If you’re reading our blog, there’s a great chance you’re already down with cannabis’ proven ability to combat stress and anxiety, among its many other benefits.
While much of this ability comes from cannabinoids like THC, CBD and over 100 others, they’re not the end of the story. As research demonstrates, much of the cannabis plant’s mysterious power comes from terpenes, an important way cannabis influences our bodies and our minds.
A large family of fragrant hydrocarbons—a fancy way of saying “essential oils”—terpenes give different strains their distinctive flavors and aromas. And they’re not unique to cannabis, either: Today’s star terpene, linalool, has an instantly recognizable scent: Lavender. And just like that herb has been used to fight stress for centuries, cannabis containing linalool can help you melt away stress and anxiety. Here’s how.
What Does Linalool Do For Us?
We humans have known for many years that inhaling the scent of fresh lavender has a subtle but noticeable calming effect. That’s why it’s used in herb blends, scented pillows, salves and foods for eons. Nor is this effect limited to humans; one rodent-based study found that even rats can benefit from linalool’s stress-reducing properties. (Hey, rats deserve to be chill too!)
We ingest linalool from other sources, too, including such herbs as thyme and coriander, and even fruits like papaya and cranberries. In fact, most people consume about two grams of it a year. That’s a good thing in our book, because the terpene is associated with a number of health benefits, including the following.
As you’re probably aware, stress and depression are often closely related. In one study, when researchers gave mice linalool, they found that it helped reduce behaviors associated with depression: When they were faced with seemingly impossible situations, the mice would continue to try and escape rather than giving up.
Like many of the terpenes found in cannabis, linalool has been shown to have antibacterial properties (one reason the Romans included it in their pharmacopoeia. More recently, a study demonstrated that linalool has the potential to fight infections naturally, an important ability in an era of drug-resistant microbes.
Again, along with many other terpenes, linalool helps moderate pain and inflammation. It’s believed that it interacts with our central nervous system, helping regulate the production and absorption of brain chemicals such as adenosine and glutamate.
In addition, linalool utilizes its own mechanism of pain control by diminishing the strength of acetylcholine, a brain chemical associated with controlling muscle contraction and movement. In one study, patients who had undergone gastric banding surgery found that it helped decrease in their reliance on opioid painkillers.
A Therapy for Alzheimer’s
Although it’s way to early to call linalool a “cure” for this neurodegenerative disease, it does demonstrate some promising effects. One study suggests that linalool could slow and even reverse some of the cognitive impairments associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
If you have further thoughts or questions about linalool, don’t hesitate to drop us a line; we’d love to help you out and hook you up!