Linalool

lə-ˈna-lə-ˌwȯl | Noun

A terpene found in spices, flowering plants, and some fungi. Linalool is frequently used as a scent and flavoring agent in addition to serving as an element in pesticides. The linalool terpene is known for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, sedative, and stress-relieving properties.

 

“The lavender oil used in the massage contains linalool.”

 

“My weed has a fresh scent and taste that might be from the linalool in it.”

What is linalool?

Since the 19th century, linalool has been produced naturally and synthetically as the demand for the terpene is increasingly high. If you have a birch tree in your backyard or some fresh mint in your kitchen, you have experienced linalool, which is produced by more than 200 species of plants. Other plants that produce linalool include rosewood, lavender, laurel, and sweet basil. In addition, linalool is one of the most abundant lavender terpenes, so you may have experienced the compound if you’ve ever relaxed with a few drops of lavender essential oil. 

What is linalool used for?

Linalool is a common constituent in a wide variety of commercial products. If you check the labels on any household products and see the terms beta linalool, linalyl alcohol, or linaloyl oxide, then you’ll know that this terpene is a part of the chemical composition. Linalool uses also include insecticide to kill fruit flies, fleas, and cockroaches.

Is linalool safe for skin?

Linalool is regarded as safe for topical application and is a common ingredient in personal and skincare products. In fact, up to 80% of shampoos, detergents, and soaps may contain linalool thanks to its pleasant floral aroma. Like the terpenes camphene and citronellol, linalool may be used as an ingredient in mosquito repellents. Skincare products with Vitamin E may also contain linalool, as the vitamin is a byproduct of linalool.

Is linalool toxic for humans?

Non-toxic to humans and animals, linalool is one of the most widespread flavoring agents currently in use. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Food Science found that people inadvertently consume more than two (2) grams of linalool each year

What food contains linalool?

Many herbs and spices contain linalool, such as cinnamon, coriander, mint, and clove. Linalool is also present in certain citrus fruits including lemon and mandarin orange. Food products that incorporate any of those flavors may also contain linalool. For example, the terpene could be used to produce a pack of cinnamon-flavored chewing gum as well as a peppermint patty.

Therapeutic benefits of linalool

The potential linalool effects and benefits are extensive. One of the primary linalool benefits is as a natural tool for stress relief. Researchers are also exploring its potential use to mediate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Antimicrobial

One study published in 2012 in the scientific journal Anaerobe revealed that linalool demonstrated strong antimicrobial activity against bacteria found in the mouth. As a result, the researchers recommended toothpaste and gargling solutions with low concentrations (less than 0.4 milligrams per milliliter) of linalool.

Anti-inflammatory

The Journal of Surgical Research published a study in 2013 examining how linalool could affect an acute lung injury in a mouse. The scientists concluded that linalool inhibited inflammation in the mouse model and could, therefore, be a candidate for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.  

Neurological

Linalool’s potential as a therapeutic neurological agent is under exploration. One 2015 study published in the journal Neuropharmacology indicated that the terpene could offer hope for Alzheimer’s disease patients. The study found that linalool reversed the neuropathological and behavioral impairments in the brain cells of mice with a model of Alzheimer’s.

Sedative

As experienced through the inhalation of essential oils, linalool may produce sedative effects. One 2009 study conducted on animals and published in the journal Phytomedicine found that lavender oil containing linalool could induce sedation without affecting motor coordination.

Stress Relief

As a component of lavender oil, linalool may also reduce stress in people. A comprehensive study published in 2013 in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine described how “linalool and linalyl acetate are rapidly absorbed through the skin after topical application with massage and are thought to be able to cause central nervous system depression.” Mild depression of the central nervous system produces a feeling of calm, slowing both the breathing and heart rates while potentially boosting the immune system.

High linalool cannabis strains

Cannabis strains high in linalool include:

The role of linalool in cannabis

Breathing in linalool through cannabis may produce a stress-reducing effect as well as an uplifted mood thanks to the olfactory processing of the floral scent.

Bottom line on linalool

Pleasing to the senses, linalool is universal as an ingredient in food and beauty products and has shown potential in providing relief from a number of ailments.