Linalool is a terpene for romance, an aromatic component in numerous essentials oils and cannabis strains, packing the most punch with a pungent yet pleasant odour.
Several varieties of linalool exist, known as isomers. This includes, but is not limited to, the main D-linalool, alongside A-linalool (1.), as well as R-linalool – which is intensely odiferous. This is detectable at concentrations as little as 1 part per billion. S-linalool is only slightly less pronounced at 6 ppb (2.).
These all are closely reminiscent of lavender, roses (3,) and geranium. R-linalool’s aroma has a more woodsy, diesel smell – opposed to the sweeter, citrusy, fruit loops taste found in the S-linalool variety.
(Note: Geranic acid is also found in geranium which depletes melanin. Use geranium essential oil as aromatherapy only, do not use topically or internally (4.))
Subtler notes of linalool exist throughout nature in Basil, Hops and many other plants. It is commonly used as a defence against the planets complex microbial world. (5.) As well as an attractant for specific insects, including bees, which may help self-promote pollination (6.)
In the Beginning
Linalool is a half-sibling of many terpenes and cannabinoids, with a common parent in their biosynthetic path. Geranyl Pyrophosphate (GPP) combines with different botanical molecules to form various components, including the parent terpene limonene. (7.) This reaction of biological reagents depends on environments and genetically selected enzymatic catalysts. Under special genetic conditions, limonene will turn into linalool instead of myrcene or pinene.
Linalool in Cannabis
This monoterpene comprises a special component in cannabis’ synergistic characteristics. Metabolism of THC may actually be altered by linalool through an enzyme in the liver, CYP. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down THC. (3, 8, 9.)
A mixture of linalool isomers is found in cannabis at varying ratios. While they are unique in their characteristics beyond flavour and smell, the distinct effects of each are less clearly described. Overall, they carry some delightfully calming effects. Bringing on neurological sedation which can help for an onslaught of conditions – from insomnia to anxiety to epilepsy. (7.)
Smells Like Peace
In humans, linalool mediates a sense of survival.
Aromatherapy with lavender essential oil can help relieve anxiety and depression. (3, 7, 9.) Cannabis strains selected for high linalool content can boost these effects intensely. While also presenting a key difference in CBD products ability to aid with epileptic episodes. (2, 3, 10-12.)
While cannabis effects you in many different ways, linalool has a few certain properties of its own.
Glutamate is a messenger that helps send signals across your brain. Much like THC, linalool suppresses this traffic (3, 12,) calming down your mind. Glutamate inhibition can be quite selective with this terpene. In opposition to THC, it actually decreases potassium uptake. It may be still unclear how, although linalool indeed aids heavily in seizure therapy. A slowing of mental processes may be one side of linalool sedation which does wonders beyond settling seizures.
Caution: Slow Speeds Ahead
Alongside glutamate, Linalool also inhibits an important regulatory molecule in your brain known as acetylcholine (ACH.) (13.) A chemical that is known to facilitate the orchestration of muscle movement and sleep. Inhibiting this will help with a night of good night sleep, not just muscular immobility. THC also blocks this chemical, while Pinene is an indirect agonist which will counter these effects depending on the given dose (7.)
Alone, linalool has been shown to reduce opioid treatment in certain conditions (14.) This essential oil especially adds to the effectiveness of other pain-relieving sedatives, such as myrcene.
There is a great possibility THC, linalool, limonene, and CBD co-operate together to bring up Adenosine A2A, (3) the substance blocked by caffeine. Its activation may alleviate nociceptive pain. (3, 7, 14, 15.)
While limonene and THC are generally bright, this can be altered by other terpenes. Linalool is capable of this sedative modification. The exact definition that explains how and why this is, is still being studied.
In addition to a beneficial analgesic, linalool can also work ancient miracles as a local anesthetic by helping to reduce scarring from burns. Hence why Lavender essential oil is recommended for applying to small wounds. (3)
Kicking Out Cancer
Terpenes are known to be cannabis’s front line defence against smoke’s carcinogenic cavalry. This activity goes beyond burnt plants and your lungs. (16, 17, 18.)
Linalool is no different in preventing mutations before they can occur. Doing so more indirectly through antioxidation.
Further is the potential to revert carcinogenesis in mutations which have already onset (17 and 19).
Love and Happiness
Serotonin, a wonderful molecule, is known quite well in love and despair. It is shown linalool helps agonize serotonin transporters directly. (18.)
Linalool combines this uptake in good feelings with a sense of being from reducing glutamate, which brings on incredible benefits for anxiety. It may also be the reason lavender and linalool is such a romantic compliment, beyond the intensely enjoyable aroma.
On the surface, linalool can help with attraction and health as well. It is known to be active against ACNE. Together with CBD, this could an effective clinical treatment. (3, 7, 19.)
Protecting the Building Blocks
Under the layers and into your body’s actual genetic structure, your DNA can be protected by linalool under an assault of stress (20.)
Preserving your health may not be so beneficial if your mind is left out of the picture. A deliberating misfortune in old age is losing your memory and cognition through Alzheimer’s Disease. Linalool may well possess the ability to preserve a sense of self, family, and the grand journey you have walked. (21.) Preventing degradation while promoting regeneration. Keeping you healthy and social from the start to the end.
2. Padrayuttawat, A., Yoshizawa, T., Tamura, H., & Tokunaga, T. (1997). Optical isomers and odour thresholds of volatile constituents in Citrus sudachi. Food Science and Technology International, Tokyo, 3(4), 402–408.PDF
3. Russo, Ethan & Marcu, Jahan. (2017). Cannabis Pharmacology: The Usual Suspects and a Few Promising Leads. 10.1016/bs.apha.2017.03.004.PDF