Limonene: A Cannabis User’s Guide

limonene cannabis terpene
This article explores limonene, a key terpene in cannabis known for its citrusy aroma and potential health benefits. It delves into its energizing effects, health benefits, presence in various cannabis strains, and answers many common questions - providing a thorough overview for those curious to learn more about this terpene.
Table of Contents

What is the Limonene Terpene Good For?

Limonene is a prominent terpene found in cannabis and various other plants, celebrated for its distinct citrus scent derived from the resin glands of the cannabis flower. Beyond its fragrance, limonene is esteemed for several therapeutic effects, including stress relief and mood enhancement. This terpene also plays a crucial role in enhancing the absorption of other cannabinoids and terpenes through the skin and gut, which can contribute to improved gut health and digestion.

The Health Benefits of Limonene

Research has identified multiple benefits associated with limonene, such as anti-fungal, antibacterial properties, and an ability to boost energy levels. Limonene may help regulate serotonin and dopamine production in the brain, which are crucial in managing conditions like depression and ADHD. Its mood-lifting properties make it a valuable component in certain cannabis strains aimed at alleviating symptoms of depression and chronic fatigue.

Additionally, a 2021 study outlined the neuroprotective potential of limonene, highlighting its effectiveness against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. Limonene offers antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and other therapeutic properties that may mitigate oxidative stress and regulate apoptotic cell death, suggesting its use as a preventive nutraceutical or an adjunct to traditional therapies for neurodegenerative conditions.

How Does Limonene Terpene Make You Feel?

Limonene is known for its uplifting effects on mood. Its ability to help increase serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain can make you feel more energetic and less anxious, which explains its use in strains targeted for mood disorders and stress relief.

Does Limonene Make You Sleepy?

While limonene has many benefits, it is generally not known for inducing sleep. Instead, it tends to uplift and energize due to its mood-enhancing properties. 

*For medical marijuana sleep tips, check out this article.

Does Limonene Give You Energy?

Yes, limonene can contribute to increased energy levels. It’s associated with stress relief and mood improvement, which can indirectly contribute to a higher energy level, making it ideal for use during the daytime or when needing a mood lift.

What Does Limonene Do in Cannabis?

In cannabis, limonene helps to enhance the overall therapeutic effects of various strains by improving the absorption of other cannabinoids and terpenes. This synergy can enhance the medicinal benefits, making cannabis more effective for treating certain conditions. This synergy is commonly known as the entourage effect.

Is Limonene More Sativa or Indica?

Limonene itself is not exclusive to either Sativa or Indica strains; however, it is more commonly found in Sativa strains due to its energizing and mood-lifting effects.

Is Limonene Psychoactive?

Limonene is not psychoactive in the traditional sense of causing a high. It does affect mood and stress levels but does not produce the psychoactive effects associated with THC.

What Does Limonene Smell Like?

Limonene has a vibrant citrus aroma, reminiscent of lemons, oranges, and limes. This fresh and zesty scent is a favorite for many cannabis users and is often associated with freshness and cleanliness, not just in cannabis but also in various household products.

What is the Best Way to Vape Cannabis Strains with Limonene?

To get the most out of limonene in cannabis, it’s recommended to vape at temperatures around 349°F. This helps in preserving the terpene’s delicate properties and maximizing its therapeutic effects. For a complete list of terpenes and their optimal vaping temperatures, check out our article, The Best Temperatures to Vape Marijuana.

Where is Limonene Found in Nature?

Besides cannabis, limonene is commonly found in the rinds of citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and limes. It is also produced by coniferous trees, dill, and bergamot plants.

Which Cannabis Strains Have a Lot of Limonene in Them?

Some cannabis strains are particularly rich in limonene, including Jack Herer, Super Lemon Haze, and Durban Poison. These strains are well-known for their ability to enhance mood and increase energy. Other popular strains that are high in limonene include: 

Banana OG

Berry White

Black Cherry Soda




Purple Hindu Kush

Quantum Kush

Strawberry Banana

Tahoe OG

Wedding Cake

White Fire OG

What Are Common Uses of Limonene?

Outside of cannabis, limonene is widely used in the culinary world to flavor beverages and sweets, and in the cleaning industry for its citrus scent and solvent properties. It’s also found in many personal care products such as creams and ointments, where it aids in absorption of other active ingredients.

Updated: April 30, 2024

McKenzie Lewis

McKenzie Lewis has been a member of the CannaMD marketing team since 2018. Prior to joining CannaMD, she attended the University of Central Florida where she received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in psychology. When it comes to cannabis research, she is especially interested in the application of marijuana as a treatment method for insomnia.


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