The Joy Of Citrus Strains (Literally) And Their Mental Health Benefits

Naima Karp
The Joy Of Citrus Strains (Literally) And Their Mental Health Benefits

Have you ever smoked a strain and gotten a burst of lemon, grapefruit or lime flavors? Chances are, that strain is high in limonene, a terpene that’s responsible for citrusy smells and flavors in strains. Terpenes are essential oils that naturally occur in plants, fruits and veggies, and Limonene is an oil that occurs naturally in the peels of citrus fruits.

Lemon oil is often used to treat health issues, and when it’s also responsible for providing a euphoric and almost giddy effect that can be beneficial for folks with anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Limonene is famous for its energizing effects, and some people even smoke limonene-dominant strains before working out or doing a hike.

Tangerine and lemon strains are by far my favorites to smoke - they never have a sedative effect, and the come-down is generally gentle. These ultra-aromatic strains leave me feeling positive in a way that’s comparable to microdosing psychedelics and have an incredible flavor when smoked in a bong, vape or joint. If you want to take full advantage of the entourage effect, consider a strain that also has high amounts of beta-caryophyllene and pinene, which can intensify that “up” effect.

Benefits of limonene

  • Improving mood
  • Reducing anxiety/depression
  • Natural analgesic
  • Cancer prevention
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • May reduce cholesterol
  • Stomach/digestive issues

Since my anxiety goes straight to my stomach and often causes nausea or a twisted-up feeling in the abdomen, limonene strains have multiple benefits for me. And those anti-inflammatory properties work just as well topically as they do internally.

Being an original New Yorker, i was used to a moderate amount of humidity in the air before I moved to Toronto. When I did, all the dryness in the air and freezing temps did a doozy on my skin. I was frequently itchy and would even experience some eczema on particularly dry patches. I found that using cannabis topicals with limonene alleviated irritation and inflammation even more than expensive creams.

In terms of daily consumption and psychoactive effects, I find that it reduces my anxiety with less of a comedown than strains that aren’t limonene dominant. Based on studies, inhaling limonene vapor can increase serotonin and dopamine levels in the parts of our brain associated with depression, anxiety and OCD. ( When you also consider the fact that it might have anti-cancer effects as well as a treasure chest of other health benefits, trying limonene via vape or edibles seems like a no-brainer.

Even if you have friends or family members that don’t consume cannabis, they can reap the benefits by consuming limonene-rich foods like citrus fruits, cardamom, juniper, peppermint and rosemary. Just be sure that with the citrus fruits, they’re consuming juice made from whole fruit - pulp included. While more research is needed on the topics, you can experience the magic of limonene and its effects with some of my personal favorites below:

The Best Citrus Strains for 2023

1964 - Organic Sour Cookies


1964 - Organic Sour Cookies

Reef Organic Queen SanG


MTL Cannabis - Sage n Sour

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MTL Cannabis - Sage N' Sour

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