Where to buy weed in Canada;Where to buy weed in Canada; People in Canada are cheering, enduring long lines and honking their car horns in support as the country’s first marijuana dispensaries open their doors Wednesday.
However, those differences might have deeper roots than we think; ones that go to the cores of our gender-specific hormonal and neurological structures.
Who consumes more cannabis and why?
As most people might guess, men do. They make three quarters of all cannabis consumers.
This has a lot to do with three major factors in cannabis use; factors which men, on average, are far more susceptible to. First, men are more inclined to taking risks, and that’s not some sexist myth, designed to make them seem cooler; it’s a simple, scientific fact.
“Male sex steroids increase risk-taking behavior and suppress the brain’s reward system, which could explain why males are more likely to try drugs, including cannabis” explains Dr Liana Fattore, Senior Researcher at the National Research Council of Italy, President of the Mediterranean Society of Neuroscience and author of the study “The Modulating Role of Sex and Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Hormones in Cannabinoid Sensitivity**”**. “This is true for both natural male sex steroids like testosterone and synthetic steroids like nandrolone, “Fattore continued.
Second, men are more influenced by external factors like peer pressure or use and something as simple as cannabis availability.  Basically, men tend to say things like “I might as well…” or “why not” more often than women.
Women, on the other hand, are more driven by internal factors, whether that’s something positive like simply being in the mood, or something negative like anxiety. 
Third, men usually hang out in circles where cannabis use is more prevalent,  and that only makes sense considering the other two factors mentioned above.
Full-Spectrum Extracts: An Inside Look at This Hash Oil
Full-Spectrum Extracts: An Inside Look at This Hash Oil
For the hash oil aficionado, deriving value from a cannabis extract has always been a pursuit in translating the essence between a living plant and the resin itself. For extractors, the goal has been to create a product that can present a cannabis plant’s unique profile as undisturbed and preserved as possible within a resin. As extraction technology and the science behind it have pushed this pursuit forward, the achievement is now finally being realized. At the forefront of this pursuit is a hash oil product that is unrivaled in flavor and complexity: the full-spectrum extract.
Think of a cannabis extract like a well-made stew. With a stew you expect to find ingredients such as the protein, potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery, as well as the more nuanced essentials like salt, pepper, and other seasonings. These components work together to create a complex and palatable experience for the discerning stew enthusiast. But what if we were to omit the lesser-recognized elements such as the seasonings, leaving behind nothing but the essentials (the “meat and potatoes” of the dish)? What remains may still look like stew; you would still be able to identify the major ingredients. However, upon tasting the stew, you’d find it would be devoid of flavor. Sure, you could still taste the carrots and onions, but without the complexity offered by the missing elements, the experience of “stew” is simply incomplete.
With extracts, it’s very much the same principle of building flavors. A complete suite of bioactive molecules can be the difference between a product that may either remind you of a generic and bland rendition of a strain or one with such depth of flavor, it can make you believe it was literally extracted from a living cannabis plant.
Why Cannabis Extracts Need a Spectrum of Components
Spectrum is the name of the game when it comes to giving cannabis extracts their character. Within living cannabis exists a suite of over 500 therapeutic bioactive compounds. This spectrum of molecules contains not only the cannabinoids and terpenes that are loved and recognized among cannabis aficionados, but also a plethora of other lesser-known but equally important elements such as flavonoids, phenolic amides, and sterols.
With standard extractions, oftentimes many of these lesser-known components are filtered out, leaving behind a product lacking depth and complexity. This is often the case with extracts such as shatters and waxesthat are lacking in their flavor profile. Sure, these extracts contain high levels of cannabinoids (namely THC), in many cases over 70%. However, with a low percentage of bioactive compounds such as less prevalent terpenes and flavonoids, the experience becomes flat and unremarkable.
In order to achieve full-spectrum in a cannabis extract, one must translate the profile of bioactive compounds that a cannabis flower contains into the extract itself without compromising on any aspect of the profile. This includes not only the same ratios of cannabinoids to terpenes and flavonoids, but also the complete suite of other lesser-known compounds while also removing unnecessary components (e.g. fats, lipids, etc.). Unlike cannabis concentrate varieties such as bubble hash, dry sift, and rosin, where fats and lipids remain, full-spectrum extracts remove these elements, leaving behind only what is desired. A full-spectrum extract is about preserving the natural ratios of compounds within cannabis while removing the impurities that can compromise the experience.
