Essential oils have been used for their healing attributes for thousands of years, earning the moniker of Mankind’s First Medicine.
Essential oils are the aromatics extracted from plants; they are the regenerating, oxygenating, and immune defense properties of plants. They are very powerful antioxidants that provide a wide variety of distinct health benefits depending on the plant from which the oil was distilled.
Terpenes are the primary components that make up essential oils, they are the largest family of natural compounds found throughout nature. There are four classes of terpenes named after how many isoprene units are present: Monoterpenes, Sesquiterpenes, Triterpenes, and Tetraterpenes.
Today, we’re going to dive into a very special terpene:
Linalool is a monoterpene alcohol; similar to monoterpenes, monoterpene alcohols are comprised of two isoprene units but have a hydroxyl group bound to one of the carbons instead of a hydrogen group. Alcohols, in general, are commonly recognized for their antibacterial, anti-infective, and antiviral properties. Monoterpene alcohols are specifically known for their ability to stimulate the immune system (Aromatools, 20).
Linalool is a terpene found in rosewood, bergamot, coriander, rose, jasmine, lavender, and many Indica-dominant hybrids of cannabis. It emits a very soothing, floral aroma and is often used to scent soaps, shampoos, and perfumes.
But Linalool doesn’t just smell nice, it can also help relieve many uncomfortable symptoms people struggle with daily. It is antispasmodic, which means it can calm seizures; it is a strong enough antiseptic to kill anthrax spores, and it provides relaxing and sedative effects (Aromatools, 20).
Researchers have been testing linalool’s anti-inflammatory abilities on mice, and have found some great success stories. In mice, a dose of linalool has been proven to reduce paw swelling induced by carrageenan (Skold et al., 2002). Another study induced pain via acetic acid on mice, and found that a dose of linalool mediated pain caused by the inflammation (Peana et al., 2003).
Linalool exhibits its incredible antifungal properties best with the yeast infection, candida. Candida can target the mouth (called thrush) or female reproductive health. Candida is beginning to be taken more seriously in hospitals because of its increasing resistance to the go-to antifungal pharmaceutical, fluconazole. When administered topically, linalool inhibits growth of candida and actually kills fungal cells. Linalool affects growth and spreading of fungal infections by blocking passage beyond the G1 (cell growth) phase of the cell cycle (Zore et al., 2011).
Perhaps most interesting is linalool’s antiepileptic and anticonvulsant properties. As researchers learn more about epilepsy, one leading hypothesis for the cause of epilepsy is excessive glutamate levels in neurons. In a study on mice, scientists found that applying linalool on cortical synaptosomes significantly inhibited glutamate uptake. By inhibiting the glutamate uptake, the number of epileptic seizures drastically reduced (Silva Brum et al., 2001).
The sedative powers of linalool make it perfect for reducing anxiety and providing rest relief for insomniacs.
Linalool can be absorbed atmospherically through inhalation by diffusing essential oils, which is the fastest mode of consumption. The second fastest method of absorption is by applying the essential oil directly to your feet or ears. And if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on cannabis-derived terpenes, you’re in for a treat!
If you’re looking for cannabis strains high in linalool, your nose is the best tool! Anything that reeks of floral, lavender goodness is sure to have a heavy dose of linalool. Many purple strains also have a good percentage of linalool. Keep an eye out for Grand Daddy Purp, Ken’s GDP, G-13, Amnesia Haze, Lavender, LA Confidential, White Rhino, and Great White Shark.
Hopefully, what you’ve taken away from this profile on Linalool is that cannabis healing goes way deeper than just the cannabinoids. There is an entire synergistic and holistic combination of beneficial properties all wrapped up in the seemingly simple cannabis flower. Let us know about your experiences with linalool in the comment section below!
Aromatools, Modern Essentials Usage Guide, 2013