If you’ve been recently shopping for or reading about CBD products, you’ve likely encountered the phrase full-spectrum CBD. At its essence, this descriptor encompasses not just the CBD but the various cannabinoids (CBD and THC) and plant materials (flavonoids and terpenes), which work together to create an entourage effect, thus magnifying CBD oil’s therapeutic properties.
But what are terpenes?
Put simply, they’re chemicals found in many plants that help determine an object’s aroma. From oranges, to pine trees, to lavender's relaxation inducing scent—that’s the terpenes at work. But they’re not simply responsible for smell. They also work with your brain to produce certain beneficial effects. Because these unsung heroes don’t receive enough attention, this series will break down some of CBD oil’s most essential terpenes. Today, our focus turns to linalool.
Know Your Terpenes: Linalool
It’s understandable if you thought CBD was solely responsible for the therapeutic effects you feel after taking CBD; however, that would be too simplistic an explanation. While CBD does play a major role, other cannabinoids such as the small percentage of THC, flavonoids, and terpenes deserve a lot of the credit as well. So, although there are many benefits of CBD oil, terpenes contribute significantly to the equation.
A lot of research has been done on terpenes over the years, and scientists have discovered that the chemicals directly affect the brain’s processing abilities by changing the way the brain cells behave. For a while, it was believed that terpenes only affected your sense of smell. And while your sense of smell is linked to your brain’s emotional and memory centers, we now know that terpenes can directly influence your brain as well. A 2018 study compared CBD isolate, also known as purified CBD, to full-spectrum CBD and discovered the following:
The incidence of mild and severe adverse events was demonstrably higher in purified CBD vs. high-CBD extract patients, a result that the authors attributed to the lower dose utilized, which was achieved in their opinion by the synergistic contributions of other entourage compounds. Such observations support the hypothesis of greater efficacy for Cannabis extracts combining multiple components, such as CBD, THC, THCA, THCV, CBDV, linalool, and even caryophyllene.
The inclusion of terpenes such as linalool made it so less CBD was needed for a patient to receive the same, if not more powerful, therapeutic relief.
Another recent discovery is that specific terpenes can either intensify or inhibit the effects of the cannabinoids. For example, there are many different strains of marijuana on the market and one of the primary differences between them is the concentration of certain terpenes. Some cannabis varieties promote more relaxation while other strains are more stimulating. Each strain provides different effects in part because it includes different types of terpenes.
It’s worth noting that there are tens of thousands of terpenes that we know of, with many as of yet undiscovered. According to Analytical Cannabis, “Currently, there are at least 20,000 different terpenes in existence and the cannabis plant has more than 100 of these terpenes. Many terpenes that are produced by the cannabis plant are also found elsewhere in nature. However, there are a couple of terpenes that are in high concentrations in cannabis plants.” A few of the most prevalent types found in strains of cannabis include:
- Linalool – This terpene is one of the main components of lavender and is primarily responsible for easing daily stress. When you find yourself feeling more relaxed after using lavender essential oils or using a lavender-infused product, keep in mind that linalool is largely responsible for that sense of calm.
- Myrcene – Commonly found in mangos, this is the cannabis plant’s primary terpene. It can take up as much as 65% of the plant’s terpene profile, and is one of the determining factors in whether a cannabis strain is a sativa or indica. In addition, this is also the reason why marijuana has its distinct, pungent aroma. It too is known for its relaxing properties.
- Limonene – Often found in citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, limonene is responsible for the distinctive smell you get when you cut into a lemon. Limonene citrus compounds are one component of cannabis that has been found to elevate mood.
- Pinene – It’s easy to guess where pinene is found based on its name. It’s most abundant in pine trees and is responsible for the characteristic smell of pine needles. It is used as a disinfectant and can also increase alertness as well.
Linalool – The Terpene You Should Know About
Linalool is one of the most popular terpenes found in cannabis, but is also naturally occurring in more than 200 other plant species. It has a distinct floral scent that makes it a popular ingredient in many perfumed products such as essential oils, cleaning supplies, beauty products, and more. According to one study on terpenes within essential oils, linalool is one of the principal components responsible for the creation of several positive biological reactions, which we’ll discuss at length below.
