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NEROLIDOL: The Power of Terpenes
Over a hundred and twenty terpenes have been identified in cannabis; they define the smell, taste, and outcomes of different strains. Each terpene has various health benefits. Combined with other chemical compounds, they work synergistically, resulting in what is commonly recognized as The Entourage Effect.
Nerolidol is a less volatile terpene known for its sedative properties (Russo, 2011). It is present in rose, citronella, jasmine, ginger, tea tree, and other plants, among cannabis. Like other terpenes, studies have shown Nerolidol has anti-cancer, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory characteristics.
This terpene is a common ingredient in many products in different industries. Thus, researchers are exploring its medicinal properties that may exert beneficial effects on human health. In this article, we will explore the latest evidence supporting potential Nerolidol use and its benefits.
What is Nerolidol?
Nerolidol is a sesquiterpene alcohol that, like other terpenes, is produced naturally in plants to prevent insect attacks. It is also known by the names peruviol and penetrol. It chemically exists in two geometric isomers, a trans and a cis form, differentiated by their molecular structure; Nerolidol encompasses both (Chan, Tan, Chan, Lee, & Goh, 2016).
Its aroma is predominantly floral woody and has been used for its calming effects, making it a potential sleeping aid and a food flavoring agent. Traditionally this terpene has been found in cosmetics and skincare products. It is currently being researched for its ability to penetrate the skin as a potential transdermal delivery method for medications.
Nerolidol is usually colorless and recognized for its faint woody, floral, slightly rose-apple aroma. Some describe it as the fresh bark scent, which may resemble citrus, apple, or rose. In Mexico, it is recognized as the primary scent of a native species of orchid. Also, it is a common ingredient in some perfumes, cleansers, and detergents. Other sources of Nerolidol are lemongrass, lavender, neroli, and ginkgo biloba, among others.
Nerolidol rich cannabis cultivars:
This terpene is a secondary terpene present in several cannabis strains that might not appear in high amounts.
Some strains rich in Nerolidol include:
Studies have revealed Nerolidol's multiple efficacies with bacterial infections, cancer, skin lesions, ulcers, and diseases concerning systemic inflammation (such as asthma, arthritis, and fibromyalgia).
Many pieces of evidence support the effectiveness of Nerolidol in exhibiting anti-fungal activity. A 2007 study found that it seemed to act in a clinically useful manner as an anti-fungal agent in guinea pigs (Lee SJ; Han JI; Lee GS; Park MJ; Choi IG; Na KJ; Jeung EB, 2007).
Besides, trans-nerolidol, a significant component of Piper claussenianum (Miq.) C. DC., Piperaceae (81.4%), has exhibited fungicidal activity against Candida albicans (Chan, Tan, Chan, Lee, & Goh, 2016).
a 2016 study in the journal BMC Neuroscience found that Nerolidol can protect against oxidative stress and potentially treat neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease (Javed, Azimullah, Abul Khair, Ojha, & Haque, 2016).
Sedative and Anti-Anxiety:
Anecdotally, Nerolidol has been used for its calming and sleeping aid properties, most commonly like a herbal sleep remedy. A 2016 Research by the Indian Journal of Pharmacology reinforces this belief through their study in mice and the anti-anxiety effect (Goel, Kaur, & Pahwa, 2016). Another study indicated Nerolidol may have a sedative and antioxidant impact on test subjects.
Antibacterial and antimicrobial:
It has been shown through a 2003 study that Nerolidol may have the ability to make certain strains of bacteria more susceptible to antibiotics. Further, a 2007 study published in the Netherlands in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents discovered that Nerolidol can help against malaria when combined with other drugs. (Saito AY; Marin Rodriguez AA; Menchaca Vega DS; Sussmann RAC; Kimura EA; Katzin AM, 2007)
A recent study of 2017 demonstrated how Nerolidol can prevent cell growth and induce cell death in human liver cancer. (Biazi, Zanetti, Baranoski, Corveloni, & Mantovani, 2017)
Nerolidol and Skin:
Nerolidol Terpene is known for enhancing dermal penetration. Many terpenes are non-irritating and optimally penetrate the skin therefore ideal for pharmaceutical industries. A 2007 research published showed Nerolidol as a skin penetration enhancer which can help with skin lesions.
Nerolidol and The Brain
A study indicates that Nerolidol exerts an anxiolytic effect without altering motor coordination (Goel, Kaur, & Pahwa, 2016). Also, Another study evaluated Nerolidol's neuroprotective effects against oxidative stress. The research also assessed Nerolidol's sedative effects compared to diazepam. Nerolidol displayed sedative effects in addition to antioxidant effects. (Nogueira Neto JD; de Almeida AA; da Silva Oliveira J; Dos Santos PS; de Sousa DP; de Freitas RM, 2013)
Nerolidol in a nutshell
Nerolidol is a common component in the essential oil of various medicinal plants, including Cannabis. Studies reveal that it is a significant constituent that accounts for the plant's pharmacological and biological activities. Its potential properties are anti-microbial, anti-parasitic, anti-biofilm anti-oxidant, anti-nociceptive, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, and skin penetration enhancer, insect repellent, and anti-cancer. Additionally, due to its sedative effects, it has a history of being used as an herbal sleep remedy. Based on pharmacokinetics and toxicological data, Nerolidol has excellent potential to be used in agriculture and medicine. There is sufficient baseline information available for future works and commercial exploitation (Chan, Tan, Chan, Lee, & Goh, 2016).
**Note: As always, with medical conditions and symptoms, please consult with your doctor for personalized medical advice. The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the statements made regarding these products. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
1) Chan, W., Tan, L.T. (2016). Nerolidol: A Sesquiterpene Alcohol with Multi-Faceted Pharmacological and Biological Activities. Molecules. 21(5): 529.
3) Russo, E.B. (2011). Taming thc: Potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid - terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology. 163: 1351
4) Tatman D., Mo H. Volatile isoprenoid constituents of fruits, vegetables, and herbs cumulatively suppress the proliferation of murine B16 melanoma and human HL-60 leukemia cells. Cancer Lett. 2002;175:129–139.
5) Lee SJ; Han JI; Lee GS; Park MJ; Choi IG; Na KJ; Jeung EB (2007). Antifungal effect of eugenol and nerolidol against Microsporum gypseum in a guinea pig model. Retrieved, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17202684/
6) Javed, H., Azimullah, S., Abul Khair, S., Ojha, S., & Haque, M. (2016, August 22). Neuroprotective effect of nerolidol against neuroinflammation and oxidative stress induced by rotenone., from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4994214/
7)Goel, R., Kaur, D., & Pahwa, P. (2016). Assessment of anxiolytic effect of nerolidol in mice. from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4980937/
8) Nogueira Neto JD;de Almeida AA;da Silva Oliveira J;Dos Santos PS;de Sousa DP;de Freitas RM;. (2013). Antioxidant effects of nerolidol in mice hippocampus after open field test. 2020, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23765368/
9) Saito AY; Marin Rodriguez AA; Menchaca Vega DS; Sussmann RAC; Kimura EA; Katzin AM (2007). Antimalarial activity of the terpene nerolidol. from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27742206/
10) Biazi, B., Zanetti, T., Baranoski, A., Corveloni, A., & Mantovani, M. (2017, June 27). Cis‐Nerolidol Induces Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Cell Death in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells through Extensive CYP2C19 and CYP1A2 Oxidation. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bcpt.12772
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