Where to Get Full-Spectrum Extracts
If you’re looking to get your hands on some full-spectrum extracts, you may have to look a bit harder as there are currently only a few companies out there with the technology to achieve such a product. For one, full-spectrum extracts require an extensive scientific background to master and the refinement methodology is still very much proprietary. Hash oil products such as live resins and sugar waxes are sometimes mislabeled as full-spectrum but end up falling short at creating a matching profile to the flowers they were derived from.
In order to create a full-spectrum product, there are several layers of refinement that must take place. Not only must an extract require a very specific light hydrocarbon solution administered at exact temperatures, it must also undergo additional winterization and separation phases while maintaining atmospheric homeostasis throughout the process.
Extractioneering, a US-based extraction company in New England, is perhaps the pioneer of bringing connoisseur-quality full-spectrum extracts to the market. With full-spectrum products available in most legal states, the company has done an excellent job in educating the industry on what it means to have a truly full-spectrum extract.
In January of 2016, Extractioneering introduced a new line of products to the market, including HT-FSE (High Terpene Full-Spectrum Extract) and HC-FSE (High Cannabinoid Full-Spectrum Extract), two full-spectrum products derived from the same base formula. HT-FSE products are clear, viscous liquids that can remain stable indefinitely and contain terpene profiles often exceeding 20%. HC-FSE’s, on the other hand, contain much higher concentration of THC and therefore take on a more sugar-like consistency. Both of these products are designed to contain the full suite of available biomolecules native to the flower, and this is what makes Extractioneering’s FSE line so unique.
How to Identify Full-Spectrum Extracts From Other Products
If you want know if you are truly receiving a FSE from a company claiming to offer one, simply ask for the lab tests. Full-spectrum by its very nature infers that a product should have the same ratio of compounds in flower form and extract form, and there is no better proof than a lab test from an accredited analytical lab. The flip side? Not all analytical facilities are equipped with the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometers required to test for the complete list of bioactive molecules within an FSE sample. These tests are often expensive as NMR machines can cost several hundred thousand dollars.
It’s important to understand that not all extracts are created equal. Truly full-spectrum extracts may at the moment be difficult to come by, but rest assured that this technology will soon be the standard in cannabis extractions. If you find yourself in the presence of a retailer offering FSE, make sure to ask to see lab tests and look for visual identifiers associated with full-spectrum hash oils, such as their unique viscosity, opacity, and consistency. Any proud retailer who is lucky enough to carry a hash oil with such quality will be happy to show off the stats.
This summer, I was a hot mess with my mental health. Though I was finally off a 3-month waiting list for therapy, anxiety and depression had consumed me and I wasn’t sure of a solution. Though I’ve dabbled with cannabis, it was for pleasure purposes only (and I was prone to collapsing into an ill-placed nap after imbibing).
I had never heard of CBD by itself, but as my mental state gradually destabilized and my therapist kept pushing me to get on medication, I figured Google could help. Truthfully, I was searching for a black-market online site to get weed since I didn’t have a medical card in Maryland, but instead I ended up finding CBD retailer sites with tons of different brands and forms, and the rest is history.
If you’re in a similar place, you’ve likely stumbled upon CBD as a potential supplement, but as with most things in a consumerist world, the options are somewhat stupefying. And if you’re an anxiety-prone type like me, you’re not sure about what you’re looking for.
Where to Begin? CBD Exclusive Websites
CBD can get quite expensive over time, and who has all the time in the world to figure out which brand site to order directly? Sure, you’ll come across lists like these that give you a breakdown of the best CBD oils—or others—for your ailment, but each of those sites are devoted to their brands exclusively.
How can you compare? What if you want to try multiple brands at once?
If you already have a favorite brand, but they don’t offer vape oil or starter sets with vaporizers, large sites enable you to combine all your needs and experiment with new brands and CBD forms (edibles, wax, for example).
Check out the CBD dedicated sites below for a variety of offerings:
Should You Trust Large Consumer Marketplaces?
But what about larger sites like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy? The truth is that yes, you can get CBD on some of these sites. In the case of Amazon and Etsy, it may be listed under “hemp extract” or “hemp oil.” There are CBD sellers on eBay, but overall, I wouldn’t bother ordering from these sites. They can simply get away with too much—including claims that could be hard to fact check.
Who wants to put in all the work of determining that you’re getting what you’re paying for? Only consider CBD items that have enough positive reviews or ratings that you can trust.
