Limonene, Its Benefits, Where You Find It, Where It’s Used, and How It Works

D-Limonene or limonene for short, is a terpene, but what is a terpene? In short, a terpene is an essential oil produced by plants and some insects that creates an aroma or flavor.

Terpenes play a vital role in producing quality fruits and vegetables.

They are abundant in the most delectable flavors grown on earth. Oranges, pineapples, strawberries, tangerines, lemons, and cantaloupe are all rich in terpenes. Foods like these contribute to the essential building blocks for good health.

The definition of a terpene is, "any of a large group of volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants, especially conifers and citrus trees. They are based on a cyclic molecule having the formula C10H16."- Google Dictionary

As cannabis education continually advances the terminology and vocabulary surrounding this widely misunderstood plant becomes clearer. The word terpene is becoming synonymous with cannabis. There's a good reason for this too, because cannabis wouldn’t be the same without them.

Cannabis and Terpenes

Cannabis is perhaps one of the most terpene rich plants on the planet. Studies and research are pointing towards terpene interacting with how cannabis affects the human body. Certain terpenes allow for more cannabinoids to be absorbed by the body.

Other terpenes allow for Less absorption of cannabinoids by the body. So, in an essence, terpene profiles affect how cannabis treats individuals. In the legal cannabis market like the one in Colorado, Washington, or Oregon you can purchase terpenes by themselves.

There are several different terpenes that are present in abundance in cannabis. A-pinene, beta caryophyllene, linalool, myrcene, and limonene are the most common terpenes found in cannabis. When terpenes are extracted from cannabis they resemble a greenish syrup or honey.

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They’re often used when people dab cannabis concentrates or added to edibles. Consumers who use cannabis concentrates (dabs) will put a dab on the end of their dab tool and then dip it in a cannabis derived terpene for an extra kick, be it flavor or intensity. Terpenes combined with cannabinoids like THC, CBN, CBG, CBD, and others help contribute to the entourage effect.

Terpenes and The Entourage Effect

Terpene interaction with cannabinoids and an individual’s body chemistry can attribute to an increased buzz or high. Both the intensity and longevity of the buzz from cannabis can be altered by terpenes. Entourage effect references the concept that compounds found in cannabis that are mostly non-psychoactive alone affect the overall buzz or high from cannabis.

Basically, the idea of it is you don’t have to have insane THC levels to get the best results with weed. Instead, a wide spectrum of cannabinoid and terpene profiles will produce a stronger longer high or buzz.  This means you might get better results from a strain of cannabis with only 12% THC vs. a strain with 22% THC.

The entourage effect isn’t just something created by stoners. It was a term dubbed by the scientific community. The science behind this term has loads of compelling evidence suggesting the effectiveness of terpene and cannabinoid interaction together to attribute to the entourage effect.