Linalool as a Terpene

Linalool Terpene

Last updated on June 23, 2021


Linalool is a naturally occurring compound in flowers and spice plants. These chemical compounds or terpenes have a unique fragrance and extend their applicability to diverse use. 

For example, usage of linalool in food, essential oils, cosmetics, medicines, flavoring, and agricultural use is common.

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived”

Helen Keller

What is it that brings an instant smile and an exclusive feeling of inner joy when you smell something really exquisite? In my experience, beyond words and expressions, it instantly lifts my mind and transports me to tranquility!

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I am sure you agree with me if I say that our sense of smell has a profound effect on our mental and physical health. In fact, when you fall in love, the very first thing that attracts your mind is the smell of your partner. Convinced? Read on. 

Well, I do love to talk more about the relationship between love and the sense of smell. But in this article, I wish to share with you interesting scientific facts about Terpenes, terpenoids, Linalool as a terpene, its effects, and uses. 

What is a Terpene

The Cannabis plant has been in use by mankind since time immemorial in food, folk medicine, fiber, and a lot more. Now, having agreed on that, it is evident that the cannabis plant contains an ample variety of chemicals and compounds. Among these 140 belong to a broad category of aromatic organic hydrocarbons. 

These hydrocarbons are ‘terpenes’. Therefore the only two elements present in terpenes are carbon (C ) and hydrogen (H). Hence they are volatile and insoluble in water.

The nature of hydrocarbons in the study of organic chemistry is that while all the carbon atoms group themselves together and form the framework, the hydrogen atoms attach to them in different structures.

Most importantly, terpenes are the basic essential building block for a compound, plant hormone, molecules, pigments, and cannabinoids. Historical references on its applicability are far-ranging. Including perfumes, medicine, and flavoring. 

CBD E liquid Pepermint
CBD E-liquid Peppermint

What is a Terpenoid

Terpenes and terpenoids are secondary compounds. Although the two terms used interchangeably, they are different.

The process of oxidation chemically modifies terpenes to ‘terpenoids’. Terpenoids are derived from dried and cured, plants. 

This is similar to what we discussed in the previous post on Cannabinol (CBN) that the degradation of THC in cannabis led to the formation of CBN. 

Now, about its chemical structure. Terpenoids include oxygen in their chemical arrangement. On the other hand, terpenes only contain Carbon and Hydrogen, as mentioned above. 

Furthermore, studies report that terpenoids are a highly diverse group of natural products found in many plants. Therefore its applicability in pharmacology is also far-reaching.

For example:

  • 2014 study reports that several terpenoids are exploited for their value in counteracting cancer, malaria, inflammation, infectious diseases. 
  • Many terpenoids have been associated with industrial applications or natural interactions of plants.
  • Terpenoids such as menthol and Taxol, have high economic value for food flavorings, aromatics, and medicinal applications.

Terpenes and Cannabis

We have understood precisely that terpenes are responsible for bringing the flavorings and fragrances. Hence, they are responsible for bringing the aroma in cannabis. Indeed, this helps in differentiating and identifying the numerous cannabis strains.

Cannabis plant
Cannabis plant

Terpenes are found in high concentrations, particularly in unfertilized female cannabis flower before it is fully aged.

In other words, plant extracts are taken before senescence for preparations of essential oils.

Further, terpenes interact with receptors and neurotransmitters and act as serotonin uptake inhibitors

In short, high concentrates of specific terpenes possess distinct smells and deliver divergent effects. For example:

To summarize on terpenes and cannabis’ reciprocal actions, a 2011 study reports that terpenes serve as inhibitors to THC’s psychoactive effects, leading to a potential opportunity for studying the therapeutic properties of THC. 


Having discussed terpenes and terpenoids, it is now easier to understand about Linalool.

  • A study defines Linalool as a noncyclic monoterpene.  
  • It is found naturally in oils from herbs, leaves, flowers, and wood.
  • Pure linalool possesses a fresh, clean, mild, light floral odor with a slight citrus taste. 
Lavender plant
Lavender Plant
  • It is noteworthy to highlight a unique feature of monoterpenes like Linalool. These plants release Monoterpenes in the atmosphere. As a result, forests emit monoterpenes to form aerosols. Research defines aerosol as particles that suspend in the atmosphere and play an important role in cloud condensation. Therefore, indirectly the role of monoterpenes leads to an improved aerosol formation that could cool the climate.  

Linalool sources

  1. Lamiaceae plants including mint,
  2. Coriander, sweet orange, sweet basil
  3. Cinnamon, rosewood
  4. Citrus fruits
  5. Birch trees
  6. Fungi 

Linalool effects

Broadly speaking, studying the pharmacological effects of linalool as a terpene has captured increased attention and interest in recent times.