Reliable Companies Build Bonds
Educating consumers is a sure-fire way of knowing how to trust a company. Especially if they are willingly giving in-depth information to ensure the best experience—instead of prattling on about their brand or shoving a product down your throat.
A helpful site usually always answers specific questions, be it about dosage, how much you should order, or suggestions on how to use multiple forms of the products in your daily routine. You are always a priority, and this proves you matter more than quick profits. So keep an eye on blog pages, FAQs, and other informative sections of CBD websites.
A low-key way in which companies instill trust is by allowing a variety of reviews and responding to them. Again, access to information is important for navigating a CBD eCommerce page, so being able to read reviews gives you a window into what your experiences may be like.
For example, when my mental state was completely out of whack because of anxiety, the quickest choice for me about buying a vaporizer was a kit with the highest rating. I knew absolutely nothing about vaporizers or how much CBD content I needed in cartridges. I just knew I needed something fast and effective for relief.
I am prone to trusting the experiences of customers. If you take the time to write a review (other than the company offering you discounts), it shows how positive or negative the product truly is.
Quick and Discreet Delivery
What may be majorly important to you is that they stated the packages were discreet. Though I have yet to see an offer for free or discounted shipping, the assurance that I would receive my CBD vaporizer kit in 2-3 days in a discreet and unassuming package was exceptional. I got that confirmation from the customer reviews.
Thus, when your life feels like it’s teetering on the edge, assurance of quick shipping and handling is a dream come true.
Receiving Care From Customer Service
Before I had a successful ordered from Pure CBD Vapors, I stumbled across a separate site where I had put in an immediate order without researching the brand. Once I found out more, I was appalled.
The quality of CBD from this site wasn’t great, and the company had a questionable reputation, so I hopped back online to cancel my order—and couldn’t figure out how the hell to do it.
This whole fiasco turned into a quick, confusing skirmish email confirmations and spam folder adventures—which is telling in itself. I gave their customer service a call, and though they picked up quick, the drone-like voice of their rep solidified my desire to cancel.
I didn’t run into any special trouble with the cancellation and subsequent refund, but it drove home the need for great customer service.
Needless to say, trust the reviews folks make about customer service. If the company is responding to complaints or questions about products, understand that’s going to be your treatment as well. You want to feel a warm welcome in your time of need.
Looks Really Do Matter
I am a shallow woman and also an artist, so site layout and design is vital to my making a purchase. Effective layout includes clear search options—other than categorizing products according to consumption preference, I want to be able to organize my options according to pricing, popularity, rating, and ailment.
I encountered the ailment search option on just one site. This is important if you’re looking for CBD that addresses chronic pain as opposed to insomnia.
Readability shows care in user experience.
Offering Assistance Can Show Quality
If you’re a veteran, long-term disability recipient, low-income consumer, and/or senior citizen, sites that offer discounts are a godsend. You want a site that offers regular sale discounts and puts your email address to use with that information.
If a multi-seller platform doesn’t overtly have an assistance program, I highly recommend that you contact them directly to see what you can get. There are many CBD brands that offer discounts via their direct sites which you can find here.
For those who struggle with sleep or feel antsy when they just want to relax after a long day, cannabis is often a saving grace. It’s a well-known insomnia aid in the cannabis community, and when combined with a calming nightly routine, it can be the best way to turn off an overactive mind and soothe tense muscles in preparation for rest.
Below, discover six great ways to add cannabis to your bedtime routine and commit yourself to better, more satisfying sleep.
Practice Self-Care With an Infused Lavender Lotion
Suggested Cannabis Product: Lavender Patchouli Infused Lotion by Kusa Brands
There’s nothing like a little TLC to relax the body and help you prepare for rest. One excellent way to do so is by pampering yourself with a cannabis-infused lavender lotion. The combination of soothing cannabinoids and calming lavender aromatherapy will have you ready for rest from the inside out. Right before sleep, massage this lotion gently into your shoulders and anywhere you hold tension to loosen up tense muscles and calm the body.
Choose the Right Strain for a Bedtime Toke
Suggested Strain: Granddaddy Purple
If you like to load a bowl before bed, paying attention to your strain of choice can make a big difference in falling asleep and staying there. Avoid sativa-dominate strains that have high-energy affects, such as Green Crack. Instead, opt for indicas which are generally more beneficial as sleep-time aids due to their terpene profiles. We suggest Granddaddy Purple—known for its intense body and mind relaxation—before kicking back with soft lighting and slow, deep inhales so you can enjoy all the calming properties this indica has to offer. Need more options? Check out our favorite Good Night Sleepstrains.
