Vaporizes At: 388ºF (198ºC)
Potential Effects: mood enhancement, sedation
Potential Medical Value: anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, inflammation, and neurodegenerative disease
Also Found in: lavender
Linalool is a naturally occurring terpene found in many flowers and spices. It has a complex yet delicate floral aroma reminiscent of spring flowers, but with spicy overtones.
Linalool is not specific to cannabis, its characteristic lavender scent with a hint of spiciness is common to over 200 types of plants. It’s so common that average people consume over two grams of linalool each year in their food. Linalool lessens the anxious emotions provoked by pure THC, and may be helpful in the treatment of psychosis and anxiety. Studies suggest that linalool boosts the immune system, can reduce lung inflammation, and in some capacity can help restore cognitive and emotional functions. Studies suggests linalool may reverse the histopathological (the microscopic examination of biological tissues to observe the appearance of diseased cells and tissues in very fine detail) hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease and could restore cognitive and emotional functions via an anti-inflammatory effect. According to studies, Linalool may significantly reduce lung inflammation caused by cigarette smoke by blocking the carcinogenesis induced by benz[α]anthracene, a component of the tar generated by the combustion of tobacco. This finding indicates limonene may be helpful in reducing the harm caused by inhaling cannabis smoke.
Linalool also makes the immune system more resilient to the destructive effects of stress. Studies indicate that linalool’s behavioral effects may largely be mediated by its effects in the brain. One way is through blocking the receptors for the primary excitatory brain chemical, glutamate, which could account for linalool’s potentially antiepileptic properties.
Additionally, linalool may be muscle-relaxing and have pain-relieving effects through additional distinctive mechanisms. For instance, linalool reduces the signaling strength of acetylcholine, a brain chemical that’s required for muscle contraction and movement. Linalool can have anesthetic-like effects by reducing the excitability of cells in the spinal cord that transmit pain signals to the brain.
Some of linalool’s pain-relieving abilities can be ascribed to its elevation of adenosine levels, an inhibitory brain chemical that is notably blocked by caffeine. Together, this multitude of nervous system targets contribute to its sedative, anxiety-reducing, and pain-relieving benefits.
Perhaps the most exciting therapeutic use for linalool is its emerging potential as a novel Alzheimer’s disease treatment. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and currently irreversible disease caused by the buildup of brain plaques and cellular tangles that lead to brain degeneration. This degeneration causes severe memory and cognitive impairment. A promising 2016 study points linalool as a potential Alzheimer’s treatment. Linalool still has many hurdles before it makes its way into the clinic, but these Alzheimer’s studies together with previous studies demonstrating benefits in pain, anxiety, and depression point to the importance of continued investigation into the therapeutic benefits of linalool and other terpenes in cannabis.