What Is Linalool and What Are Its Benefits in Cannabis?

Linalool is one of several naturally-occurring terpenes found in cannabis. It can have a soothing and relaxing effect, which is why you will often find it in essential oils, lotions, soaps, and even lemons. The compound has several benefits, including the ability to combat anxiety, induce relaxation, and act as an antifungal. When consuming it with cannabis and other terpenes, it produces an entourage effect that can improve any issues you may have. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know about the terpene Linalool.

What Is Linalool Used For?

Linalool is extremely common. The average human consumes over 2g each year just through food. 

Linalool use has a long history. Records show that the ancient Romans and Greeks would soothe their tigers and lions with the terpene. Although we don’t recommend that particular use, there are plenty of other uses of Linalool and benefits of doing so. 

Linalool is often in essential oils, primarily for aromatherapy purposes. Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Linalool is also useful as an antimicrobial and antifungal agent and a treatment for stress and anxiety. Read more about each use of Linalool below. 

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

The most apparent use of Linalool, like most other terpenes, is in essential oils. Not every essential oil contains this particular terpene, however. Lavender essential oil is one that does include it, but cedarwood, clove, and frankincense do not have Linalool. Essential oils are prevalent in many uses, for everything from aromatherapy to freshening up laundry and scenting homes. 

Essential oils, especially those which contain Linalool, are beneficial for many reasons. For one, many essential oils are relaxing and soothing. As an added element, Linalool is a useful application for those who can’t sleep. It can also help with alleviating headaches. The topical use of essential oils has proven to be beneficial for reducing the itching and swelling from insect bites.

Essential oils have few known side effects. If you have insomnia or chronic headaches, you may want to consider essential oils containing Linalool. 

Antimicrobial and Antifungal

Linalool is antimicrobial, making it protective for the plant. This effect also provides potential benefits in humans. 

Scientists conducted a study in 2018 in which they used Linalool to treat patients with oral candidiasis. This study proved that the terpene effectively treats Candida strains.

What does this mean? It means that outside of cannabis, Linalool could be useful in things like toothpaste or gargling solution. It also means that when using cannabis, it has medicinal properties beyond its anti-anxiety abilities. When using the substance, you might be combating harmful microbes in your body.

Stress Relief and Sedative

In traditional medicine practices, Linalool acts as a sedative and to combat epilepsy. The terpene can improve the immune system’s resilience to stress by helping it maintain the distribution of white blood cells throughout the body when it encounters stress. This effect is possible because Linalool can activate the body’s parasympathetic response, giving it remarkable anti-anxiety characteristics. 

In terms of the brain, Linalool blocks receptors for the primary excitatory chemical in the brain (glutamate). This blocking is why it combats epilepsy so well. It can also enhance the effects of other sedatives and has benefits as a muscle relaxer and pain reliever. It reduces the signaling strength of acetylcholine, which induces muscle contraction and movement. By decreasing the signaling, it relaxes the muscles and the pain associated with tension and action.

Other Uses

Other non-human uses of Linalool include the use of the terpene as an insecticide and for insect control. 

As mentioned, Linalool is present in several plants. Its natural function in several of these plants is as pest control and insect repellant. For this reason, several essential oils containing Linalool can help to control or repel fleas, cockroaches, and other insects. It’s safe for humans and doesn’t hurt animals, so it’s a sound alternative to toxic insecticides that can be deadly to animals and humans.

How Cannabinoids and Linalool Work Together

Now that you know about terpenes and the uses of Linalool, it’s time to discuss how it works with the cannabinoids in cannabis.

Cannabinoids and terpenes both have similar qualities and effects on the human body. For most people, cannabinoids have a relaxing and soothing effect. Taking CBD oil or using cannabis can mitigate feelings of stress or anxiety. Terpenes have the same calming effect, which is why they’re are prevalent in aromatherapy and anti-anxiety treatments. 

When used together, cannabinoids and terpenes produce a synergy, also called an entourage effect. 

