The world of essential oils, medical marijuana, and cannabis-derived products such as CBD has introduced Americans to a whole new world of health and wellness benefits, from deeper relaxation and stabilized mood to relief from chronic aches and pains. Terpenes figure prominently in these products, with linalool frequently featured as a valuable member of the terpene family. If you’re new to terpenes or have simply never examined linalool closely, take a look at what this remarkable substance is all about and how it might enhance your quality of life.
Terpenes 101: An Introduction
The fragrant compounds known as terpenes surround us in everyday life. These compounds occur naturally in plants, boosting the plant’s health by assisting in disease resistance, oxygenation, and warding off potential predators that don’t like the aromas they exude. The characteristic odors of cannabis plants, citrus fruits, and pine needles owe their existence to the terpenes that feature those aromas. If you love the soothing smell of lavender, then you will love linalool, the terpene that produces that characteristic scent.
Linalool: A Common Terpene in a Variety of Substances
Linalool doesn’t just make its home in lavender plants. This terpene, also known by its official chemical designation of 3,7-Dimethylocta-1,6-dien-3-ol, adds aromatic appeal to an amazing number of plants and herbs, including coriander, sweet basil, cinnamon, rosewood, sweet laurel, sweet orange, cannabis sativa, thyme, clary sage, and birch bark. In fact, researchers have found linalool in over 200 different forms of plant life.
As you might imagine, this means that people commonly consume linalool in many different foods. It’s believed that the average consumer ingests up to two grams of linalool each year — far less that you’d probably ever supplement your own home foods, cannabis creations, or bath products with. (The body metabolizes linalool relatively quickly, which helps prevent it from building up.) Fortunately, linalool is not only considered safe at these levels, but it also offers a host of health and wellness benefits that go far beyond its attractive odor.
Linalool’s Potential Physical Benefits
Linalool can support your optimal health in many ways. The same antimicrobial properties that protect plants from infections may also extend protective effects to humans. (The smell of linalool even wards off mosquitos, so you might have luck using it as insect repellent!) Linalool also provides valuable disease resistance benefits by blocking some of the toxic effects of stress on the immune system, including unwanted changes in white blood cell, lymphocyte, and neutrophil levels. Lab tests indicate that it may prevent undesirable stress-related effects on DNA.
Linalool has significant pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory benefits, thanks largely to its ability to raise levels of a hormone called adenosine. It eases inflammatory pain by reducing the stimulation of spinal cord cells that relay pain signals. It can also alter levels of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine that regulates muscle motion, potentially easing painful spasms as a result. Linalool has such impressive analgesic properties that it has been used (in the form of aromatherapy) to reduce postoperative patients’ need for opioid painkillers.
Linalool’s Potential Mental Benefits
What’s good for the body is usually good for the mind, and linalool is no exception. Studies show that linalool possesses anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties, potentially making it valuable for people who suffer from these mood problems. The soothing aroma of linalool has a distinctively relaxing effect that can help you reduce stress and sleep better.
Linalool doesn’t just hold promise as an aid to psychological health — it may offer critical benefits for people with neurological disorders that cause cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer’s disease. In Alzheimer’s disease, plaques and cellular tangles that form in the brain cause progressive dementia. Research on mice indicates that linalool can actually help reduce the creation of these destructive changes, slowing or arresting the progress of the disease and the cognitive impairment that results from it. While more studies need to be performed, this early data points toward a possible revolution in the fight against neurological disease.
Linalool also has demonstrated value as an anti-epileptic substance. The terpene demonstrated a powerful anti-convulsive effect which could prove useful in moderating various seizure disorders. Researchers believe that it does this by blocking glutamate, a neurotransmitter that normally excites areas of the brain.
How to Make Use of Linalool
Some strains of marijuana are naturally quite high in linalool, as you can tell from their floral aroma and (in some cases) purple coloration. Examples go by names such as Purple Kush, Lavender, Amnesia Haze, Do-Si-Dos, and Zkittlez. Linalool and other terpenes can sometimes enhance the high associated with marijuana by interacting with the plant’s cannabinoids, a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.
However, you don’t have to use marijuana to make productive use of linalool. In extract form, you can add this terpene to your bathwater to make bath time more soothing and relaxing. As an addition to your favorite aromatherapy oil, it can help you get a good night’s sleep, manage your anxiety, and cope with chronic aches and pains.
If you like to get creative in the kitchen, you might even find that a tiny drop of linalool can add a welcome floral quality (and some even more wellness benefits) to certain foods or beverages. You can also make your own therapeutic tinctures out of linalool, a carrier oil, and (if desired) other terpenes that possess their own healing qualities.
Many of the lavender-scented skin care products you’ll find on the market probably contain some amount of linalool — but you don’t have to replace all the current products on your bathroom counter to enjoy the effects of this terpene. Instead, simply try adding a tiny bit of linalool to your current stock of skin creams and lotions.
True Extracts Terpenes offers a wide range of terpene extracts, including linalool, that you can use to enhance your health, wellness, and overall quality of life. Explore our online product catalog, and place your first order with us today!