Understanding the Terpene Limonene


Terpenes are the aromatic molecules that contribute to the fragrance of cannabis. More than 20,000 plant species produce more than 40,000 aromatic terpenes throughout nature. This free training article from Higher Learning LV explores the terpene limonene, one of the most common terpenes in the world and one that is common in marijuana and hemp.


A variety of plants produce limonene, including bergamot oranges, all citrus species, juniper, and hemp, which produce the aromatic terpene limonene that is technically categorized as a monoterpene. This fragrant molecule features a boiling point of 349° F (176° C), of note to those who vaporize hemp products containing it. Like other terpenes, limonene is commonly employed in beauty products, cleaners, food (as a flavoring agent), perfume, and medicine.


According to California-based SC Labs, limonene is a major (primary) terpene that "aids in the absorption of other terpenes through the skin and mucous membranes and has been used to treat anxiety and depression." Limonene is also considered a Super Class terpene.


Like its sibling terpenes, limonene (d-limonene) has been shown to provide a wide range of wellness and health benefits. These include mental health improvements such as reductions in anxiety and general elevations of mood, including the easing of depression.


The molecule's physical benefits include antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. This special terpene may also help relieve gastrointestinal conditions, including gastric reflux and heartburn. Researchers also believe it may be an effective treatment for bronchial conditions such as asthma and various allergies.


Interestingly, limonene is unique in that it acts as an amplifier or expeditor for other terpenes and chemical compounds. It accomplishes this by improving and increasing the absorption of other molecules via topical application to the skin, sublingual absorption, or ingestion within the digestive tract.


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