What Is Linalool?
What is linalool? You may recognize the name from your favorite strain flavor profile or a skincare product. In fact, linalool is a terpene commonly found in cannabis, lavender, certain tree barks, and other plants. Linalool's benefits and effects are wide-ranging — not to mention its soothing smell. Here’s what we know about the compound’s potential applications and benefits in 2021.
5 Quick Facts About Linalool
- What is linalool? Technically, it’s a terpene, meaning that it’s a chemical compound found in plants.
- High-linalool strains include: Lavender Kush, Kosher Kush, Zkittles, Amnesia Haze, and Do-Si-Dos.
- Linalool smells a lot like lavender.
- It’s known as a relaxant and insect-repellent, though it may also help reduce acne, inflammation, risk of cancer, and bacteria.
- Lavender, thyme, basil, and mugwort also contain the terpene.
What Is Linalool?
Linalool is a terpene found in cannabis (and lots of other plants) that smells like lavender. What is a terpene? Unlike a cannabinoid (such as THC or CBD), a terpene is an aromatic chemical compound found in any plant. They exist to help a plant either attract pollinators or repel predators.
Fun fact: There are hundreds of known terpenes
What is linalool? For humans smoking weed, it’s one of the reasons why your favorite strain smells (and tastes) so great — and may actually contribute to its effects. In addition to possessing a calming scent, Linalool may possess the following benefits:
- Inflammation reduction
- Antimicrobial properties
- Cancer-reduction properties
- Acne control
- Insect repellent (especially for cockroaches, fleas, moths, and fruit flies)
Like any compound found in our terpene chart, Linalool benefits and effects require more research. Due to regulations surrounding cannabis use — and, subsequently, research — there is a lot we have left to discover about the herb’s compounds’ benefits.
What Is a Terpene?
Great question. A terpene is a chemical compound found in any plant that helps it defend against predators (think: insects) or attract pollinators. In recent cannabis research, we’ve also discovered that these compounds not only affect the way weed smells; they may also affect your high.
In earlier years, we believed that that indica vs sativa explained a plant’s genetic makeup and why certain strains make you feel “sleepy” versus “creative.” This is an incomplete pictures as virtually every strain you smoke is a hybrid, meaning that it is part-indica part-sativa. Hybrid strains can provide a wide range of effects.
Other terpenes include limonene, myrcene, pinene, borneol and eucalyptol.
The cannabis community then focused its attention on CBD and THC, which are cannabinoids. The common rationale was that these cannabinoids are the main contributors to how you experience a strain. Though these do impact its effects — THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, meaning that it produces the high — they do not account for why Strawberry Diesel smells and feels different from Girl Scout Cookies.
We now think that terpenes like linalool and cannabinoids, which go beyond CBD and THC, account for a strain’s effects and scent.
Wondering why live resin has a more complex taste than BHO? Many believe that that's due to higher terpene levels.
7 High-Linalool Strains
The following weed strains are known for containing lots of the terpene, though other strains with lavender or floral notes may also contain the compound.
- Lavender Kush
- Kosher Kush
- Amnesia Haze
- Amnesia Haze
- Granddaddy Purple
Potential Linalool Benefits
There is a reason why so many things are lavender scented: linalool has many potential benefits, including its potential as an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-cancer and all-around soothing compound.
Linalool may be:
Here’s what that means — and what the research says.
Linalool and Inflammation: The Research
- Traditional medicines often use linalool to reduce inflammation.
- A study published in medical journal Phytomedicine puts forth that the chemical has an impact on inflammation when administered in animal models.
- Beyond that, research published in the Journal of Surgical Research also suggests that the compound may aid in the reduction of tumors.
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a biological response to external ailments. Specifically, the body releases white blood cells into the blood stream.
It short term instances, such as an injury or infection, this response is critical to human survival. However, in many cases, the body produces inflammation chronically, especially in response to stress, poor diet, lack of exercise. Chronic inflammation may have serious longterm health problems, including damage to joints, organs and arteries.
This can contribute to diabetes, obesity, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.
Is Linalool an Antioxidant?
A study published in BMC Neurology concluded that linalool may function as an antioxidant and reduce blood pressure in patients with carpel-tunnel syndrome.
What Is an Antioxidant?
You’ve probably heard of antioxidants.
In short, they’re molecules that help defend the human body against free radicals: molecules with unpaired electrons, which are unstable and reactive as a result. Thought the body needs free radicals (think: immune cells), it cannot have too high a ration of free radicals to antioxidants.
Free radicals do all sorts of bad things, but generally, they’re responsible for breaking the body down over time. That could mean accelerating nervous system diseases (Alzheimer’s, demetia), cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune and inflammation (arthritis, cancer). diabeter, and physical aging.
By joining to free radicals, antioxidants may help restore balance in the body. Though the human body naturally produces antioxidants, there are others you can find in food, such as green tea, coffee, fruits, vegetables and fish — and, of course, linalool.
Does Linalool Possess Antimicrobial Properties?
- Essential oils that contain linalool may most more potent antimicrobial properties, according to a study published in Current Microbiology.
- Research published in scientific journal Anaerobe (dating back from 2012) suggest that the compound may have strong antimicrobial effects gainst certain bacteria. It also states that the terpene should be used in conjunction with another antimicrobial agent.
What Is an Antimicrobial?
An antimicrobial is something that kills or reduces the presence of microbes. This includes bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. By contrast, an antibacterial agent has these affects on bacteria alone.
Do Linalool Benefits Include Anti-Cancer Properties?
Prelimiary research suggests that the terpene may slow the growth of tumors and other cancerous cells. Here are the findings put forth in a few studies:
- In a study published in World Journal of Gastroenterology, mice suffering from colon cancer that received a high dose of linalool experienced a 55% reduction in tumor size compared to the control group.
We believe that linalool offers tremendous potential for enhancing leukemia and cervical cancer treatment and provides noel starting points for future anti-cancer resaerch
“Linalool Induces Cell Cycle Arrest and Apostosis in Leukemia Cells and Cervical Cancer Cells through CDKIs,” published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
What Does Anti-Cancer Mean?
In simple terms, it means that it is a treatment to stop, prevent or slow cancer. Common anti-cancer treatments include chemotherapy, surgeries, and radiation therapy.
Cancer is a serious disease affecting millions of people around the world. As with all content within this article and on this site, the above was written for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for medical advice.
What Is Linalool? A Soothing Terpene
Certain strains seem more soothing than others. Now we know why: One of linalool’s best effects is its ability to relax. This is no longer hearsay: according to a study conducted by Kagoshima University, the compound has anxiolytic effects.
In other words, one of linalool’s benefits is its ability to promote relaxation.
The study also discovered that the compound’s effects were stronger when smelled.
Another study published in Phytomedicine analyzed Linalool’s effects on anxiety, aggressive behavior and social interactions. It suggest that the terpene linalool may be useful in counter-acting anxiety.
DISCLAIMER: This page was written for informational purposes only. It is not medical advice. If you are suffering from a medical condition, please speak with your doctor.