Terpene of the Month: Linalool
Each month we highlight one of the 200+ volatile aromatic compounds called terpenes that create the unique flavors and aromas of different cannabis strains. Terpenes enhance the health benefits of cannabis while reducing the intoxicating effects that can cause anxiety. Additionally, each terpene has unique therapeutic properties.
Linalool is a terpene that can benefit you just by smelling it. Its floral, slightly spicy fragrance has been shown to reduce stress when the aroma is inhaled – so the old adage “stop and smell the flowers” can actually have health benefits!
Botanicals Containing Linalool
Linalool is commonly found in lavender, citrus, laurel, coriander, birch and rosewood, as well as in cannabis.
Lavender has long been used as an herbal sleep aid and stress-reliever thanks to its sedating, calming properties.
Studies have shown that linalool has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce pain associated with inflammation, and one recent study found that its anti-inflammatory quality helps reverse the brain plaque formation that causes Alzheimer’s disease. Research indicates that linalool also possesses anti-nociceptive properties that block the perception of pain. One study found that exposure to linalool vapor significantly reduced the need for morphine in post-operative patients. Linalool is believed to reduce pain by modifying the signal strength of different neurotransmitters.
Studies have found that linalool effectively reduces convulsions, making it a possible treatment for seizures. Studies have also confirmed the sedative effects of linalool, findings that support its traditional use as a sleep aid and relaxant. Valuably, research shows that linalool induces sedation without the common side effect of motor skills impairment that results from most psycholeptic (calming) drugs.
198ºC/388ºF (For more information, see Leafly’s How to Customize Your Cannabis High with Temperature).
Cannabis Families with Abundant Linalool
To identify strains rich in linalool, use your nose or select strains that are listed as having a floral, slightly spicy aroma similar to lavender. Terpene levels vary from harvest to harvest, but some strains consistently produce high levels – particularly strains in the Kush family. According to the most recent tests of our concentrated terpene extracts, our strain with the highest level of linalool is Sour Kush.