One of the most common terpenes found in cannabis can also treat acne, clean wood floors, and keep pests from overtaking a garden. It also contributes to a euphoric smoke sesh.
Limonene is an abundant terpene found in both pine and mint, but our familiarity is mostly relegated to its presence in essential oils and citrus peels. That’s why a fresh eight can smell like everything from overripe lemons, candy sweet pastilles, tart limes or grapefruit. Numerous cultivars have been bred from limonene-rich heritage strains like Maui Wowie and Lemon Haze, so much so that the terpene has become an expected part of a robust profile, especially when shopping for eye-opening, mood-elevating phenotypes.
Limonene also delivers therapeutic benefits, acting as an anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic and anticancer agent as well as an absorption facilitator, assisting other terpenes in penetrating the skin, visceral and mucous membranes. Furthermore, limonene has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Though not quite an antidepressant, limonene has been found to boost the brain’s serotonin output, which explains why these limonene-rich cultivars are heralded for their euphoric effects.
For cannathusiasts battling anxiety, chronic illness or typical pandemic malaise, or if you’re just in the mood for a bright, feel-good strain, here are a few cultivars to sample.
Jet Fuel OG
Jet Fuel OG is a cross of Aspen OG and High Country Diesel, strains renowned for their potent effects. The cultivar is strong and long-lasting, and results in a focused and manageably energetic wake-and-bake smoke. Patients report this strain’s efficacy at treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, chronic pain, depression and nausea. Recreational enthusiasts describe super-peppy highs overall, with a slim minority of users experiencing more mellow, relaxing effects. Expect a gassy, lemony perfume, a velvety citrus-skunky exhale, and a bold, swooning onset.
BUY: Rose Budz PDX, 2410 N Mississippi Ave., 503-208-3955, rosebudzpdx.com.
Although technically Blue Runtz’s genetics are couched in indica, this cultivar’s reputation is far more razzle dazzle than chillax and unwind. Bred from tranquilizing Blueberry and balanced hybrid White Rhino, Blue Runtz inherited desirable traits from both parents—namely, reported effectiveness in treating anxiety, chronic pain, depression and even symptoms of fibromyalgia. For recreational users, this strain leads to a brassy creative streak and calm euphoria, which is a great match for a low-stakes, project-filled afternoon. Expect an aroma of ripe berries and tart citrus, and a woody, vanilla exhale.
BUY: TreeHouse Collective, 2419 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-894-8774.
LA Kush Cake
This hybrid of Wedding Cake and Kush Mints, two extraordinarily euphoric strains, has established a reputation as a highly effective aphrodisiac. LA Kush Cake delivers a dreamy yet physically stimulating high that unravels into a mood that’s soothing enough for bedtime. Medicinal users say this strain relieves pain, anxiety, depression and insomnia. Expect a lemon-pine perfume and a stiff cottony, vanilla-wood exhale.
BUY: Green Muse, 5515 NE 16th Ave., 971-420-4917, gogreenmuse.com.
Sundae (or Sunday) Driver is a balanced hybrid with potent indica and sativa genetics. This cultivar is bred from the somewhat rare Fruity Pebbles OG and Grape Pie, resulting in a frosty, lavenderesque flower that delivers a singular euphoric relaxed state. Patients prefer this strain when it comes to treating conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, insomnia and depression, while recreational users report magic carpet ride psychotropic effects that are both potent and lasting. Expect a deep chocolate fragrance with ripe fruit undertones and a creamy, sweet exhale.
BUY: Pacific Green, 710 NE Killingsworth St., 971-242-8535, pacificgreenportland.com.
For users who dig peppy, get-stuff-done strains, Sour OG is likely already part of your repertoire. This cultivar’s genetics straddle the line between fiery sativa and sleepy indica, and the resulting high is reportedly a precise balance of manageable euphoria and clean, effervescent energy, enabling users to accomplish tasks, maintain their mood, and effectively bliss out for an hour or two. Medicinal Sour OG users report relief from issues such as bipolar disorder, appetite loss, migraines, nausea and PTSD. Expect a toe-curlingly pungent, citrus-spiked diesel aroma, and a commensurately gassy exhale.
BUY: Gram Central Station, 6430 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 503-284-6714.
For users interested in the benefits of limonene but perhaps less enthusiastic about what may develop into an overly energetic buzz, Starfighter is a limonene-forward cultivar with a deeply stoney head high and syrupy, languid physical effects. Starfighter is a cross of Alien Tahoe OG and Lemon Alien Dawg, delivering a powerful, cerebral onset that typically melts into a super-soothing, couch-lock scenario. Patients report this strain’s efficacy at treating arthritis, bipolar disorder, hypertension, inflammation and insomnia. Expect a lavender aroma with top notes of lemon essence and funk, and an exhale that’s both nutty and piney.
BUY: Cannabis Curb Dispensary, 4069 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 971-255-1542, cannabiscurb.com.