What Are the Effects of Limonene? Limonene and Cannabis

Limonene is a type of monoterpene known for its relaxing effects and potential to boost the immune system. While it is commonly found in citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits, limonene is also present in cannabis, drawing increasing attention in recent years. This article provides detailed information about limonene, its effects, and recent research on limonene and cannabis.

What Is Limonene?

Limonene is a type of terpene primarily found in citrus fruits like lemons and oranges. It is characterized by its fresh, citrusy aroma and is used in a wide variety of everyday products. Limonene is used as a flavoring agent in food and beverages and in household items such as detergents and hand soaps. It is also found in perfumes, body creams, and various medicinal products.

Effects of Limonene

Limonene has several beneficial effects on the mind and body. Let’s take a closer look at some of the notable effects of limonene.

Relaxation & Refreshing Effects

Citrus scents, including limonene, are known for their relaxing effects. Limonene can activate cells that normalize nerve functions, helping to alleviate anxiety and stress, thereby promoting relaxation. In mouse experiments, it was observed that limonene helps mice quickly adapt to new environments without feeling significant anxiety.

Weight Loss Effects

Limonene is believed to promote blood circulation, which can aid in weight loss. Improved blood circulation activates metabolism and enhances digestive functions. Additionally, it has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, working from within the body to decrease visceral fat. Combining limonene with exercise may improve the chances of successful weight loss.

Immune System Boost

Recent research has shown that limonene has immune-modulating, antioxidant, and anti-apoptotic effects.

In experiments with mice suffering from kidney disorders, administering limonene was found to reduce kidney inflammation and enhance protein production, preventing mitochondrial apoptosis. Furthermore, limonene has been shown to inhibit the activity of cancer cells. This suggests that limonene might be effective in preventing and treating breast cancer, with ongoing clinical research exploring this possibility.

Limonene in Cannabis

While limonene is abundant in citrus fruits, it is also present in cannabis plants. Combining limonene (a terpene) with cannabis (CBD) can produce an entourage effect. The entourage effect refers to the phenomenon where CBD interacts synergistically with other cannabinoids and terpenes, significantly enhancing their effects. Taking limonene and CBD together can maximize their benefits. If you are considering purchasing CBD products, opt for those that also contain terpenes like limonene.

Research on Limonene

A 2024 study revealed that the naturally occurring chemical compounds in cannabis, including limonene, can reduce the anxiety-inducing effects of THC when used in appropriate amounts. This discovery could enhance the medicinal use of THC and reduce some of the risks associated with recreational use.

Recent studies have examined the anxiety-reducing effects of vaporized limonene and THC in humans. The results showed that using limonene reduced the anxiety, tension, and paranoia typically associated with THC alone. As cannabis legalization progresses globally, the average THC content in cannabis products has increased from 12% a decade ago to 20%-30% today. This rise in THC levels has made it challenging for consumers to manage their intake, often leading to anxiety and panic. Limonene may help mitigate these adverse effects.


This article has introduced limonene, a type of terpene found abundantly in citrus fruits and used in various everyday products. Limonene is also present in cannabis, and combining it with other cannabis compounds can amplify its effects. Recent research indicates that limonene can reduce THC-induced anxiety, potentially making cannabis products safer for use in the future.

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