My name is Nick Ocampo, and I'm the founder of Nug Run, a Sacramento, CA-based startup that creates curated cannabis subscription boxes called "NugBoxes." Nug Run pairs cannabis terpene profiles with complementary snacks and treats. We aim to support all-natural healthy cannabis by creating fun, creative ways to consume within the comfort of your home. In my first blog post for HelloMD, I talk about limonene, the terpene that literally transformed my life.
A Terpene Walked Into a Bar ...
I'm sitting in a rustic whiskey bar, and across the crowded picnic table seating, a beautiful girl says to her friends, "I don't know why, but I love citrus in any drink."
"Limonene," I say out loud with a smile. The girls look at me oddly, like I'm the freak at a bar who talks to himself. I lean in and say politely to my seat mates, "What if I could scientifically prove why you love citrus?"
Though I'm most definitely met with blank stares, I continue. "You see this lemon peel?" as I point to one of the girl's glasses. "That lemon peel is magical; it's rich with a compound called limonene."
I move in headlong, continuing the conversation, which includes my personal experience and the power of terpenes. The conversation that transpired between us on that evening is one that I've had time and time again.
Terpenes, the chemical compound found in everything from citrus to hops, is the new unknown frontier of both medicine and food alike; and we've barely scratched the surface of its full potential.
In short, terpenes, which are found in lemons, are also the aromatic compounds found within cannabis. Terpenes such as limonene work in tandem with cannabinoids and our endocannabinoid system to help relieve different symptoms we may feel or even evoke new and often positive bodily sensations.
As the charming girl leaned in and chose to sit next to me, I began to unpack my observations on people who enjoy both limonene and citrus notes in their food and how this translates to cannabis. The terpene limonene is a natural anxiety reliever that creates a positive mood. Its elevating effects are what draw us in. It's like when you squirt a lemon, words like "bright" and "clean" come to mind. The aroma and ingestion of limonene when smoking works to calm your nerves-and, let's be honest, citrus tastes amazing whether it's in a drink or in your cannabis. The effect of limonene can be profound, especially for those of us who need to be uplifted.
The Terpene Called Limonene: A Positive Revelation
I believe terpenes saved my life. Years ago, before my terpene and cannabis journey began, I was sitting in my apartment alone. It seemed I was watching dust collect on my midtown, middle-class bachelor lifestyle. Unhappy, I had insufferable chronic insomnia, and even worse, I didn't know why. One weekend I was invited to a private BBQ at a friend's house.
It was at this friend's house where I was introduced to a new iteration of limonene I'd never met. Her name was Super Lemon Haze, and she was sun-grown in my friend's backyard. My friend's father grew this strain every year, and it was an introduction I'll never forget. During our time together, which lasted a few days, we packed our vaporizer and let the flavour and medicine wash over us.
This particular limonene-heavy marijuana strain sent me on a rocket ship of positive thought and clear energy that transcended the blood/brain barrier in resounding fashion. This revelatory experience eventually changed my life.
Life Restarts With the Citrus Undertones of Limonene
My experience with Super Lemon Haze-and in particular the terpene limonene-led me to research the chemical makeup of terpenes in cannabis. It started me thinking about the relationship terpenes have with the entourage effect, and their significance on both the mind and mood of those who consume it. Through my research, I began to understand a great deal about how the chemical compounds within the cannabis plant help support our dynamic systems.
Looking back now, that was a breakthrough year for me. In a short time, I decided to become an entrepreneur. That decision led to the most successful year of my career. I also broke free from depression and insomnia. Later that year, I lost 25 pounds, got in great physical shape and started rock climbing. I also met my wife over an old fashioned at our favourite whiskey bar.
To be honest, I believe I'm a product of the revolutionary effects of medical cannabis; it turned my life around. So, you can call me a sucker for citrus, but I say cheers to terpenes and all the positive benefit that flows from them.