Cannabis: The Monoterpene Alcohol Called Linalool

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Cannabis contains quite a few valuable chemical compounds that are present in other plants in the kingdom. One of them is linalool, a volatile monoterpene alcohol. Because of its properties, linalool has proven to be extremely useful to humans and is seen as having much untapped potential.

Linalool has powerful aromatic characteristics. It exhibits a floral odor with hints of spice, wood, and citrus. As stated, it naturally occurs in a variety of plants, including edible ones, such as cinnamon, lavender, citrus, and apples. It is also used as a food additive to enhance flavor.

Linalool’s aroma profile also makes it highly sought after for use in cleaning and hygienic products. You can find it in soaps and in many of the cleaners regularly found around homes and businesses.

You can also find linalool being used extensively by the cosmetic industry in products like perfumes and colognes, lipsticks, bathing products, aftershaves, and many other  products.

Biosynthesis of linalool. PadbaeCC BY-SA 4.0.

Additionally, research has shown linalool to be helpful in treating a variety of diseases and ailments. In rats, linalool has been evaluated as a treatment against edema. [1] When the rats were given a dosage of 25 mg/kg body weight, the edema was significantly inhibited after 3 and 5 hours. Edema was also further inhibited after rats were given higher doses of the compound. [1]

Linalool is also of interest in the fight against cancer. It has been shown to be detrimental to various types of cancer cells, including stomach, skin, lung, and cervical cancers, without causing adverse effects against normal cells. [2]

Other possible health benefits may include sedative effects on the central nervous system. [2] Human studies utilizing inhalation of lavender (Lavendula) essential oil high in linalool have demonstrated anxiolytic effects. [3,4]

Linalool also has a strong antimicrobial effect against certain pathogens, including Candida albicans. [2]

Linalool in Cannabis

Cannabis companies are using linalool as an additive to their tinctures, edibles, vaping mixtures, and topicals. However, although linalool occurs naturally in cannabis [5], it’s volatile nature means it can easily be lost during the cannabinoid extraction processes used by many operators. Therefore, some cannabis companies use other plants, such as lavender, to obtain and therefore, supplement linalool. Although it can be obtained synthetically, there is a preference in the marketplace for the use of naturally occurring substances, be they terpenes or cannabinoids.

Img Source: Rebekka D from Pixabay


  1. Peana AT, et al. Anti-inflammatory activity of linalool and linalyl acetate constituents of essential oils. Phytomedicine. 2002;9(8):721-726. [Impact Factor: 4.18; Times Cited: 330]
  2. Kamatou GPP, Viljoen AM. Linalool – A review of a biologically active compound of commercial importance. Natural Product Communications. 2008;3(7):1183-1192. [Impact Factor: 0.468; Times Cited: 52]
  3. Koulivand PH, et al. Lavender and the nervous system. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:681304. doi:10.1155/2013/681304. [Impact Factor: 2.064; Times Cited: 92]
  4. Vaziri F, et al. Effect of lavender oil aroma in the early hours of postpartum period on maternal pains, fatigue, and mood: A randomized clinical trial. Int J Prev Med. 2017;8:29. doi:10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_137_16. [Impact Factor: n/a; Times Cited: 10]
  5. McPartland JM, Russo EB. Cannabis and cannabis extracts: Greater than the sum of their parts? Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics. 2001;1(3-4):103–132.doi:10.1300/j175v01n03_08. [Impact Factor: n/a; Times Cited: 197]

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