This effect is unique to cannabis. The entourage effect occurs when various cannabis compounds work together and create unique benefits and results based on the combination of the compounds. One way to think of this is how your mood changes depending on your environment. You will have a different mood based on the people you’re around, such as if you’re in a room with strangers versus your best friend. 

Cannabis is much more than just CBD and THC. There are dozens of other cannabinoids and terpenes that all come together to produce a unique effect on your body. There aren’t many studies that explore these synergies in humans, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from cannabis enthusiasts around the world attesting to this effect. The various combinations are also why there are so many strains of cannabis. Each strain has its unique effects on the human body based on the combination of terpenes and cannabinoids.

As an example, let’s explore a theoretical strain of cannabis that has THC, Linalool, caryophyllene, and pinene. The THC and caryophyllene will address any pain or inflammation while the Linalool works as a sedative and relaxer. Therefore, this strain would be excellent for someone with chronic pain that prevents them from sleeping. By using this strain, the person could reduce bodily pain and induce relaxation, letting them sleep pain-free.

There are so many strains that contain thousands of combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes, but each one will produce a different effect on the body. It’s up to you to try different combinations and strains to find an outcome that suits you, whether that be for treating inflammation, insomnia, depression, or something else. 

Linalool Use Globally

Linalool is safe for the body in modest quantities, and the amount produced by most natural plants falls into this. In total, the uses of Linalool worldwide reached about 3.6 million kilograms in the year 1988. In that year, much of the use was for lavender-scented fragrances, but some were for flavoring in different foods. 

Is Linalool Toxic to Humans?

Linalool is not toxic to humans. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It has scientifically proven benefits. 

The only reason someone could have an adverse reaction is if they have an allergy to it. This terpene may cause allergic contact dermatitis. If you are encountering it for the first time, or you find yourself getting an allergic reaction from other things which contain it, make sure to use a small amount and have some allergy medication handy.

The human body metabolizes Linalool relatively quickly. THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids often remain in the human body for weeks (maybe months), but terpenes do not accumulate in the body and leave the system quickly. 

How Do You Consume Linalool?

With cannabis, most people consume Linalool as a full-spectrum extract. You may find it in products such as CBD oil, gummies, capsules, or sprays. You may also apply cannabis products directly to the skin, such as with lotion. Linalool consumption also can transpire by smoking marijuana that has high amounts of the terpene. 

What Cannabis Strains Have Linalool?

Linalool is present in dozens of strains of cannabis but in varying amounts. Some users speculate that Indica strains may have higher amounts of Linalool because these strains are the most relaxing. However, no concrete evidence exists to back this claim. 

The following strains have large amounts of Linalool:

  • Lavender Kush
  • Cherry OG
  • Berry White
  • Wedding Cake
  • LA Confidential

Other strains that have intense floral aromas are also likely to have high levels of Linalool. 

Are There Any Side Effects?

It’s unlikely that you will experience any side effects when using Linalool. If you’re smoking marijuana to consume the terpene, you are likely to experience the usual side effects of marijuana (dry mouth, altered senses, and difficulty thinking). These side effects are not unique to Linalool.

Linalool is often in cosmetics and skincare products, so it’s unlikely that you will experience an allergic reaction. Some people may be sensitive to it, especially those with eczema or similar skin allergies. You can perform an allergy test before using large amounts of a product containing Linalool to ensure that you will not have a severe reaction.

Final Thoughts

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Linalool offers plenty of benefits. Not only is it a sedative and relaxer, but it also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce anxiety and stress. It is also in many lotions, oils, and other skincare products, so it’s always easy to find. 

Despite all its benefits, it is crucial to try a small amount before committing to regular use. If you have sensitive skin, perform an allergy test before using it. If used correctly, Linalool in cannabis can be a great way to combat many issues all at once.

Resources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6334252/

https://cen.acs.org/biological-chemistry/natural-products/Cannabis-industry-crafty-terpenes/97/i29

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711304701804

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168945219301190