What is the terpene Limonene found in cannabis?

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Medical Jane

Last updated: May 30th, 2016

Limonene is one of two major compounds formed from pinene. It is a colorless liquid organic compound classified as a cyclic terpene. Plants use limonene as a natural insecticide to ward off predators. As the name suggests, this citrusy terpene is present in citrus fruit rinds like lemons and oranges, rosemary, juniper and peppermint, as well as in several pine needle oils. Limonene was primarily used in medicine, food and perfume until a couple of decades ago, when it became better known as the main active ingredient in citrus cleaner. It has very low toxicity and humans rarely have adverse effects to it.

Medicinally, Limonene has a wide variety of applications. For instance, Limonene assists in the absorption of other terpenes through the skin and other body tissue, and can be used for treating gastric acids and reflux. Its ability to permeate proteins makes it an ideal anti-fungal agent for ailments such as toenail fungus. Limonene is also used to promote weight loss, to prevent and treat cancer, and to treat bronchitis. It has also been used to treat depression and anxiety. During testing on the effects of limonene, participants experienced an increase in attention, mental focus, well-being and even libido.

Click here to learn more about Limonene and other terpenes commonly found in cannabis.

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