lemon Haze, a sativa with a perfectly sweet lemon aroma and the flavor to match. What you’re smelling in this strain and many others – OG Kush, Sour Diesel, Jack the Ripper, pretty much any strain with a citrus fruit in its name – is limonene. But this incredibly aromatic terpene does more than just smell delightful.
All About Cannabis Terpenes
Terpenes are fragrant oils secreted in the resin glands of the cannabis flower. Individual strains can have as many as 200 different terpenes, but in nature, some 20,000 terpenes exist. That’s a good thing – it means they can be legally tested and researched in various studies, unlike the cannabinoids only found in cannabis.
Limonene in particular can be found in all citrus fruits, and it’s added to everything from cleaning products to cosmetics to gum as a flavor and fragrance booster.
Effects & Benefits of Limonene
Terpenes have a direct role in a strain’s odor and flavor profile, but that’s not all. They also have a direct impact on a strain’s effects. In limonene’s case, that means a variety of specifically therapeutic benefits. These include:
- Relief from stress, depression and pain
- Elevated mood
- Antioxidant, antibacterial and anti fungal properties
- Relief from heartburn and gastric reflux
- Improved absorption of other terpenes
- Dissolves gallstones
It’s also possible that limonene can boost the immune system. And then there’s its propensity for targeting cancer cells, according to this 2014 study and those conducted in 2013 and 2015 relating specifically to breast cancer.
Looking for Limonene?
This terpene tends to appear in trace amounts, hovering between 1 and 2 percent in a flower’s biomass. Growing and curing variations can effect limonene levels too, but a good rule of thumb is to check lab results. In a pinch, you can also follow your nose.
Limonene tends to be found in sativa strains, but there are indica strains that can present high levels of this lemony terpene as well. It’s also worth remembering that terpenes are sensitive to heat and their therapeutic qualities can be dramatically reduced when these compounds are heated beyond their boiling point. If that’s a concern for you, ask your budtender for a low-heat device recommendation.