If there’s a Mount Rushmore of terpenes, or a hall of fame of fragrant chemical compounds, Linalool is a first-ballot inductee. It’s among the most well-known of terpene isolates in cannabis and is found in most strains of the plant. It’s also the primary terpene found in lavender but is common to over 200 different plants. The soothing violet scent is a clean floral aroma with a slight citrus impression. Both refreshing and relaxing. For many, the scent of linalool brings them to a blooming June field of lavender stretching out to the horizon, imbuing the world with a fresh purple aroma.
Linalool has a floral aroma similar to lavender with a touch of spiciness that lends to its many commercial applications in creams and oils. It’s commonly used as a sleep-aid and a way to unwind, relax, and decompress, particularly after a long, stressful day. One of the most common ways to ingest linalool is through inhalation of lavender oils containing the aromatic compound. Consider spraying a bit on your pillow before you go to sleep, or putting the isolate into an air diffuser to feel the diverse array of benefits this calming compound has to offer!
Linalool’s Physiological Effects
- Anti-Inflammatory and Pain Reducer:
Inflammation is the symptom of countless disorders and can be the cause of great discomfort. Linalool is useful for dampening overactive responses to injury, sickness, and both acute and chronic ailments.
In one study, scientists treated edema in rats with essential oils containing linalool. Plus, research suggests it may help block pain signals to the brain. According to this study, linalool inhibits inflammation both in vitro and in vivo, and may be a potential therapeutic candidate for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 450 million people in the world have suffered mental, neurological, or behavioral problems at some time in their life.
Luckily, researchers focusing on plants and their derivatives uncovered potential therapeutic benefits for terpenes like linalool when used to treat diseases of the central nervous system.
Epilepsy is one of these diseases. It's a group of disorders characterized by recurrent spontaneous seizures, and about 1–2% of the world's population struggles with them. Up until recently, pharmacological solutions seemed to be the only answer to these symptoms.
But researchers found linalool-present in plants that may help reduce seizures and convulsions by reducing the activity of brain chemicals involved in muscle contraction. A study on anticonvulsant activity of linalool in 2010 deemed linalool “very powerful in its anticonvulsant quality” when used to treat seizures brought on by trans-corneal electroshock.
Did You Know?
Linalool is so prevalent in today’s society that the average person who does not smoke cannabis consumes two grams of it annually. As linalool and other terpenes rise in popularity, that figure will only continue to grow.
Stress and Anxiety Reducer:
Linalool inhalation has been shown to act as an anxiolytic (anxiety reducer) and may boost immune system performance.
Studies have found a correlation between the use of linalool aromas and a decrease in anxiety making the terpene a valuable instrument in managing anxiety in an ever increasingly anxious world. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of inhaled linalool on anxiety, aggressiveness and social interaction in mice. Additionally, investigated were the effects of inhaled linalool on the acquisition phase of memory in mice. Inhaled linalool showed anxiolytic properties, increased social interaction and decreased aggressive behavior, three effects from which any society would benefit from. These results strengthen the suggestion that inhaling linalool rich oils and vapors can be useful as a mean to attain relaxation and counteract anxiety.
Linalool is believed to modulate glutamate and the GABA neurotransmitter in the brain, which would explain why it is commonly used for its profound effects on anxiety. It is also proven to be a sedative in a rodent model.20 Animals tend to slow their movement and relax upon inhalation. Some people sprinkle lavender in with their cannabis when smoking to feel these effects. However, I would not recommend doing so as the raw plant may be hazardous to smoke.
There is growing evidence that many biological pesticides adversely affect the environment, so the identification of safer, organic means of pest management has become crucial. Protecting crops from fungus, insects, and pests is extremely necessary but some herbicides and pesticides are poisoning the rest of environment to do so.
Several aromatic plants have been studied for their naturally occurring repellent behaviors. Isolates identified in these natural repellants are linalool, eugenol, geraniol, and terpineol. All tested isolates were proven to have a strong larvicidal activity (insecticide that is specifically targeted against the larval life stage of an insect) - 15-156 ppm - with linalool being one of the most potent of compounds.
In another study that has yet to be repeated, it was shown that linalool can deter mosquitos with 93% efficiency. Not bad, especially considering your filling the air with a clean, floral scent, rather than a pesticide and industrial chemical-like odor.
Linalool is shown to improve sleep quality and even increase energy the following morning. If you are often tossing and turning from restlessness, anxious, running thoughts, or too much blue light, try using linalool or lavender an hour or so before you’d like to fall asleep!
