Terpene Tuesday: Linalool

You know that distinct, floral aroma associated with cannabis? Well, on this edition of Terpene Tuesday, we are covering the terpene responsible – linalool. This fragrant terpene has a number of benefits and effects, but before we get into the uses of linalool terpene, let’s cover some general info.

What is linalool?

Despite being a dominant cannabis terpene, linalool can also be found in 200+ other plants. These include lavender, cinnamon, mint, sweet basil, thyme, rosewood, bergamont, and clary sage. Linalool is used not just for health purposes, but in cosmetics as well, most commonly as a fragrance or preservative. 

Is linalool safe?

We get our fair share of linalool through diet. In the amounts you typically would ingest linalool in, there is minimal risk of adverse effects. In fact, there are plenty of cases where one may need to supplement their linalool intake. Since linalool is such an abundant cannabis terpene, let’s show you what you can use it for!

Linalool effects and benefits

Linalool is a very therapeutic terpene, with a number of effects and benefits. First, let’s cover some of the relationships this terpene has with our brain, body, and endocannabinoid system. Then, we will share a comprehensive list of ailments that linalool heavy cannabis strains may help with.

How does linalool affect the brain?Linalool benefits and effects

According to studies, there are interactions between linalool and our brain. The effects this terpene produces are likely mediated by these interactions. 

One such case can be found by examining linalool’s anti-seizure characteristics. Linalool blocks receptors for one of our primary excitatory brain chemicals, glutamate. This leads to a decrease in epileptic episodes, and thus linalool is considered a huge possibility for inhibiting seizures.

On top of this, linalool is a very synergistic terpene. It increases the effectiveness of sedatives, like pentobarbital.

Treating Alzheimer’s Disease with linalool

One of the most exciting potential uses for linalool is as treatment for the horrible brain degeneration disease, Alzheimer’s. This disease is characterized as progressive and irreversible buildup of brain plaques and cellular degeneration, leading to severe cognitive and memory impairment.

As it stands, there are no “cures” for Alzheimer’s Disease, but scientists are investigating the possibility of linalool as treatment. In 2016, a study suggested this may be a viable option in the future. In mice, linalool was able to reverse a significant amount of behavioral and cognitive impairments associated with Alzheimer’s. It showed a decrease in the problematic brain plaques and cellular tangles. Before jumping to conclusions, though, initial testing will need to be done on humans.

How does linalool affect the body?

Another medical benefit of linalool is that it can act as a muscle relaxer, and has analgesic properties. Linalool inhibits the strength of acetylcholine, which is a chemical found in the brain. Acetylcholine is responsible for muscle contraction and movement. Linalool has also been found to have anesthetic-like properties, by reducing the ability of our pain signals to hit our brain.

Due to this, linalool is often looked at as an analgesic (pain reliever). Part of why it works so well is it raises adenosine levels, which is an inhibitory brain chemical.

These findings show promise for linalool’s ability to treat different types of pain. One study investigated the efficacy of linalool in fighting pain from surgery. Obese patients underwent gastic banding surgery, and were either presented linalool-dominant essential oil vapor, or an unscented control.

Scientists found that only 46% of patients exposed to linalool needed opioids, whereas 82% of the control group needed them. And, of that 82%, morphine needs were significantly lower. 

From all these documentations and findings, we can assume that linalool has potential to be a powerful option for treating pain and muscle related problems.

Common uses for linaloolLinalool gives cannabis strains a distinct aroma

Here are some of the most common issues linalool may be able to help with, but as you learned above, new uses are likely on the horizon:

  • Anti-microbial
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Pain
  • Stress
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-epileptic
  • Insomnia

What cannabis strains are high in linalool?

Unlike myrcene and limonene, there are not a ton of linalool dominant cannabis strains. However, certain families, like the kush family, tend to have higher linalool levels. These strains are all very high in linalool:

  • Sour Kush
  • Special Kush
  • Amnesia Haze
  • Sour Diesel
  • Fire OG
  • Lavender
  • LA Confidential
  • Lemon Sugar Kush

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