We Love LinaloolMay 12, 2018
In past articles, we’ve discussed how terpenes were originally found in the essential oils of plants – including cannabis. However, many terpenes found in cannabis were discovered long ago in different plants.
Linalool, one of the main terpenes in cannabis, is unique because a lot of studies have been conducted on it. That’s because linalool is closely associated with lavender, a plant that has plenty of different uses.
Another aspect that makes linalool unique is that it is naturally found in both cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. While the two are similar, they do have their differences – terpenes included.
There’s still plenty of research to be done on linalool, but one thing is clear: there are obvious medical benefits of intaking linalool.
Linalool can be broken down into two stereoisomers: (R)-(-)-linalool and (S)-(+)-linalool, also known as licareol and coriandrol, respectively. Linalool is sometimes separated into to these to stereoisomers because they have distinctive qualities and elicit different neural responses. But the best way to classify the two is based on their scents.
Licareol is found in lavender and basil – so, unsurprisingly, the scent is associated with those two plants. Coriandrol is found in coriander (where it draws its name) and sweet oranges. The scent of coriandrol is described as being more floral and sweet while licareol is described as having more woody scents.
Regardless of the stereoisomer, linalool has very strong and appealing scents – one of the reasons that you’ll find linalool in a majority of lotions, soaps and detergents.
Interestingly, linalool isn’t appealing to all creatures. It’s a popular repellent for insects like fruit flies and moths.
Medical uses of linalool
Linalool is shown to have direct effects on the brain, and these effects lead to different medical benefits.
One agreed upon use of linalool is its anti-stress effects. Linalool can increase the adenosine levels in the body, a chemical that relaxes the mind and serves as a sedative. This is essentially the opposite of what caffeine does to the brain, so it’s fair to think of linalool as the opposite of coffee. Instead of feeling wired with increased levels of anxiety, linalool produces calming and relaxing effects.
This chemical effect could also be partially responsible for the relaxing effect commonly associated with cannabis. While linalool is certainly not solely responsible for this, the varying levels of linalool in different strains could play a role in how strong this sedative effect is.
Another effect on the brain that caused by linalool is the blocking of glutamate. For most people this might not mean anything, but blocking glutamate can have anti-epileptic effects.
Who could benefit from linalool
People who suffer from anxiety or chronic stress should add linalool to their lives. Not only is the scent appealing, but it’s proven to have a calming effect. There have been multiple tests on mice involving linalool, and the results are promising. Mice that inhaled linalool showed a calmer demeanor in stressful situations, and they were less like to show signs of aggression.
Linalool also could potentially benefit those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. While linalool won’t be able to entirely prevent or cure Alzheimer’s, it does show signs of reducing the effect of the disease by slowing the degeneration of the brain and strengthening cognitive abilities.
Another benefit of linalool could be its role in easing pain. Linalool might not be able to reduce pain the way an anti-inflammatory agent might, but the suspicion is that linalool suppresses or entirely blocks the feelings of pain.
Perhaps the best use of linalool would be as part of the entourage effect. The entourage effect theory essentially states that terpenoids have greater, stronger health benefits when used in conjunction with one another. So, combining linalool with another terpene (like humulene) could result in a more profound anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effect.
Because linalool is commonly found in cannabis, medical users shouldn’t have a hard time finding it. Plenty of CBDs should contain some amount of linalool. When combined with the other terpenes and cannabinoids found, linalool should provide plenty of health benefits to those with stress, anxiety or general pain.