As people’s awareness over the multiple medicinal benefits of cannabis is rapidly increasing, it is not only the most common active cannabinoids, namely THC and CBD, that have been growing in popularity.
Experts have been eagerly promoting science-backed up research evidence on the ensemble or entourage effect pointing out to the unique way in which different active cannabinoids, as well as terpenes present in marijuana plants, interact with each other to improve and complement the synergistic array of effects on a physical and mental level.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about Linalool – one of the most abundant terpenes among others, such as Myrcene and Pinene, to name a few.
For a start, let’s shed more light on the ensemble effect a term that has been coined all the way back in 1998-1999.
Cannabinoids, Terpenes and the Ensemble Effect: Brief Introduction
There are two highly educated individuals and, nonetheless, visionaries that left a sparkling trace in decoding the incredible synergistic action of the active compounds found in marijuana Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Professor Raphael Mechoulam.
Born in 1969, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is an associated chef of the neurosurgery department at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. He is a medical reporter, neurosurgeon, and an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Emory University School of Medicine.
Professor Raphael Mechoulam was born in 1930. Apart from being a beloved professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, he is an organic biochemist. Professor Mechoulamwas the first to isolate activated THC Tetrahydrocannabinol Delta 9.
It was halfway through during a long afternoon discussion with Dr. Gupta when Mechoulam, pulled out a paper written in 1999, where “the entourage effect” was first described. In the paper that Dr. Gupta wrote, later on, he highlighted that terpenes “display unique therapeutic effects that may contribute meaningfully to the entourage effects of cannabis based medicinal extracts.”
What’s more, Dr. Gupta placed a focus on “phytocannabinoid terpenoid interactions” as being capable of working in “synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections (including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
Cannabis Terpenes Explained
You might be wondering what are terpenes anyway, especially since their healing and therapeutic properties obviously extend way beyond what we used to understand when it comes to medicinal use of marijuana plants’ active compounds so far.
Fortunately, terpenes are designated safe by the US Food Drug Administration. Thus, you can notice that various terpenes are present not only in food but also in cosmetics. The possession and use of terpenes are fully legal.
The very term terpenes refer to a wide array of organic compounds. A diverse class of terpenes is naturally produced by different plants – including but not limited to marijuana plants as well as by some insects.
Terpenes are in charge of the smells and flavors of different marijuana strains. However, the very function of terpenes in nature is much more complex than providing an exquisite aroma. Terpenes’ are released by various plants with the purpose of attracting pollinators. But what’s more, terpenes also serve the purpose of keeping different nasty intruders such as some insects at bay.
Terpenes are the natural protection of marijuana plants. In fact, if you touch a marijuana flower in bloom, you might just as well notice that the aroma that is emitted becomes stronger solid evidence of the way marijuana plants can release terpenes on purpose when trying to protect the precious flowers.
For many years, the concept that terpenes can have a direct impact on brain function has been difficult to put into a frame. That’s partially due to the fact that terpenes do also have an indirect effect on both moods, as well as states that are subjective through modulation, a good example of that rather complex explanation being your sense of smell.
Humans’ sense of smell goes deeper than what meets the eye at the very first sight. The sense of smell is related to memory centers and emotion centers located in the brain.
Picture yourself enjoying the pleasant scent of a lavender flower. Within as little as a couple of minutes, you can notice an improvement in your mood and overall feeling of well-being- an effect that is attributed to the action of Linalool present in lavender, and its benefits, indirect effect on the brain.
Nowadays, the terpenes’ effect has been under research which aims to fully reveal that terpenes can directly affect brain processing functions, and not merely act on a cause effect level ( the cause: enjoying the scent of a particular terpenes rich plant, leading to the almost immediate effect on your mood achieved indirectly).
The direct effect of terpenes on brain processing functions is believed to occur by modulating the behavior of the brain cell meaning the terpenes’ effects work on the most profound level possible at a cellular level.
You might be surprised to find out that there are over 100 terpenes identified in cannabis plants. What’s even more intriguing is that different cannabis strains tend to lean toward a supreme one of a kind terpene composition and type.
Terpinolene : naturally abundant in some cannabis strains, Lilacs, Tea Tree, Cumin, among others.
Ocimene : naturally abundant in some cannabis strains, Basil, Orchids, and Peppermint, among others.
Humulene : naturally abundant in some cannabis strains, Hops, Basil, and Cloves, among others.