Suggested Cannabis Product: Insomnia THC Caramels by Sensi Chew
If you’re the type of person who craves a sweet treat before bed, then consider an edible tailored-made for deep sleep. Enter Sensi Chew’s Insomnia Caramels, offering 25mg THC or CBD in indica chocolate pieces mixed with a touch of melatonin. The combination of cannabinoids and “sleep hormone” creates the ultimate relaxation powerhouse that will knock you off your feet and right into bed.
Pair the Perfect Indica With Yoga and Deep Meditation
Suggested Strain: Skywalker
Yoga and meditation are great ways to unwind before settling down. Combining the two with the right indica strain can make for a powerful deep sleep combo. Choose an indica such as Skywalker to melt into deep relaxation without the couch-lock. After you feel that nice, mellow high flow in, ease into some gentle, slow-paced yoga to stretch out and loosen your muscles. Consider poses such as downward dog, cat/cow, child’s pose, forward bend, and other soft movements, before ending in savasana for some deep, full body relaxation and meditation.
Note: If you have medical conditions, please check with your doctor before engaging in yoga, as certain positions can pose health risks to those with certain conditions.
Suggested Product: Nature Lavender Chamomile Tea by Hippie Brew
A cup of herbal tea is the classic way to unwind and relax before cozying up under the covers. Choosing a tea with chamomile and lavender—which are known for their relaxing, sedating effects—is a great option to calm the body; but choosing one that also has cannabis is even better. Hippie Brew’s infused tea features all three of these ultra-relaxing ingredients and is an excellent choice for a bedtime brew. If you prefer your own blends, you can use your favorite tea at home with infused honey, such as Honey Stix by Evergreen Organix, to suit your taste. Whatever your cup of cannabis tea, kick back before bed and gently sip on this soothing drink to unwind and sink into a pleasantly sleepy state.
Suggested Cannabis Product: Transdermal CBN Patch by Mary’s Medicinals
One of cannabis’s lesser known yet incredible cannabinoids is cannabinol (CBN). Five-times more sedating than THC, CBN is excellent for lulling yourself into a very deep, incredibly refreshing night’s sleep. I can personally attest to the effectiveness of CBN patches, such as Mary’s Medicinals, and experienced some of the best sleep of my life. Simply put the patch on an hour before you plan to go to bed and after you’ve had your last meal of the night (CBN is an effective appetite suppressant). Before you know it, you’ll be slipping into a calm, blissful sleep.
Scientists at the Salk Institute labs in San Diego have published preliminary evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other compounds found in cannabis can remove amyloid beta, the toxic protein most commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Officials at the Salk Institute cautioned that the results, published in the June issue of the journal Aging and Mechanisms of Disease, shouldn’t be taken as a sign that cannabis is a panacea for Alzheimer’s. The studies were conducted in neurons grown in a laboratory, and may eventually offer insight into the role inflammation plays in the disease. The Salk Institute’s work could end up providing clues about developing novel therapeutics for the disorder.
“Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s,” said David Schubert, the study’s senior author, “we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells.”
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that leads to memory loss and can seriously impair a person’s ability to carry out daily tasks. According to the National Institutes of Health, it affects more than 5 million Americans, is the nation’s most common cause of dementia, and is a leading cause of death. Alarmingly, the incidence of Alzheimer’s is expected to triple during the next 50 years.
It has long been known that amyloid beta accumulates within the nerve cells of the aging brain well before the appearance of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and plaques, according to the Salk Institute. Amyloid beta is a major component of the plaque deposits — a hallmark of Alzheimer’s — but the precise roles of amyloid beta and the plaques it forms remain unclear.
In the study published last month, Salk researchers found that high levels of amyloid beta were associated with cellular inflammation and higher rates of neuron death. They found that exposing the cells to THC reduced the amyloid beta protein levels and eliminated the inflammatory response by nerve cells.
“Inflammation within the brain is a major component of the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but it has always been assumed that this response was coming from immune-like cells in the brain, not the nerve cells themselves,” said Antonio Currais, a postdoctoral researcher in Schubert’s laboratory and the first author of the paper.
“When we were able to identify the molecular basis of the inflammatory response to amyloid beta, it became clear that THC-like compounds that the nerve cells make themselves may be involved in protecting the cells from dying.”
