Terp Talk: Linalool
In this ongoing series, we shine a spotlight on the natural compounds that help distinguish popular cannabis strains.
Categorizing cannabis goes well beyond classifying strains into indica, sativa, or hybrid. As cannabis becomes increasingly legalized and (re)credited with numerous medical benefits, there has been an insurgence of information about its genetic makeup. Much of this research delves into terpenes – essentially, the biological compounds that give plants their essence.
First, let’s refresh your terpene knowledge.
Because there are hundreds of known terpenes (with more to be discovered?) and they show up in low concentrations within the cannabis plant, it’s difficult to pinpoint an individual terpenes’ exact likeness. However, based on reactions with other compounds – often regarded as the “entourage effect” – we’ve begun to recognize general attributes in terms of smell, flavor, and effect.
If you’ve ever noticed the crystal-like bulbs on a bud of cannabis, you’ve seen a terpene in the wild! They’re produced in the trichomes of the plant and each strain has its own unique profile, consisting of multiple terpene compounds in varying amounts.
Now, what about linalool?
You’re likely more familiar with linalool than you realize; it’s found in many popular plants – lavender, jasmine, basil, thyme, and mint…to name a few. It carries recognizable characteristics when present in cannabis.
Aroma: Linalool is noted for its lavender, floral smell with a hint of earthiness.
Flavor: It generally has a light, citrusy taste with slight notes of tropical sweetness.
Effects: Linalool is known to produce a relaxing, sometimes sedative feeling. It’s worth noting here that some speculate that this effect is due to our subconscious’ association of a lavender aroma (or other flowers) with a sense of calm.
Uses: Because of its soothing nature, linalool can help reduce insomnia, aid in sleeping disorders, and ease anxiety. It’s also revered for its anti-convulsant and anti-inflammatory effects, and increasingly showing positive signs for relieving symptoms of Alzheimer’s and some cancers. Furthermore, because of its reaction with serotonin receptors in the body, linalool is often regarded as a natural anti-depressant.
What are some popular strains with linalool?
While there are many, some well-loved strains that contain linalool to varying degrees are: Amnesia Haze, Jenny Kush, Ice Cream Cake, OG Shark, Blue Face, Runtz, Do-Si-Dos, and Mazar I Sharit.