Compounds found in cannabis which gives its flowers a unique aroma and flavour are also found in other plants and flowers.
These large and diverse class of organic compounds are called terpenes, and over 200 of these chemicals are found in highly concentrated volumes in the trichomes of cannabis plants.
Terpenes are also in the food we eat and the nature that surrounds us. One of these is Linalool. So what is it?
What is Linalool?
Linalool is a terpene isolate which is commonly found in cannabis, flowers and plants – in particular, lavender.
Often used in conjunction with Linalyl acetate in fragrances (its acetate ester), Linalool is a natural chemical which has a floral scent reminiscent of lavender oil with undertones of spice.
You will be surprised to learn that the majority of cleaning products like soaps, shampoos, essential oils contain Linalool and Linalyl acetate. These widely used chemicals are all around us!
Every time you have a relaxing bath with lavender essential oils or bath salts, you’re probably winding down with Linalool and Linalyl!
What are the effects of this terpene essential oil?
While historically the focus of cannabis-based research has been on cannabinoids like THC and CBD, it’s becoming more apparent that terpenes play an essential role in realising the potential benefits of other cannabinoids via the entourage effect.
Research analysing the chemistry of Linalool is primarily pre-clinical (research includes rats), and historically scientists have found it difficult to assert the difference between the impact terpenes directly have on receptors in the brain and their indirect impact on mood.
Although, now it is widely accepted that terpenes such as Linalool have direct effects in isolation, which pair synergistically with cannabinoids to increase their impact.
The research commentary from the small number of studies available today is highly positive:
- Researchers from Italy found that Linalool had an anti-inflammatory effect on swelling in rats.
- A 2017 study of mice found that Linalool produced an antidepressant-like effect through its interactions with serotonin via the monoaminergic system.
- A study posted in the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology used 14 human volunteers to examine the effects of Linalool used transdermally through the skin. Concluding that the chemical had sedative properties.
Is Linalool exposure bad for skin?
While Linalool is generally recognised as safe for the skin, when isolated and exposed to air Linalool side effects can include allergic reactions.
While a Linalool allergy can occur with purified Linalool in isolation, allergic reactions are not a common problem when the compound is combined with other substances to delay the oxidation process.
Additionally, terpenes can be synthesised synthetically, which makes the likelihood of Linalool skin irritation more common, leading to an allergic reaction.
On the plus side, natural terpene essential oils derived from plants and cannabis are not subject to this problem. It’s one of the reasons why Nature & Bloom only use natural terpenes derived from the steam distillation of plants.
Linalool in CBD Products
Linalool is a naturally occurring chemical found in multiple cannabis strains.
Although, its concentration is relatively low in cannabis flower regardless of strain and it is not usually more than the third dominant terpene in strains overall profile.
As a result, it’s hard to find hemp flower or CBD products which contain high levels of the terpene.
Through the manipulation of these natural chemicals, we have developed a range of products which derive their effects not only from the CBD but the terpenes in the product too.
Cannabinoids are best used in conjunction with terpenes and Linalool while being a minor terpene is of high importance to someone looking to relax and unwind.
Give it a try and see what you think!