Beta-Caryophyllene : naturally abundant in some cannabis strains, Cinnamon, and Black Pepper, among others.
Myrcene : naturally abundant in some cannabis strains, Lemongrass, Mangoes, and Thyme, among others.
Limonene : naturally abundant in some cannabis strains, Juniper, Rosemary, and Peppermint, among others.
Alpha-Pinene : naturally abundant in some cannabis strains, pine needles, Dill, and Parsley, among others.
Last but not least, Linalool, naturally abundant in some cannabis strains, and Lavender, among others. This short list is only a fraction of all the terpenes found in marijuana plants that have been studied to at least some extent up-to-date.
Keeping in mind that different terpenes provide different medicinal benefits, understanding terpenes is foundational to reaping the healing properties of cannabis consumption based on what matters the most to each individual’s well being in terms of successful treatment.
Linalool 101: The Most Common Terpene in Cannabis Plants
Linalool is known under different names, such as Linalyl alcohol, b-Linalool, p-Linalool, Linaloyl oxide, 3,7-dymethil-1,6-octadien-3-ol, and allo-ocimenol.
Linalool is a naturally occurring terpene alcohol.
It is the most common terpene found in marijuana plants but it is also present in many other flower and spice plants, such as Thyme, Lavender, Coriander, Mint, Cinnamon, Sweet Basil, Lemongrass, Frankincense, and Patchouli, to name a few out of the over 200 types of Linalool producing plants.
Linalool Commercial Uses
Based on the pleasant floral scent of Linalool that comes with a touch of spiciness, it has many commercial applications.
Unlike cannabinoids, Linalool does not get stored in fatty tissues located in your brain and body. Instead, it doesn’t stick around in your body for too long.
Amazingly, you are already ingesting approximately 2 grams of Linalool every year solely through the food you consume, even if you have never ever used cannabis.
In fact, due to its scent, Linalool is present in 60% – 80% of commonly used household perfumed cleaning products, including but not limited to shampoos, lotions, detergents, and soaps. Even more, Linalool can be also commonly found in the fruit fly, cockroach, and flea insecticides!
Most noteworthy, Linalool poses very little to no risks of adverse side effects. However, more research is clearly needed to further examine the most beneficial dosage of Linalool.
It is good to keep in mind that a study conducted in 2004 lead to the discovery that high doses of Linalool may be damaging to the cells. Although this particular study was conducted with the use of Linalool rich Lavender Oil, it is highly recommendable that users don’t fall into extremes when trying to reap the benefits of Linalool by consuming larger doses than actually needed.
Linalool Health Benefits
In 2002, a study published in the Journal of Phytomedicine provided solid evidence regarding Linalool’s strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Thanks to the valuable anti-inflammatory profile of Linalool, it can be successfully used in the treatment of inflammation-caused conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, arthritis, and cancer.
In the case of using Linalool for cancer treatment, a study from 2010 examined closely Linalool’s ability to help prevent leukemia. Scientists believe this is possible thanks to a special molecular mechanism that can block the growth of tumor cells. A more recent study from 2016 highlighted that topical or intraperitoneal Linalool use can provide a preventative effect on chronic and acute UVB mediated skin carcinogenesis.
In 2003, the same group of researchers who published their science backed up study on Linalool’s anti-inflammatory properties came up with yet another intriguing study on Linalool’s pain-relieving properties. Linalool reduces the strength of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a brain chemical that plays a key role in muscle movement and contraction. The anesthetic like effects of Linalool are, therefore, capable of reducing the excitability of cells located in the spinal cord that are in charge of transmitting pain signals straight to the brain.
Linalool’s muscle pain relieving properties can be also extremely valuable in the treatment of epilepsy. That’s because Linalool can block the receptors of a primary brain chemical glutamate, which is intricately related to Linalool’s potential properties in the treatment of some cases of epilepsy.
As a matter of fact, the anti-convulsant benefits of Linalool have been a subject of great interest. In 2010, an animal study analyzing 3 sub-types of Linalool showed promising results in the way Linalool can be used for the treatment of seizures, including but not limited to epilepsy associated seizures.
But what’s more, Linalool is shown to elevate the levels of adenosine. Adenosine is an inhibitory brain chemical that is commonly blocked by caffeine consumption.
An explicit study titled Treatment with lavender aromatherapy in the post-anesthesia care unit reduces opioid requirements of morbidly obese patients undergoing laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding proved that Linalool can be a beneficial post surgery treatment, too, and in particular, when it comes to avoiding opioid-based treatment that often comes with dangerous side effects and even addiction.