In a 2008 study undergone on rats by the Natural Product Communications, Linalool’s psychopharmacological activity showed marked dose-dependent sedative effects on the central nervous system. Results showed that linalool decreased the motor activity of 6-8 week old mice after inhalation. So, while linalool is good for both anxiety and restlessness, maybe don’t use it when you need to be active and alert. It does have outstanding utility in calming and quieting the anxiety and restlessness of both the body and mind.
In that same 2008 study, Linalool’s antimicrobial characterisitcs were tested and it was found that the “average reduction in germ count was above 40%” when linalool was vaporized with an air washer. This innate quality makes linalool a great ingredient in a produce wash or sanitizer, as it kills microbes without any harsh industrial chemical agents involved.
Linalool was shown to be effective in killing bacteria and infectious micro-organisms like Rhodococcus equi and Staphylococcus epidermides, two infective agents associated with oral cavity disease. This inherit antibacterial property makes the lavender terpene isolate extremely useful as an ingredient in mouthwash, as it provides symptomatic relief to sore throats, mouth ulcers, and tender gums.
Treatment of Brain Disorders
Perhaps the most exciting therapeutic use for linalool is its emerging potential for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and currently irreversible disease caused by the buildup of brain plaques and cellular tangles which lead to brain degeneration. This degeneration causes severe memory and cognitive impairment, to the point where the simplest tasks cannot be fulfilled, and the most fundamental knowledge cannot be recalled. There are currently no cures for Alzheimer’s disease and current treatment strategies are generally ineffective at recovering brain function.
A study published in 2016 demonstrates linalool as a potential Alzheimer’s treatment. In a genetic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, linalool reversed many of the behavioral and cognitive impairments associated with the disease. Furthermore, it reduced the number of brain plaques and cellular tangles which contribute to brain degeneration.
All around this compound is more than a clean-smelling terpene isolate found in lavender. It heals, it restores, calms, and relieves. Its profound physiological effects should be utilized by us in a micro and macro scale. If your’e looking for more all-natural, non pharmaceutical relief to insomnia, inflammation, anxiety, among other ailments. Consider adding this lavender compound into your life!
There are tons of ways to implement this terpene into your life.
When people think of terpenes, often cannabis is closely connected. However, there are dozens of ways to infuse terpenes into your life without the use of cannabis (although the plant is an excellent way to consume them).
The simplest and arguably the most effective way is through direct inhalation. Put them in an air diffuser or an air humidifier (which has a slot for essential oils), and not only will you reap the benefits of the isolate, but also your room will smell like a fresh lavender field!
Linalool can be used in the culinary world as well! 1-2 drops in a 500mL/16 oz serving of water is enough to taste the delicious aroma of the isolate. Make sure your terpene isolates are food-grade, and natural as well!
Most popularly used as a sleep aid, linalool is a great isolate to drip onto your pillowcase or stuffed animal before bed. Make sure to do a patch test (a drop on your wrist) before contacting it directly with your skin to avoid any adverse skin reactions.
However, most people who come into direct contact with this lavender terpene, is with cannabis and cannabis concentrates.
Linalool in Cannabis
Terpenes have traditionally been thought to merely contribute to the subjective experience of cannabis by enriching its aroma and flavor. More recently, terpenes gained attention from the emergence of the “entourage effect,” which proposes that cannabis’ therapeutic benefits are improved by the addition of multiple cannabinoids and terpenes compared to single cannabinoids on their own. This suggests that terpenes may modulate the strength of the individual cannabinoids on brain and body targets. But the entourage effect doesn’t preclude direct actions of the terpenes themselves on different targets in the body.
Many people use lavender to cure their flower, others drip lavender directly onto their cannabis or joint, while some even smoke the plant (do so at your own risk).
Linalool is an excellent isolate to include in concentrates, not only for its above mentioned physical effects, but also for its clean taste and fast-acting effect.
Strains & Terpene Profiles with Linalool
Not surprisingly... most of cannabis strains packed with linalool are Indicas. Indicas are known for their sedative, "in da couch" effects which are favored by some cannabis users before bedtime. Following are strain blends with prominent amounts of linalool in their terpene profile.
Note: Concentrations of linalool in above mentioned strains are from our own independent testing. Terpene content is variable to change from each plant. Dozens of factors like humidity, sunlight, precipitation, and so on can impact and alter the concentration of specific isolates within the plant, so these figures are general estimations and are in no way permanently defined.
Research is still being done on terpenes, cannabinoids, and similarly related compounds. There is insufficient evidence to claim limonene will heal you, but it may provide much needed temporary relief, or a momentary brightening boost in mood. Always remember to speak with a doctor before using limonene for a medical purpose, and never use it in place of something your doctor recommends or prescribes.
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