It’s worth noting that even those people who don’t use cannabis products or essential oils still regularly encounter linalool in their everyday life. It’s estimated that the average person consumes more than two grams of linalool a year through their food alone! Although this may seem like a lot, there is very little risk of any adverse effects. This is because linalool does not stay in your body for long, nor does it accumulate in the fatty tissues of your brain and body as many cannabinoids do.
One of the reasons for linalool’s popularity stems from its many potential uses. And, as recent studies have shown, there are a host of biological functions it can positively impact.
Benefits and Uses of Linalool
The last two decades of research have confirmed that linalool has a plethora of beneficial properties, including:
- Helps with Everyday Stress – Linalool has properties that help with stress. In another study on essential oils study, mice were exposed to vapors from the terpene and they were able to spend more time in frightening and stressful environments than those mice that were not exposed to the terpene.
Another study found that linalool can improve the way that the immune system reacts to stress. The body changes the distribution of white blood cells when exposed to stressful situations, and the study discovered that rats who were exposed to the linalool terpene did not experience the same shift in white blood cells. Researchers concluded: “Linalool inhalation represses stress-induced effects on the profiles of both blood cells and gene expression.”
Although it was an animal study, their findings indicated that linalool may help the human body react to daily stressors differently; preventing the typical physiological changes that are experienced.
- Helps with Aches and Soreness – In 2007, research was conducted to determine whether lavender essential oils (which contain linalool as a primary ingredient) could help manage aches and soreness. In the study, they provided treatment with lavender aromatherapy to obese patients who had undergone gastric banding surgery to see if it reduced their need for opioid medications. The results of the study were positive. According to the researchers in charge:
Lavender aromatherapy can be used to reduce the demand for opioids in the immediate postoperative period. Further studies are required to assess the effect of this therapy on clinically meaningful outcomes, such as the incidence of respiratory complications, delayed gastric emptying, length of hospital stay, or whether this therapy is applicable to other operations.
- Eases Exercise-Related Inflammation – Linalool is also perceived to be able to help manage inflammation from exercises. The Journal of Phytomedicine studied linalool and found that essential oils containing the terpene could effectively be used to manage such issues.
- Healthy Brain Function – Perhaps one of the most interesting properties of all, linalool has also been found to be a brain fortifier! It appears to be able to help prevent the buildup of plaques in the brain as well as the development of cellular “tangles”. Such things can cause degeneration of the brain and thus impair thinking and memory creation. A 2016 study found that the linalool terpene helped boost brain activity and stave off many of the cognitive and behavioral impairments that accrue over time.
CBD and Terpenes
If you’ve been considering CBD for its various therapeutic, there are several ways you can take it, including:
As you search for the right CBD, be sure to only select full spectrum CBD products. That way, you’ll not only receive the therapeutic effects of CBD, but you’ll also enjoy the myriad additional benefits from the dozens of powerful terpenes such as linalool. Fortunately for you, Plant People has a rich assortment of organically-grown, lab tested, hemp extracts that are rich in CBD, flavonoids, and terpenes. Plant People CBD products are specially formulated to help with daily stresses, recovery, aches, and create a physical and mental balance.
Interested? Visit Plant People to select the right CBD product for you.
Healthline. The Entourage Effect: How CBD and THC Work Together. https://www.healthline.com/health/the-entourage-effect
NCBI. The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6334252/
Analytical Cannabis. The Difference Between Cannabinoids and Terpenes. https://www.analyticalcannabis.com/articles/the-difference-between-cannabinoids-and-terpenes-311502
Online Library. GRASr2 Evaluation of Aliphatic Acyclic and Alicyclic Terpenoid Tertiary Alcohols and Structurally Related Substances Used as Flavoring Ingredients. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/1750-3841.12407
NCBI. Anxiolytic and sedative effects of extracts and essential oil from Citrus aurantium L. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12499653
NCBI. Treatment with lavender aromatherapy in the post-anesthesia care unit reduces opioid requirements of morbidly obese patients undergoing laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17894152
Science Direct. Anti-inflammatory activity of linalool and linalyl acetate constituents of essential oils. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0944711304701804
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