What Is D-Limonene?

Posted by Burgess Powell on

d-Limonene is the chemical name of Limonene, a terpene found in many of your favorite strains. What is d-Limonene? You’ll recognize it thanks to its signature citrusy smell (It’s also found in lemons and oranges). Limonene also has a variety of benefits and effects, ranging from anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties to promoting relaxation. Here’s what every cannabis enthusiast needs to know about d-Limonene, the soothing, delicious, and omnipresent terpene.

8 Potential Benefits of d-Limonene

Not only does it snell great, but the prevalent terpene has a long list of potential health and therapeutic benefits including:

  1. Reducing anxiety, depression, and OCD tendencies
  2. Anti-inflammatory properties, which affect ulcerative colitis, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, tumors and more
  3. Lowering blood pressure, which greatly affects heart health
  4. Reducing cholesterol
  5. Lowering blood sugar
  6. Functioning as an organic insect repellent
  7. Improving asthmatic symptoms
  8. Reducing appetite (and promoting weight loss)

7 Limonene Weed Strains

Though this terpene can be found in many of your favorite strains, here are a few you should check out if you’re looking for that citrusy scent, soothing properties and potential health benefits.

  1. Lemon G
  2. Lemon Meringue
  3. Wedding Cake
  4. Strawberry Banana
  5. Banana OG
  6. Berry White
  7. Conex
  8. White Fire OG
  9. Quantum Kush

Hint: Look for anything with “Lemon” in the name or ask your budtender.

What Is d-Limonene?

d-Limonene is the chemical name for Limonene, a terpene commonly found in weed strains. You’ll also find it in citrus peels (think: grapefruit, limes, oranges, and lemons), and in various essential oils.

What are d-Limonene’s effects? According to preliminary research, they are many. For starters, the soothing scent is great for relaxation. It’s also anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant (more on what that means later). But our leading cannabis compound (check out our terpene chart for more), may also help with weight loss, high cholesterol, digestion, heart health, and may even produce anti-cancer effects.

Disclaimer: As with all cannabis-related research bear in mind that research is preliminary due to ever-present restrictions on cannabinoid research. This article is entirely written for informational purposes. If you have any questions regarding your health and wellness, please seek medical help.

d-limonene terpene

What Is d-Limonene? A Terpene Found in Cannabis

You’ve probably heard that d-Limonene is a terpene — but what is a terpene, exactly? A terpene is a chemical compound found in plants, including cannabis, that plants produce to attract pollinators or protect themselves from threats. There are over 30,000 terpenes that we know of, many of which have nothing to do with cannabis.

But for weed enthusiasts, terpenes are the compounds that give the best weed strains their scent — and even their effects. Today, we know that indica vs. sativa and CBD vs. THC are too simplistic: A plant’s terpene profile may also produce effects, making you sleepy/creative/energized/relaxed.

d-Limonene’s Benefits Are Many

Not only does this terpene smell like delicious lemons, but it has a laundry list of benefits. The best documented is its ability to relax you simply due to its aroma. This isn’t just hearsay: An animal study suggests that d-Limonene benefits include decreasing anxiety and stress.

For the casual d-Limonene enjoyer, it may also help in the protection against stomach ulcers and reduce appetite. That’s right: Not all cannabis gives you the munchies.

Beyond potentially making you relaxed and less hungry, d-Limonene has an ever-growing list of medicinal benefits including reducing:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Inflammation
  3. Blood pressure
  4. Cholesterol
  5. Gallstones
  6. Cancerous tumor growth
  7. Kidney damage
  8. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  9. Bronchitis
  10. Blood sugar
  11. Heartburn

It is also used as an insecticide

As is the trend with cannabis research, another compound shows promise when it comes to treating or reducing the risk of some of America’s most common health woes.

d-Limonene and Anxiety: The Research

Wondering why so many essential oils, soaps, candles and even cleaning agents are lemon-scented? In addition to possessing antibacterial properties, d-Limonene may reduce anxiety and overall stress levels.

  • One found that mice that inhaled d-limonene essential oil vapor experienced a reduction in anxiety. Another that tested the compound via oral administration reached a similar conclusion.
  • Another found that the terpene reduced obsessive-compulsive (OCD) behavior.

How does it work? In some cases, we’re not totally sure. Some research suggests that d-limonene increases dopamine and serotonin levels —a lack of which is associated with OCD, anxiety, and depression. How the terpene increases activity in these areas of the brain is still unclear.

Linalool, another terpene may also reduce anxiety.

The Benefits of Anti-Inflammatory d-Limonene

Inflammation is the source of many leading health problems among Americans. Inflammation isn’t just what happens after a sport’s injury: It’s the body’s response to external threats.

Sometimes, the body mistakes internal functions for external threats. This is the case for auto-immune disorders such as psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. Rheumatoid arthritis may also result from inflammation.

What are some of d-Limonene’s benefits? One of the terpene’s major effects is reducing inflammation — and potentially helping reduce the chances of suffering from inflammation-caused illnesses.

That’s great, but what does the research say?

  • One Molecular Medicine Reports study found that rats suffering from ulcerative colitis experienced a decrease in inflammation when given limonene.
  • Another group of researchers tested the impact of d-limonene on rats fed significant amounts of alcohol and anti-inflammatory drugs; the terpene protected the animals’ stomach lining.
  • A third study found that inflammation markers decreased in rats fed an oral dose of d-Limonene and decreased the impacts of ulcerative colitis.

Though these preliminary animal studies are promising, we need more information on the longterm impacts of effects of d-Limonene.

Understanding d-Limonene’s Effect on Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Blood Sugar

Blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol all affect heart health. In fact, the leading cause of death in America is heart disease, which may result from one or all of these factors.

One of d-Limonene’s benefits is the potential ability to reduce all three:

  1. Animals in one study experienced reduced blood pressure when given limonene supplements.
  2. Mice administered d-limonene experienced a reduction in blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and liver fat in another
  3. A third study published in Preventive Nutrition and Food Science suggests that d-Limonene has cholesterol-lowering and antioxidative effects. Other terpenes, such as myrcene, a-pinene and sabinene, were also present, but it was determined that limonene was the active ingredient.

Can This Terpene Function as Insect Repellent?

d-Limonene is also found to be an effective natural insect repellent — so much so that you can actually find it in many convention products.

  • In fact, the terpene is deadly to flies, fire ants, and fleas.
  • One study also found that it’s over 96% effective in protecting against mosquitoes for up to 4 hours.

Many environmentally-friendly insect repellents use limonene for that reason: Not only does it work, but it’s free from DEET: a toxic ingredient found in conventional insect repellents.

d-Limonene’s Many Benefits of 2021

This prevalent compound is yet another cannabis terpene with a long list of potential therapeutic and medical benefits. Though research is promising, it's critical to remember that all trials have been conducted on animals, not humans.

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