In 2008, a research paper published in the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Journal shed new light on Linalool’s powerful sedative properties. According to the researchers, Linalool can make an excellent treatment that provides quick and reliable relief to anxiety and depression disorders sufferers. And since one of the most common side effects of anxiety is none other but insomnia, it turns out that Linalool can help on that note, too. Nonetheless, it is good to remember that Linalool is highly anti-microbial. That might be one of the main reasons why Linalool is the most commonly found terpene in cannabis plants these anti microbial properties offer natural protection for the plants.
Although still limited to animal study, Linalool is believed to possess stress relieving properties, too. When under stress, the cells of the immune system in the body (aka the white blood cells) shift to increasing neutrophils. Neutrophils are one of the first cell types that travel to the site of infection to help the body recover as quickly as possible. However, the stress induced changes on a cellular level affect the way DNA is expressed something that Linalool can beneficially target because of its ability to activate a parasympathetic response in the body.
Recently, great hopes have been put on Linalool’s healing properties in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s up to date. This torturous, progressive type of disease is considered irreversible, causing severe cognitive and memory damage.
United on a quest to recover normal brain and reverse Alzheimer’s disease course, a group of researchers came up with an explicit paper titled Linalool reverses neuropathological and behavioral impairments in old triple transgenic Alzheimer’s mice. Linalool treatment proved to reduce the number of cellular tangles and brain plaques that are the number one contributors to brain degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease sufferers. What’s more, Linalool treatment showed a significant reverse of both cognitive, as well as behavioral impairments that define Alzheimer’s disease.
Despite the fact that the promising results of the study were limited to evidence obtained by examining the model of Alzheimer’s disease in rats, scientists are hopeful that the same effects can be achieved with humans.
Another important pinpoint bringing even more hopes for Linalool’s ability in treating Alzheimer’s disease comes with the fact that the anti-inflammatory properties of this amazing terpene can further help in repairing cognitive and emotional functions by reversing histopathological hallmarks of the disease.
Cannabis Strains Rich in Linalool
It is hard to identify Linalool rich strains if you don’t have access to the accurate lab testing data of the particular cannabis strains you opt for when visiting reputable dispensaries.
However, since Linalool is the most commonly found terpene in cannabis plants, chances are that you will likely ingest a good dose of the sweet-scented aromatic Linalool molecules while consuming just about any strain out there anyway.
If you choose to examine the buds in your stash by trusting your senses, just take one of the dry marijuana flowers before grinding it or adding it to edibles, and inhale its aroma deeply. In the case floral, and possibly spicy-tinged undertones are easily detectable, then it’s highly likely that you are holding a magnificent Linalool rich strain.
In a breeze, here’s a neat cheat sheet of the most popular strains that are high in Linalool.
- Granddaddy Purple
- Tangerine Dream
- Amnesia Haze
- Special Kush
- OG Shark
- LA Confidential
Some experts believe that it might be possible to reap the beneficial action of Linalool by opting for additional Linalool rich sources before or after cannabis consumption. For instance, you can take a cup of Lavender tea before or after enjoying the green medication. Adding dry lavender flowers when rolling a joint will effectively increase the amount of Linalool you can intake.
With the growing popularity of terpenes, the demand for easily accessible terpene infused treats is also on the rise. Nowadays, you can find numerous kinds of drinks and delicacies that come with the added benefits of terpenes, such as terpene infused kombucha drinks, chocolates, and nonetheless, terpenes concentrate that can be added to literally any recipe or used to further enhance your smoking experience.
But whatever comes next, we need to remember that one of the biggest secrets of terpenes’ healing and therapeutic properties is hidden in the magnificent way in which the different compounds found in marijuana plants interact with each other as if inviting us to join the Dance or Symphony of a greener, better life.
Without any doubt, Linalool still needs to go a long way before eventually paving its path to clinics.
However, despite still small in scope and further blocked due to various regulations that limit more extensive research in the field of cannabis, it is indisputable that not only Linalool but all of the active compounds found in marijuana plants bring big hopes for better days to health minded individuals of different age and background.
Even though this article is supposed to show you everything you need to know about Linalool, we firmly believe that what we are witnessing and what we have managed to list is only the tip of the iceberg. Don’t miss out on getting premium access to the latest news and explicit know-how in the advancement of cannabis science and industry by subscribing to our newsletter!