Terpenes 101 | Linalool
WRITTEN BY DR. JESSIE PHIPPS FOX AND DR. SWATHI
Linalool is a naturally occurring compound, called a terpene, found in a variety of plants, including lavender, basil, coriander, rosemary, jasmine, and some cannabis plants . It has a wide range of potential health benefits, including encouraging calmness, promoting relaxation, supporting immunity, and easing discomfort [2,3].
Linalool in Cannabis
Terpenes are known to interact with the body's endocannabinoid system, making them potentially valuable therapeutic compounds. Cannabis plants with linalool in their terpene profile are often used to promote a healthy inflammatory response and alleviate occasional pain as well as for their potential sedative effects.
Inflammation, Occasional Pain, & Linalool
The effects of linalool are thought to be due to its ability to modulate the immune system. In studies, linalool has been shown to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are involved in the inflammatory response . Linalool also has antioxidant-like properties, which may contribute to its proposed effect on inflammation –this may involve potential implications for the gut health and skin health . When applied topically, linalool has been shown to reduce local irritation and redness in the skin. When ingested, linalool can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body . In one study where linalool comprised 24.3% of the makeup of a lavender oil being studied, the oil was found to have better inflammatory response than that of ibuprofen at the same dosage .
Relaxation, Sedation, & Linalool
Studies have found that linalool may help improve sleep quality . Linalool's exact mechanism of action is not fully understood, but it is thought to work by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which has calming effects. GABA is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating mood balance and stress levels . Evidence also suggests that linalool has a direct effect on the central nervous system . Linalool increases adenosine, a sedating hormone that helps us fall asleep . While more research is needed to confirm these effects in humans, linalool shows promise as a natural way to improve sleep and promote a sense overall calmness.
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This article was edited by Dr. Swathi and was written by Element Apothec Scientific Communications Intern, Dr. Jessie Phipps Fox. She graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy in Davie, Florida, and is currently a Medical Affairs / Medical Communications Postdoctoral Fellow in Fort Worth, Texas.