The human brain has receptors that can be activated by endocannabinoids, lipid molecules produced by the body and used to send intercellular signals in the brain. THC, a phytocannabinoid (that is, a cannabinoid produced by a plant) can activate the same brain receptors.
The current study is one of many looking into how to slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s. Physical activity also results in the production of endocannabinoids, and some studies have shown that exercise may slow the progression of the disease. As Schubert emphasized, his team’s findings were conducted in exploratory laboratory models, and any future use of THC-like compounds as therapy would need to be tested in clinical trials.
Try These 10 Cannabis Strains to Help Induce Hunger
For some cannabis consumers, the “munchies,” or appetite stimulation, is an unwanted side effect that can lead to overeating, but for many medical marijuana patients, it provides necessary relief from symptoms like nausea and a lack of appetite. For those of you who consume cannabis as a natural appetite stimulant or to help calm gastrointestinal distress, here are 10 of the many strain varieties that can help kick-start the grumbles in your tummy:
Goo is a fairly heavy indica, so don’t test this strain unless you’re prepared for a strong dose of relaxation with your appetite boost. It also offers relief from painful muscle spasms, making it a good choice for spasticity or for those who suffer from gastrointestinal disorders.
Another potent indica, Monster Cookies hails from the favored GSC (f.k.a Girl Scout Cookies) tribe and offers the same dose of euphoria and relaxation you know and love. The sleepy effects will increase over time, so keep your couch and your munchies close at hand and you’ll be set for the night.
Maui Bubble Gift is an aromatic hybrid with roots in three distinctively fantastic medicinal strains: Bubble Gum, Maui Waui and God’s Gift. This indica-dominant strain has an unusually high CBD content, which makes it an excellent choice for pain and nausea sufferers. With the mental clarity of Maui Waui, the stomach-soothing spasm relief of Bubble Gum, and the relaxing effects of God’s Gift, this hybrid offers the best of three worlds in one.
Sonoma Coma is a rare sativa that hails from (where else?) Sonoma County, California. It offers energetic, uplifting effects with a mellow finish and a dash of the munchies to aid a diminished appetite.
Purple Kush’s beefed-up older brother, Platinum Purple Kush provides deep muscle relaxation while still maintaining clarity and focus, making it one of the “lighter” indicas on our list. It has been known to make consumers “crazy hungry,” so make sure to have some noms on hand.
A citrus infusion with a clear-headed high, Orange Skunk relieves depression and anxiety in addition to a lack of appetite. With a myriad of effects, this strain can help relieve multiple symptoms, including inflammation, headaches, even pain and fibromyalgia.
This indica-dominant hybrid is known to be expressly excellent for inducing an appetite, even among those with the most intense stomach symptoms. For those with nausea, weight loss, and issues with the digestive tract, Gigabudought to be a staple for relief and to encourage a “ravenous” appetite.
This sativa-dominant hybrid has indica origins in the Lavender family, offering an uplifting buzz without paranoia, along with potent pain and nausea relief. While Caramelo is an energetic strain useful for daytime consumption, be forewarned: the effects may be short-lived, so you may require a stronger strain for longtime symptom management.
True to its name, Pure Kush is one of the purest, most potent indicas you’ll encounter. Watch out because this strain will knock you out like Mike Tysonif you’re not careful. Place your pizza orders before you dose or you may have trouble peeling yourself up off the couch to even get to the kitchen, which just seems….so far away….
Contrary to its name, this devilish strain is a kinder, gentler indica than many on this list. While couchlock is still a potential side effect, Diablo will allow you the focus and mental capacity to tackle day-to-day life without too much trouble, although you may need to watch out for a case of the giggles.
Can You Overdose or Die From Consuming Cannabis?
Can you overdose on cannabis? No. The number of people who have died due to cannabis overdose, in all of recorded history, is zero.
That’s one of the most well-known facts in the cannabis library. But is it really true? And if so, why?
Yes, it’s true. Cannabis itself cannot kill the human body. But let’s be clear: It is very possible to “overdose” on cannabis in the sense of overconsumption. Most experienced cannabis consumers have, at one point or another, gotten themselves to a place they didn’t want to be. You didn’t check the dosage on that edible, and now you’re regretting it. You’re uncomfortable. You may be feeling downright miserable. It’s okay. You’re not going to die. It will pass. Lesson learned.
Why is that, exactly?
