Linalool Terpene: Effects and Benefits

Linalool is best known for its calming and anxiety-relieving effects.

Dr. Abraham Benavides is an international cannabis science advisor, health coach, and full-tuition merit scholar of the GW School of Medicine. Abe pioneered and published first-author research with the Cannabis...

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Linalool terpene found in lavender plants
Illustration: Layla Selestrini / CBD Oracle
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You’ve probably heard of people using lavender aromatherapy or essential oils in a spa, salon, yoga, workplace, or just at home to relax.

A main active ingredient in them is a floral terpene called linalool, which is particularly known for relieving stress, anxiety, and more.

Key Takeaways:

  • Linalool is one of the eight most common terpenes in Cannabis and lends a flowery, lavender aroma.
  • The potential effects of linalool include symptomatic relief of anxiety, depression, pain, insomnia, restlessness, and agitation.

Characteristics of Linalool

While the name is not familiar to most people, you’d recognize linalool by its signature, clean aroma of lavender, flowers, and roses, with hints of lemon and woodiness.

Aside from being one of the eight most common cannabis terpenes, it’s abundant in many common natural sources including: 

  • Lavender
  • Sweet basil
  • Purple basil
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cinnamon
  • Coriander
  • Mint
  • Bergamot Oranges
  • Frankincense 

Linalool helps plants like these communicate with each other and their environment. By releasing linalool into the air, plants can attract a wide range of pollinators, including bees and moths. 

Some pollinators even have a distinct preference for linalool. Simultaneously, linalool can also repel insects, pests, herbivores, and pathogens like fungi and bacteria. 

Cannabis Strains High in Linalool

There are many chemovars, or strains, that are typically high in linalool. These include:

  • Purple Kush
  • White Cookies
  • Valley Fire
  • Fire OG
  • Diamond Girl
  • Trainwreck
  • LA Confidential
  • Conspiracy Kush
  • Jilly Bean
  • Jack Cleaner 2
  • Jack Skellington
  • Nordle 
  • Nurse Jackie 

Don’t worry if you can’t find one of these nearby. If you ask your local dispensary staff, they can help you find linalool-rich strains they have in stock using their certificates of analysis, or COAs.

Linalool’s Effects

Linalool is best known for its calming and anxiety-relieving effects.

People enjoy using linalool because it helps them relieve stress or fall asleep at night. It may also increase THC’s high.

All in all, you may find that linalool’s effects provide:

  • Reduced anxiety
  • Antidepressant effects
  • Increased work productivity
  • Stress reduction
  • Sleepiness
  • Calming
  • Pain relief

Therapeutic Benefits of Using Linalool

Linalool hits many key receptors that cause these effects and overlap with potential therapeutic benefits.

For example, the same receptors that relieve anxiety (GABA) can also be anticonvulsant and sedating in increasing doses. This means it could help with seizures and sleeping issues. 

Most of the evidence is limited to animal studies, but several clinical studies showed OTC Silexan® was as effective for anxiety as paroxetine, an antidepressant.

Linalool also shows significant pain-relieving activity and anti-inflammatory properties in animal models as well as small clinical studies. The linalool in lavender aromatherapy was able to reduce the need for opioids immediately after surgery in a small set of patients.

Beyond these, linalool may be:

Side Effects

High-dose linalool in Silexan® may cause fatigue and gastrointestinal symptoms in 1-10% of people, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Bad breath
  • Burping

Isolated linalool can cause eye, skin, and respiratory irritation. It may also trigger an allergic reaction in susceptible people. Avoid ingesting undiluted, concentrated forms of linalool. Natural Cannabis is much lower in linalool than lab-made formulations.


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