Firstly, studies report on its analgesic and anticonvulsant effects. 

Secondly, its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cardiovascular effects in rat models up to 2014 have been studied.

More to add, Linalool’s local anesthetic effects are compared to those equivalent to procaine and menthol.

Its overall therapeutic effects and potential is applied in Dermatology.

Linalool Uses

The applicability of Linalool in Food, pharmaceutical, Cosmetic and Agricultural Industries is far-reaching.

  • Linalool is an essential intermediate in the manufacture of vitamin E, 
  • Studies refer to its anticonvulsant and antiglutamatergic properties when extracted from Ocimum basilicum. 
  • There is a reference to Linalool’s antidepressant and immune potentiating effect.
  • Traditionally, folk medicine uses a wide range of Linalool-producing species. Likewise, in aromatherapy, it cures a variety of acute, chronic ailments.
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Immunity Drops
  • In the manufacture of fragrances for shampoos, soaps, and detergent
  • They also repel mosquitoes by 93%
  • When it comes to looking out for Linalool in the Food Industry, you can find them in almost all alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. Also including hard and soft candies, chewing gum, ice creams, gelatin puddings, meat products, baked food, etc.
  • Usage of Linalool in pet care products is also common.
  • Its usage in household products is quantitatively studied.  Such as liquid wax for marble, ceramic, plastic, and varnished wood floors
  • To sum up, on the uses of Linalool, it is interesting to mention that some plants use their terpenes as a defense mechanism in keeping predators away. And some plants use their aromatic molecules to attract pollinating insects (like bees) that help them reproduce. 

Quick Takeaway

Terpenes like Linalool possess immense properties as they are part and parcel of most products of our everyday life. 

Most importantly, we must be really appreciative of the advancement in technology and medicine. Numerous compounds recognized and identified by science are eventually drawing attention from the pharmaceutical Industry. 

Also, our desperate seeking for sustainable solutions has impacted and altered our outlook on lifestyle, food, health, and medicine.

A broad range of consumer products uses terpenes and terpenoids for manufacturing. But, currently, plants are still the main source. The challenge here is to meet its high cost and low yield of extracts. The use of bio-synthetic terpenoids is a good alternative. 

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Published by AnooradhaUnni

Prefix the following words with ‘fierce’: Independent, creative, honest, and hard working. The outcome defines a typical scorpio rising individual. And I exactly fit into this divine scientific design! With close to two decades of successful stint in the Media industry, I felt I was surely missing a piece in my life puzzle. I took a break and set out to seek the purpose of my life. I travelled, lived out of a suitcase, let things flow into life without resisting, and after five challenging years, I found my rhythm. I decoded myself, and my ikigai! Thanks to Nordic Oil, CBD oil (1000 mg) with Curcumin. A perfect mix of ingredients that is made for my kind of personality. I love to write about Cannabis and Health and try my best to simplify esoteric concepts into simple ideas for life.

4 comments on “Linalool as a Terpene”

  1. Great job, Akeso!
    You took me back to our high school chemistry classes and the periodic table just shuffled in front of eyes for a while. Those were the days!
    Smell plays such an important role when it comes to my preference. Smell leaves a long-lasting impression and that is why rush to shops with appealing aromas whenever we are in malls. Psychology says, you recognize and geta long-lasting impression of someone through their natural smell and you will remember them for a long time to come. Be it good or bad.
    I have been using Linalool for a long time now in the form of Cinnamon and whenever someone is down flu or fever in our house, our grand maa used to give us a tea made of cinnamon sticks, and ginger and one small scoop of canna-butter mixed in it. It used to taste creamy and we would drink it happily.

    I still drink it often and it is one of the best immunity booster too. During the first months of the COVID-19 outbreak, my mother made sure that we are drinking the tea every night before going to bed and never missed it.
    These days I am learning to include more of edibles with CBD into my dad and learning new recipes as well. This proved to be very helpful and I didn’t have to waste a lot of time searching for the right experts to teach me new recipes. I am sure we would be reading a lot of amazing stuff in the upcoming days, as I clearly can’t get enough of the daily dose of your informative articles. 🙂

    Keep it up!

  2. Having my cinnamon tea with CBD oil drops and enjoying reading about the benefits is my favorite activity these days. I feel the more knowledge you gain about your food, the more benefits you absorb. It is helpful in balancing your hormones, cutting fat, lowering inflammation in the body and the benefits keep on getting bigger. I am so happy to be close to nature and it is one of the best immunity booster drink too. I hope you guys are not missing out on the goodness of these herbs, spices, and plant medicine.

    Be well!

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