What is Limonene?
Have you ever wondered why an orange peel smells so fresh and energizing? Is that morning grapefruit the thing that wakes you up? You can thank limonene for that!
Limonene is an incredibly powerful terpene found in many cannabis products, including Delta 8, Delta 9 and CBD edibles. Its unique flavor profile and potential health benefits have made it increasingly popular among consumers.
In this post, we’ll cover:
- What is limonene and what does it do?
- What are the effects of limonene?
- Does limonene have health benefits?
- Is limonene safe and legal?
What is D-Limonene?
Limonene, also called dipentene or r-limonene, is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon found in citrus fruits and other plants. It has several isomers or isomeric forms: l-limonene and d-limonene. The former smells more like turpentine, while the latter, a monoterpene, is the familiar citrus-y smelling terpene that can be extracted from the peels of citrus fruits.
Along with linalool, limonene essential oils have been utilized as a component in foodstuffs, beverages, and chewing gum, as well as pharmaceuticals, household products, cleaning products, and personal care items. It is easy to find citrus-scented cosmetic products, lotions and creams, hand cleansers, soaps, aromatherapy products, and perfumes that use limonene.
Limonene is also excellent at fighting volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are emitted from certain solids and liquids and cause eye irritation and respiratory problems when inhaled over long periods of time.
Limonene and other natural additives can break down these compounds before they enter the atmosphere by acting as a solvent that binds with them before they are released. This makes limonene a great choice for commercial air fresheners. Limonene is even used by some organic farmers in place of insecticide.
Potential Health Benefits and Side Effects Of Limonenes
Research on limonene in both human and animal studies indicates it may have a range of uses, both physical and psychological.
Physically, limonene can help to reduce inflammation and promote relaxation by acting as an anti-inflammatory agent and reducing stress levels. Limonene has been demonstrated to possess antioxidant properties, potentially guarding neurons from harm caused by free radicals.
Limonene has been demonstrated to be beneficial in alleviating gastrointestinal issues and could even possess antifungal properties. Perhaps most famously, though, limonenes have been shown to be inhibitors that possess anticancer effects, and the ability to restrain certain types of tumor growth.
D-limonene, along with perillyl alcohol, a metabolite of limonene, has been shown to kill breast cancer cells and block the formation of carcinogens. Studies and clinical trials for breast cancer have indicated that d-limonene may also reduce inflammation caused by heavy chemotherapy dosages, while also providing antioxidant protection against radiation therapy-induced oxidative stress.
Research shows that limonene may also help reduce risk of heart disease, and help promote weight loss. D-limonene has also been found to be a cholesterol-lowering agent in the research. Limonene may also have a beneficial impact on mental health, potentially boosting serotonin and reducing symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Certain medications may interact negatively with limonenes so consulting your doctor before taking any supplements containing this ingredient is highly recommended as well.
FAQs in Relation to What is Limonene
Is limonene safe?
Yes, just as safe as other components of cannabis. Limonene is classified as “GRAS,” generally recognized as safe, for use as a food additive by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). See this for more information on potential for toxicity.
Some people have reported allergic contact dermatitis reactions to limonene. However, research indicates this is more likely a reaction to limonene hydroperoxides, the result of the oxidation of limonene upon contact with oxygen over time.
In any case, it is always best to seek medical advice from a professional healthcare provider beforehand if you suffer from skin sensitivities. And always purchase your cannabis products from reputable sellers only so you can be sure they are free from contaminants, pesticides, and other things you just don’t want!
[For more detail on this and information about testing, see “Contact sensitization to hydroperoxides of limonene and linalool: Results of consecutive patch testing and clinical relevance,” via PubMed.]
How much limonene is in cannabis?
Limonene occurs in cannabis in trace amounts. If you want strains with more limonene, look for lab testing or strains with citrus-y expressions such as Super Lemon Haze.
Are any common compounds related to limonene?
Limonene oxide is a monoterpene with antitumoral and antinociceptive properties that can be prepared from limonene. It is a plant metabolite and it results from the epoxidation of limonene’s cyclic double bond. It is used in many products such as cosmetics, food additives, and perfumes.
If there really was an uncola nut, it would have limonene in it!
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Written by Diet Smoke Staff Writers
The staff writers for Diet Smoke have been researching and writing about premium hemp-derived THC and CBD products for more than 3 years. The team has a keen understanding of the topic, remain current on all FDA and industry news, and use their expertise to generate engaging and informative content to help educate consumers on Diet Smoke’s products. Each article is fact-checked and includes sources to scientific data to ensure readers receive the most up-to-date and accurate information possible.
Reviewed By Colby Wohlleb
Colby Wohlleb, editor of Diet Smoke, reviews and approves all content before releasing it for posting on the Diet Smoke website. As a tireless advocate for the benefits of premium hemp-derived THC and CBD products, Colby ensures that all content is accurate, engaging, and informative. He also works directly with a trusted source to ensure the purity of the products we sell and performs rigorous lab testing to ensure that Diet Smoke’s products are of the highest quality and safety standards.