Linalool Terpene Effects

cannabis leaves and lavender flower

The many different cannabis strains on the market owe their distinctive scents to various components, including chemicals called terpenes. One such terpene found abundantly in cannabis, as well as numerous other plants, is linalool. 

Linalool is linked to lavender, and is responsible for the flower's sweet, subtly citrus aroma. The terpene's potential benefits stretch far beyond its pleasing fragrance - research shows that linalool has calming properties, potentially offering relief from anxiety and depression. In cannabis, alongside other relaxing terpenes like myrcene and humulene, linalool might further enhance this tranquility.

Thanks to its calming aroma, linalool is often included in many commercial items, from skincare to cleaning supplies. But let's explore the terpene linalool, its potential uses and benefits, and why people may not universally love its scent.

Key Takeaways

  • Linalool is an aromatic compound found in cannabis, lavender, cinnamon, and over 200 plants in nature. 
  • Linalool is a common addition to many skincare and food products, and most people consume at least 2 grams of linalool per year through everyday products.
  • Research has shown linalool has potential usefulness in fighting inflammation and reducing anxiety.

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What is Linalool?

Linalool is a monoterpene that can be discovered in several herbs and flowers, and it's just one among over 200 distinct terpenes present in the cannabis plant. Linalool and other terpenes contribute to the plant's distinctive aromas and many therapeutic properties. Linalool is frequently present whenever cannabis strains have more floral, spicy, or even woody notes.

Besides serving as a primary terpene in cannabis, linalool also plays a significant role in many other areas. Linalool's scent and properties are often incorporated into personal care products and food items, such as lotions or teas. The essential oil infuses cosmetics, perfumes, and other skincare products with a delightful scent that relaxes the senses and produces a sense of tranquility. Not only that, linalool reportedly offers antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory advantages.


Most people associate linalool with lavender and its signature scent, but the terpene is also produced by over 200 other plants like citrus, mint, rosewood, basil, bay leaf, coriander, and even cinnamon. It's so prevalent in nature that most people, even if they don't use cannabis, consume more than two grams of linalool by eating fruits and spices.

Linalool's aroma offers its own benefits. One's sense of smell is strongly linked to the brain's memory and emotion centers, which helps reinforce the causal relationship between smelling the lavender terpene and relaxed, pleasant moods. While the smelling process itself may contribute to the linalool's effect, emerging research now suggests that terpenes directly act on the brain by modulating the neuron's behavior.

Potential Benefits

Current scientific studies suggest that linalool could offer an exciting range of potential health advantages, especially when it comes to cannabis' entourage effect.


Research indicates that linalool possesses potential pain-alleviating properties thanks to its effect on inflammation. It works by elevating adenosine levels in the brain, which helps minimize the signaling of cells in the spine that communicate pain messages. 

Interestingly, another study found that patients who had recently undergone surgery and were exposed to vaporized linalool in the post-op room showed a 50% reduction in morphine needed for pain management than those who weren't exposed to linalool. 

Stress relief & anti-anxiety

Research into animal models found that linalool has a promising ability to boost mood, reduce stress, and improve overall immunity. One study found that mice exposed to the aroma of linalool experienced reduced anxiety and fewer depression-related behaviors. Another found that exposure to linalool helped protect rats from the damaging physical effects of traumatic stress exposure.

Linalool's relaxing properties make it a valuable tool for achieving restful sleep. In the above rat study, the authors hypothesized that linalool protected the rats from stress by activating the body's parasympathetic system, which aligns with its "rest and digest" processes.


Cutting-edge research has also started associating linalool with potential Alzheimer's disease treatment and prevention. According to a study conducted in 2016, researchers found that the anti-inflammatory characteristics of linalool could revive some of the cognitive and emotive functions often impaired by Alzheimer's

The same study noted that linalool played a role in reducing the accumulation of Alzheimer's defining markers – brain plaques and tangles – which contribute to cognitive decline.


Linalool has also been studied for its potential antimicrobial properties. Several studies have explored the terpene and found that linalool could inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and fungi, suggesting its possible use as a natural antimicrobial agent.

Potential Risks 

Linalool is admittedly not for all noses, and this extends beyond just its scent. Some people have reportedly become highly allergic to certain nature-derived elements after extended usage, and linalool is included in this phenomenon. 

Ingredients like lavender and chamomile, which contain linalool, are commonly found in organic cosmetics. And as natural beauty products become more mainstream and on-trend, they have brought concerns surrounding product labeling and user safety to the forefront. 

For some individuals, linalool can trigger skin sensitivity issues, potentially irritating or damaging sensitive skin. Though lavender is celebrated for its calming effects, it has now developed a reputation as a potent allergen, causing rashes, burns, and allergic reactions. 

One piece of research suggests that allergies to linalool are increasingly common in the UK, which has prompted European drug regulation authorities to either mandate its labeling or ban it outright in certain products. Those susceptible or predisposed to conditions like eczema and psoriasis may want to steer clear of skincare products enriched with linalool. Fragrance-free and gentler alternatives could be the safer route.

Which Cannabis Strains Have Linalool?

There aren't many cannabis strains rich in linalool; it's seldom present as one of the top three terpenes in a strain. Most often, it ranks lower in a strain's terpene profile, overshadowed by the significantly more abundant terpenes, myrcene, and limonene.

The below represents a selection of strains where linalool stands out as a distinct terpene:

  • Lavender
  • Amnesia Haze
  • LA Confidential
  • Do-si-dos
  • Mazar I Sharif
  • Scooby Snack
  • OG Shark
  • Dark Matter

The Bottom Line

Linalool, a beloved terpene sought by cannabis lovers for its enticing floral, lavender-like fragrance, is celebrated for its potential as a pain-relieving, stress-relieving, relaxation-promoting tool. It’s typically found in small concentrations in cannabis, but it contributes to many strain’s unique scents and healing properties. However, those with sensitive skin might want to confirm whether they might have an allergy to linalool before using it in skincare products, as it can sometimes cause rashes or adverse reactions.

Disclaimer: None of what is published on is intended to be professional medical advice. Consult your health practitioner regarding any medical treatment or diagnosis.

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