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Super Class Terpenes: Limonene

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

This article is brought to you by the new Higher Learning LV Core Cannabis course.


Welcome to homework assignment 1.30 of the Core Cannabis Lite Track from Higher Learning LV. When you complete this assignment, simply click the link at the bottom of the article to return to the master page for this training track.


An October 2022 study entitled "Effects of Super-class Cannabis Terpenes Beta-caryophyllene and Alpha-pinene on Zebrafish Behavioral Biomarkers" that was published in the journal Scientific Reports suggested the existence of a special subclass of terpenes that it dubbed super class terpenes.

"There are more than fifty cannabis terpenes most commonly found in North American cannabis strains, eight of which predominate to form a 'Terpene Super Class,'" explained the study.

The eight super class terpenes identified by this pinnacle study include alpha-pinene, beta-caryophyllene (BCP), humulene, limonene, linalool, myrcene, ocimene, and terpinolene. Higher Learning LV investigates each of these important terpenes in our Super Class Terpenes series.

  • Read our exclusive summary of this peer-reviewed research study here.

  • Listen to the C3 Podcast episode regarding this study here.

"More than fifty cannabis terpenes are commonly found in North American cannabis strains, eight of which predominate to form a 'Terpene Super Class.'"


Limonene Overview

Limonene is one of the most common terpenes in cannabis/hemp/marijuana and the second most common terpene throughout nature. This popular phytomolecule delivers an aroma and flavor that is fruity and citrus, with heavy notes of lemon that are sometimes described as "zesty."

"Limonene is produced by cannabis, juniper, mint, oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruit—among other botanical species."

This terpene is produced by many botanical species beyond cannabis, including caraway, dill, fennel, juniper, mint, oranges, pine, rosemary, lemons, lime, and grapefruit (it is most abundant in the peels of citrus fruits). Limonene can be found in the cannabis cultivars (strains) Do-Si-Dos, Lemon G, Liberty Haze, Tahoe OG, Purple Hindu Kush, Wedding Cake, and White Fire OG.

Lemons are a top source of limonene

Like other terpenes and cannabinoids, limonene features multiple avenues of efficacy and may act as a positive therapeutic agent for a number of disease states, disorders, and conditions. Limonene's potential medicinal benefits include efficacy against anxiety and depression. It may also deliver potential antifungal and antibacterial benefits.

Limonene has also been shown to deliver analgesia (pain management), may be an antioxidant, and conveys potential anticancer benefits.

Historically, this terpene has been used to treat a number of diseases and conditions, including bronchitis, gallstones, and heartburn. Limonene is a common ingredient in a number of consumer product categories, including body creams, cosmetics, and fragrances.

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