Terpene Linalool, What You Need to Know
For decades it was believed that terpenes did not play an essential role in Cannabis other than determining a particular aroma. We now know that terpenes have a significant impact on both the human body and the brain and modulate brain cells' behavior.
Terpenes exist throughout the plant world and can promote several health benefits, such as boosting your energy or helping you sleep. Linalool is one of the more than two hundred terpenes identified in Cannabis and is commonly used by patients looking to balance their Endocannabinoid System. In this article, we will dive into the details of linalool and how this terpene might help improve your health and wellbeing.
What is Linalool?
Terpenes provide flavor and aroma to several plants, including Cannabis, and they have been used for medicinal purposes for years.
Linalool is a monoterpene found in over two hundred plants apart from Cannabis, including scented herbs, spices, flowers, citrus, mints, rosewood, and even birch trees. It is sometimes referred to as beta linalool, linaloyl oxide, linalyl alcohol, and p-linalool.
Linalool is found abundantly in nature, and it is widely used for many purposes. It is known for its calming effect and ability to bring elevated stress levels to almost normal conditions. It is frequently used in perfumes, cosmetics, soap, and essential oils therapy. Several flavored beverage brands even use linalool as an all-natural flavoring.
In traditional aromatherapy, linalool provides an exceptional therapeutic capacity to alleviate skin burns without scarring.1 It has local anesthetic effects that can be compared to menthol and procaine,2 and has established sedative, antidepressant, anxiolytic, and immune potentiating effects. Linalool is believed to represent a significant portion of the Essential Oils of Cannabis.3
The sense of smell is intricately linked in the brain to emotion and memory, establishing a relationship "cause/effect" between the linalool terpene's pleasant floral scent with an improved and relaxed mood.
Linalool is identified for its floral aroma of lavender scent with a spiciness trace supporting calming effects and relaxation. You might be surprised to know that even if you don't consume Cannabis, you could be consuming nearly two grams of linalool per year through food.
However, it is essential to acknowledge that linalool isn’t stored in the body like the cannabinoids stored in your fatty tissues in the body and brain.
The Entourage Effect: How Linalool interacts with other Cannabinoids
Dr. Ethan Russo gave in 2011 a more in-depth look into the understanding of the interaction between cannabinoids and terpenes through the studied and known Entourage Effect. In his paper "Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-terpenoid Entourage Effects," published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, Russo explains how cannabinoids and terpenes associate in the human body, exerting the effects of one another, creating a different, or "greater," efficacy based on the molecules present and the ratios.
That same study revealed that the interaction of the terpenes linalool, limonene, and the cannabinoid cannabigerol (CBG) helps treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), the most treatment-resistant form of staph infection.
CBD, limonene, and linalool interaction can fight acne and treat other skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. The combination of THC, cannabinol (CBN), and linalool can enhance sedative effects.
While linalool can provide a wide range of benefits for patients, it is most notably recognized for its efficacy in relaxation and anxiety control. In fact, it can be used as a sedative, aid for sleeping disorders, or treat Alzheimer's Disease. When administered by a medical professional or experienced caretaker, linalool's sedative effects are significant enough to serve as a tranquilizer and help patients suffering from conditions like psychosis.
In addition, linalool also serves as an antidepressant, analgesic, anticonvulsant, and anti-inflammatory, making it ideal for conditions ranging from clinical depression, anxiety, arthritis, Dravet Syndrome, dystonia, epilepsy, and fibromyalgia. Its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties are also gaining popularity among endurance athletes for enhancing performance and recovery times.
Linalool in a nutshell
As we unleashed more knowledge about cannabinoids and terpenes, we realized that we haven't fully understood its potential for patients. Linalool is considered a minor terpene, but its benefits can be endless.
Linalool is a powerful terpene due to its effect on the serotonin receptor. It helps treats conditions such as anxiety and depression and can help to combat insomnia. Its medicinal properties could also help treat several types of cancer.
As always, if you are interested in adding products containing terpenes for medicinal purposes, we recommend that you consult with your primary physician.
What does the research say?
Clinic research identifies linalool as helpful in treating illnesses such as lung damage caused by tobacco, Alzheimer's, and the reduction of opioid abuse in postoperative patients.
A 2016 study suggested that linalool reverses the histopathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's and can help restore cognitive and emotional functions via its anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, linalool may be an Alzheimer's prevention tool for preclinical studies.
A study published in 2015 found linalool's anti-inflammatory effects beneficial to repair the lung damage caused by tobacco via its anti-inflammatory properties. Also, highlighting anti-cancer properties.
A 2007 study published in the journal Obesity Therapy concluded that lavender aromatherapy could reduce opioids in the immediate postoperative period.
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This information is not intended as medical advice, it is for educational purposes only. As always with medical conditions and symptoms, please consult with your doctor for personalized medical advice. The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 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 Gattefosse R-M. Gatefosse's Aromatherapy. Essex, MD: C.W. Daniel; 1993, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/#b94
2 Ghelardini C, Galeotti N, Salvatore G, Mazzanti G. Local anesthetic activity of the essential oil of Lavandula angustifolia. Planta Med. 1999;65:700–703. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
3 Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/