It’s possible to die from opioid overdose or alcohol poisoning. But cannabis acts on the body and mind in a way that’s very different than opioids or alcohol.
We’re all familiar with the tragic phrase “died of an overdose,” but when opioids like fentanyl, Oxycontin, or heroin are the cause, there’s a specific mechanism that leads to death. As Oxford University anesthesiology professor K.T.S. Pattinson has observed, “In drug addicts, respiratory depression is the major cause of death.” In other words, during an opioid overdose the victim falls unconscious and the body forgets to breathe.
What scientists call “the fundamental drive to respiration”—i.e., what tells the body to breathe—originates low in the brainstem, in an area known as the pre-Bötzinger complex. Opioids don’t just suppress pain and increase feelings of pleasure; they also depress the pre-Bötzinger complex, which causes breathing to become slow and irregular. In an overdose, breathing shuts down completely and death occurs due to lack of oxygen.
Opioid receptors are found in many areas of the brain, including the pre-Bötzinger complex in the brainstem, which controls breathing. This is a major reason why opioid overdose can be deadly, as opioids affect this critical brainstem region.
In some cases, an opioid overdose can also depress the brain’s mechanism that regulates the heart and blood circulation, leading to a drop in blood pressure and heart failure. Alcohol poisoning can become lethal when the alcohol overwhelms the liver’s ability to clear it, and alcohol in the blood anesthetizes those same brain systems that regulate breathing and blood pressure. They shut down, which leads to death.
Why doesn’t cannabis have the same effect? Because cannabinoids act on specific receptors that are not concentrated in the brainstem, where breathing and heart rate are controlled.
Cannabinoid receptors are most highly concentrated in the basal ganglia, the hippocampus, and cerebellum, which control cognition and movement. Those same receptors appear in scant numbers in brainstem areas like the pre-Bötzinger complex.
Cannabinoid receptors are also found in many areas of the brain, but not so much in the breathing center of the brainstem (pre-Bötzinger complex). CB1 receptors, one of the most abundant receptors in the brain, are found in many regions.
In a 1990 study of cannabinoid receptors, researchers with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported that “sparse densities [of cannabinoid receptors] in lower brainstem areas controlling cardiovascular and respiratory functions may explain why high doses of THC are not lethal.”
To summarize, opioid and alcohol overdose can shut down the body’s breathing and blood circulatory systems that are located in the lower brain stem. Cannabis does not have the ability to affect those lower brain stem systems in the same way. While it is very possible to overdo your cannabis intake, it’s not possible to die from a cannabis overdose.
Limonene is the second most common terpene in nature and a prominent terpene in cannabis. The fragrance of citrus fruit peels is comprised mostly of limonene, so you’d be correct to assume that this terpene takes its name from the lemon. Limonene’s pleasant odor has made it a common additive in perfumes and food.
Limonene can be safely consumed in high, naturally-occurring, amounts. However, adverse effects may be felt at doses around one gram per kilogram of body weight (around 68 grams of limonene for a 150-pound person). While this is significantly higher than what you’d find in cannabis flower or cannabis products, limonene extract can be purchased as a dietary supplement, so it’s advised that you consult a physician before adding substantial amounts of limonene to your diet.
Limonene is formed from geranyl pyrophosphate, the precursor to the cannabinoids. Once limonene is produced, it either stays in cannabis as limonene or gets converted to the other cannabis terpenes.
As with many terpenes, plants produce limonene to help protect them against harmful microbes, and its antibacterial and antioxidant effects have been well-documented. But beyond its abilities to protect the plant, it also has an impact on brain function that scientists are working to better understand for the treatment of a variety of ailments—namely anxiety and other mental health disorders.
The Potential Benefits of Limonene on Anxiety, Depression, and Stress
Studies have found that both orally consumed limonene and inhaledlimonene vapor reduces anxiety in lab mice. Similarly, limonene also reduced obsessive compulsive disorder-like behavior (OCD). However, limonene’s effectiveness seems to depend on mouse strain or type of anxiety test administered, perhaps indicating that its anxiety-reducing effects may work in some but not others.
Limonene may also have antidepressant qualities. Few human studies have been conducted on limonene’s antidepressant effects, but one small study of 12 hospitalized patients with depression revealed promising results. Limonene vapor inhalation reduced the need for antidepressant medication in 9 of the patients, normalized stress hormone levels, and improved immune function.
