Love is in the air, or is that just linalool?

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.

linalool

(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.)

  • Anxiolytic
  • Antidepressant
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Immune Support
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-oxidative
  • Sedative
  • Analgesia
  • Anesthetic
  • Acne Treatment
  • Antileishmanial (7)
  • Cannabimimetic Mediation

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

linalool

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.)

Found most prominently in Jet Fuel, also notably in Pink Kush, Lavender, Pink Champagne, Amnesia Haze, and small amounts in many different strains.

Into the Brain

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.)

Synergistic Inhibition

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.

No Scars

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.

Beauty

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.)

Alzheimer’s

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.

Sources

  1. Sulak, D., Saneto, R., & Goldstein, B. (2017). The current status of artisanal cannabis for the treatment of epilepsy in the United States. Epilepsy Behav, 70(Pt B), 328–333. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2016.12.032.

    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

    4. Choi SY. Inhibitory effects of geranic acid derivatives on melanin biosynthesis. J Cosmet Sci. 2012;63(6):351-8.

    5. Burdon RCF, Junker RR, Scofield DG, Parachnowitsch AL. Bacteria colonising show volatile and tissue-specific responses to a natural concentration range of the floral volatile linalool. Chemoecology. 2018;28(1):11-19.

    6. Borg-karlson AK, Tengö J, Valterová I, et al. (S)-(+)-linalool, a mate attractant pheromone component in the bee Colletes cunicularius. J Chem Ecol. 2003;29(1):1-14.

    7. Russo EB. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Br J Pharmacol. 2011;163(7):1344-64.

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    9. Nosková K, Dovrtělová G, Zendulka O, Řemínek R, Juřica J. The effect of (-)-linalool on the metabolic activity of liver CYP enzymes in rats. Physiol Res. 2016;65(Supplementum 4):S499-S504.

    10. Leal-Cardoso, J. H., da Silva-Alves, K. S., Ferreira-da-Silva, F.W., dos Santos-Nascimento, T., Joca, H. C., de Macedo, F. H. P., et al. (2010). Linalool blocks excitability in peripheral nerves and voltage-dependent Na+ current in dissociated dorsal root ganglia neurons.European Journal of Pharmacology, 645(1–3), 86–93.

    11. Elisabetsky, E., Marschner, J., & Souza, D. O. (1995). Effects of linalool on glutamatergic system in the rat cerebral cortex. Neurochemical Research, 20(4), 461–465.

    12. Silva brum LF, Emanuelli T, Souza DO, Elisabetsky E. Effects of linalool on glutamate release and uptake in mouse cortical synaptosomes. Neurochem Res. 2001;26(3):191-4.

    13. Re L, Barocci S, Sonnino S, et al. Linalool modifies the nicotinic receptor-ion channel kinetics at the mouse neuromuscular junction. Pharmacol Res. 2000;42(2):177-82.

    14. Kim JT, Ren CJ, Fielding GA, et al. Treatment with lavender aromatherapy in the post-anesthesia care unit reduces opioid requirements of morbidly obese patients undergoing laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. Obes Surg. 2007;17(7):920-5.

    15. Peana AT, Rubattu P, Piga GG, et al. Involvement of adenosine A1 and A2A receptors in (-)-linalool-induced antinociception. Life Sci. 2006;78(21):2471-4.

    16. Stanojević, Jasna & Berić, Tanja & Opačić, Biljana & Vuković-Gačić, Branka & Simić, Draga & Knežević-Vukčević, Jelena. (2008). The effect of essential oil of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) on UV-induced mutagenesis in Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Archives of Biological Sciences. 60. 10.2298/ABS0801093S.PDF

    17. Han HD, Cho YJ, Cho SK, et al. Linalool-Incorporated Nanoparticles as a Novel Anticancer Agent for Epithelial Ovarian Carcinoma. Mol Cancer Ther. 2016;15(4):618-27

    18. López V, Nielsen B, Solas M, Ramírez MJ, Jäger AK. Exploring Pharmacological Mechanisms of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Essential Oil on Central Nervous System Targets. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:280.

    19. linKim SS, Baik JS, Oh TH, Yoon WJ, Lee NH, Hyun CG. Biological activities of Korean Citrus obovoides and Citrus natsudaidai essential oils against acne-inducing bacteria. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2008;72(10):2507-13.

    20. Nakamura A, Fujiwara S, Matsumoto I, Abe K. Stress repression in restrained rats by (R)-(-)-linalool inhalation and gene expression profiling of their whole blood cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2009;57(12):5480-5.

    21. Sabogal-guáqueta AM, Osorio E, Cardona-gómez GP. Linalool reverses neuropathological and behavioral impairments in old triple transgenic Alzheimer’s mice. Neuropharmacology. 2016;102:111-20.