Terpenes 101: Linalool
People smoke pot for a variety of reasons: to kick back and relax. To have fun. To cut loose with friends or make mundane tasks a little less boring. And, naturally, for health.
For the people who do the latter – raise a joint for the pain in their joints (etc., etc.), terpenes are of particular importance. Because different strains possess different terpenes, and different terpenes offer different benefits, knowing what you’re after helps you choose wisely when you get walk into a dispensary.
Of course, this is easier said than done: there are hundreds of terpenes (name them all: go!). And they’re not limited to cannabis, either: they’re found in many things derived from plants.
Linalool is one of these terpenes; it’s produced by over 200 types of plants (including cannabis). It’s most prevalent in mint, cinnamon, rosewood, laurels, citrus fruits, and birch trees. Fun fact: it’s found in fungus too.
Commercials Uses of Linalool
Commercially, linalool is used in the majority of perfumed products; it’s also used in many types of cleaning products like soap, detergent, lotion, and shampoos. It’s an insect repellent as well, used to ward off fleas, fruit flies, and cockroaches. Though some mosquito repellants contain it too, there’s controversy surrounding its efficiency.
The Health Benefits of Linalool
Medically, linalool has many health benefits and has been used as a type of medicine for years. It works as an analgesic, making it helpful for people with chronic or acute pain. Some people use it as an alternative to prescription painkillers.
It’s an anti-depressant, an anti-convulsant, and a sleep aid
It’s known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it helpful in people who have everything from asthma to Crohn’s disease, from Lupus to fibromyalgia. Theoretically, it’s beneficial to any disease marked by inflammation.
A study in the Journal of Phytomedicine found that its anti-inflammatory abilities are indeed something to write home about: it offers major benefit in regards to quieting inflammation. A study published in the National Library of Medicine found something similar: using rats, they discovered that linalool resulted in a drastic reduction of edema. This led them to conclude, “The results indicate that linalool and the corresponding acetate play a major role in anti-inflammatory activities displayed by the essential oils containing them, and provide further evidence suggesting that linalool and linalyl acetate-producing species are potentially anti-inflammatory agents.”
Linalool and Cancer
As an anti-inflammatory agent, linalool possesses benefits against cancer in two ways: stopping it before it starts and keeping it from progressing. Per a study in the Journal of Molecular Sciences, linalool may prove especially beneficial to patients with breast cancer whose tumors become drug-resistant.
Drug resistance is a major problem in malignancy, with some tumors responding to treatment initially – or for a number of years – before growing immune to medicine. If linalool keeps tumors receptive to the drugs that are developed to kill them, it may be a major component in treatments of the future.
Strains High in Linalool
There are a variety of strains that contain linalool, including some of the following:
Amnesia Haze: The name of this strain may leave you assuming you’ll smoke up, black out, and come home wearing someone else’s jeans, but this strain isn’t as mind-blowing as its title insinuates. Rather, users find themselves growing thoughtful and introspective each time they smoke. They’re more aware of their surroundings and find an improved mood as well as more motivation to do things they’ve put off. Some users report euphoria and a sense of excitement.
Amnesia Haze is an appealing strain because of its ability to offer both mental and physical effects:
Some people use Amnesia Haze as part of their exercise routine (others use it as part of their sex routine (hey, that counts as exercise))
Medically, it’s beneficial to those who struggle with concentration and lack of appetite. However, it’s not ideal for those already prone to anxiety as it’s been known to induce paranoia in some. This is especially true in new users or experienced users who smoke too much.
Lavender: Dominated by Indica, Lavender is a hybrid that has done well in many competitions (perhaps due to its high THC content). It induces a powerful sense of wellbeing and happiness as well as a body high that makes the user feel lazy and relaxed. Those without tolerance are likely to fall asleep or at least be glued to their couch. Hopefully there’s a Snapped marathon on one of the true crime channels.
It’s used for insomnia as well as pain relief. Other uses include stress, anxiety, PTSD, ADD, and OCD. It’s high in CBD, which makes it helpful for people with seizure disorders too.
LA Confidential: This strain is well known for “couch-lock” and leaves users happy, lazy, and relaxed. Some of the more experienced users also find it evokes creativity and stimulation. It’s purely Indica and causes the user to fall asleep a few hours after smoking, which is why it’s recommended for nighttime use and not before it’s your turn to drive the bulldozer. It can cause headaches at high doses, as well as dry eyes, paranoia, and dizziness.
Those who use cannabis to medicate often turn to LA Confidential to manage pain, deal with stress and anxiety, reduce nausea, and increase appetite.
Purple Kush: With this strain, users often experience a sense of initial disorientation followed by a calming, numbing sensation. It’s great for relaxation and offers mental effects that are more hallucinatory than introspective: you won’t suddenly understand String Theory, but you might see strings attached to your cat and become convinced of what you’ve always suspected: Whiskers is actually a puppet.
Users report feeling dopey after using this strain, which may be beneficial to people experiencing stress, depression, or anxiety. It’s great to pain too: both acute and chronic. Some people use it for insomnia, though the dose needs be fairly high for it to be effective at inducing sleep. Otherwise, it leaves you tired, but awake.