It remains unclear how limonene achieves these therapeutic effects. Inhalation of limonene vapor increases serotonin and dopamine levels in key regions of the brain that are associated with anxiety, depression, and OCD. At this point, it’s unclear how limonene boosts these brain chemical levels. Does limonene merely stimulate the brain’s olfactory system, or is it directly affecting brain cells, themselves? The actual mechanism is an area for future research, but it’s likely some combination of both stimulating the olfactory system and direct cellular action.
Indicas vs. Sativas: Which Strains Have More Limonene?
Do indicas or sativas tend to have higher levels of limonene than the other? To investigate this, we looked at thousands of cannabis laboratory measurements and compared how limonene levels are distributed across cannabis flower products labelled as indica, hybrid, and sativa.
On average, strains labelled as sativa tend to have higher levels of limonene, although there are plenty of strains labelled as indica and hybrid that have high levels of limonene. In fact, in this data set, the strain with the highest limonene levels on average was labelled as Hindu Kush, which is an indica (see below).
As with other cannabis terpenes, most samples contain less than 0.5% limonene by dry weight, but it’s possible that strains can have more than this. Flower samples with 1% or more limonene by dry weight are quite rare.
Which Cannabis Strains Tend to Have the Most Limonene?
As with most terpenes, precise levels of limonene often vary a lot between strains and across samples of a single strain. For example, the strain Dirty Girl tends to have relatively high levels of limonene, but individual samples can be quite variable. Some samples display limonene levels as low as 20% of all measured terpenes, while others test at 40% or more (i.e. limonene represents 40% or more of measured terpenes).
This variability is one reason why simply knowing the levels of one compound are not sufficient to understand the “essence” of a strain. You need to know the full profile of a strain. This becomes more clear when you begin to look at the full terpene profile of strains and compare one to another.
Comparing Terpene Profiles Across High Limonene Strains
First let’s compare the terpene profiles of the two strains with the highest relative levels of limonene in this dataset: Hindu Kush and Dirty Girl. Despite the fact that Hindu Kush is an indica and Dirty Girl is a sativa, the data indicate that these strains can have very similar profiles.
Next, consider a strain like Kosher Kush. Like Hindu Kush, it’s an indica, and both are “kush” type strains, so one might expect that they display similar terpene profiles. However, this is not the case. Strains labelled as Hindu Kush in this dataset are limonene-dominant, meaning they have higher levels of limonene compared to other terpenes. In contrast, Kosher Kush is myrcene-dominant. So, even though it has relatively high limonene levels, limonene is not its most prominent terpene.
Another example of strains that appear to have relatively high limonene levels but are not limonene-dominant are Cookies strains. In this dataset, Cookies and Cream, Moon Cookies, and GSC all show up as strains with relatively high limonene levels, but each displays a caryophyllene-dominant terpene profile.
Is Limonene Synonymous With Lemon Aroma or Flavor in Cannabis?
Short answer: no.
The aroma that characterizes a strain is not due to one terpene, but rather a combination of all the terpenes that it contains. One terpene in isolation will have a very different aroma from many terpenes present in combination, even if that combination contains a lot of one terpene.
You can experience this first hand in certain dispensaries, many of which contain “terpene stations” that allow you to smell the aroma of individual terpenes. None of these smells all that much like cannabis flower, and the reason is that cannabis doesn’t contain just one terpene—it contains many.
So, even though limonene is found in lemons, that doesn’t mean that the presence of limonene can fully explain the aroma of a strain, even if it gives off a citrus aroma. For example, consider the terpene profiles of Lemon Gand Super Lemon Haze.
Both have “Lemon” in the name, but only Lemon G is limonene-dominant. Super Lemon Haze doesn’t actually have a limonene-dominant terpene profile even though it’s named after its citrus aroma. Super Lemon Haze is terpinolene-dominant, and can contain multiple terpenes at higher levels than limonene.
Finding Cannabis Strains High in Limonene
So, knowing the name and even smelling the aroma of a strain may not be enough to tell you what it’s specific terpene profile is. The only way to know for sure what the terpene profile of a cannabis strain or product is is to have accurate lab testing results.
Unfortunately, most states do not require cannabis products to get tested for terpene levels, and most brands do not provide this information on product labels.
However, there are some cannabis brands that provide terpene profiles to consumers on product labels, and some retail locations are starting to carry these products more. If you’re interested in knowing the terpene profile of strain, ask your budtender if they carry any products with lab tested terpene profiles on the label.