Lemons, limes, and grapefruits cut in half sitting on a white background

What Is The Limonene Terpene: Smell, Taste, Effects, Strains, & More

If you love the tangy zest of lemon bars, the cheek-puckering sourness of Lemonheads, and the refreshing flavor of a summertime lemonade, then you’re going to want to learn more about limonene and our favorite lemon-flavored cannabis strains. In this guide, we’ll share what we know about this flavorful terpene, including:

  • What is Limonene?
  • What Does Limonene Smell Like?
  • What Does Limonene Taste Like?
  • What Strains are Heavy in Limonene?
  • FAQs About Limonene

What is Limonene

Limonene, or d-limonene, is a monoterpene found primarily in citrus fruits and, of course, cannabis. In fact, next to myrcene, limonene is one of the most prevalent terpenes in marijuana, so it’s likely if you’ve been a cannabis enthusiast for a while, you’ve encountered this terpene. 

What Does Limonene Smell Like?

It would be pretty hard to make it through life without smelling limonene. That’s because it’s in just about everything, including fruit, candy, cleaning products, candles, perfumes, lotions and more. That sweet lemon scent is irresistible to consumers, so limonene is a go-to for brands that want their products to take on a citrus scent. 

What Does Limonene Taste Like?

As with any terpene, limonene’s flavor profile can shift when in the presence of other aromatic compounds. That being said, limonene typically has a citrus-like flavor that can be anything from sweet and tangy to downright bitter. 

What Are the Effects of Limonene?

Limonene terpene effects are the subject of a number of studies. So far, in animal models, it seems to play a role in reducing inflammation and preventing tumor growth, but significantly more research needs to be done before we can definitively say that it has any effect in humans. 

We do know that terpenes including limonene contribute to the entourage effect—the theory that all compounds in marijuana, including cannabinoids and terpenes, create the effects you feel when you consume marijuana. This is why your experience with one strain may not be the same as someone else’s—your body is unique and your endocannabinoid system is too. 

What Strains Are Heavy in Limonene?

It would be impossible to list all the strains available that contain limonene, so we polled a few of our budtenders and asked them what their favorite limonene strains were. These were the top three: 

Banana Kush

Indica-Dominant Hybrid

This indica-leaning strain can thank limonene in part for its fruity sweet flavors and sugary aromas. Banana Kush is a flavorful flower that’s popular with recreational marijuana consumers and medical marijuana patients. This hybrid strain does pack some high THC, ranging from 18-25%, so if you’re new to marijuana, you’re going to want to go slow with this one. 

Want more strains with a tropical twist? Check out our list of banana-flavored cannabis strains.

Berry White aka White Berry

Indica-Dominant Hybrid

You’d be hard pressed to find a strain with more famous parents than this indica-dominant hybrid. Berry White is the child of Blueberry and White Widow, and it has a reputation among cannabis enthusiasts for having balanced, full body effects, though like any cannabis strain, this one’s effects are unique to you and your own endocannabinoid system. Like its parents, White Berry is considered a more potent strain with THC levels of 19-23%. 


Indica-Dominant Hybrid

If you enjoy indica-dominant hybrids, make sure you add Do-Si-Dos to your list. It gets its name from one of the types of Girl Scouts cookies because one of Do-Si-Dos’s parent strains is Girl Scout Cookie. This hybrid packs a minty-lime flavor and aroma, but it’s also extremely high in THC—cresting 30%—so be sure to go slow and start with low doses.

Answering FAQs About Limonene

Terpenes can be confusing little compounds, and limonene is no exception. Here are some answers to a few frequently asked questions we get about it: 

Is limonene a sativa or indica?
No, limonene is a terpene. Terpenes are the compounds that give sativa, indica, and hybrid strains their scents and flavors. 


Is limonene the same as lemon?
Not really. Limonene is the terpene that gives lemon both its smell and flavor. 

What’s the difference between limonene and d-limonene?
There isn’t a difference. Limonene and d-limonene are names for the same terpene. 

Purchasing Cannabis with Limonene Terpenes

Because of its prevalence in cannabis, limonene is a pretty easy terpene to find at your local dispensary. Chances are, if you see a strain with the word “lemon” in it (we’re looking at you, Super Lemon Haze), it’s worth a peek to see if it owes its name to the limonene terpene. Of course, if you need some help picking the right limonene terpene strain for you, you can always ask one of our budtenders for help when you visit. They’ll be able to share the details of the strains they have available, so you can make the best decision for you.

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.