Linalool Cannabis Terpene

Linalool Cannabis Terpene

Many are familiar with the major cannabinoids found in cannabis, such as THC and CBD, which have such great efficacy for conditions like depression, PTSD, and epilepsy. But cannabinoids are only part of the picture. Terpenes are like molecular cousins to cannabinoids and serve the primary role of delivering a wide variety of alluring aromas to cannabis flowers, but also offer a wide range of medicinal benefits as well.

In addition to aroma, terpenes deliver sometimes great medicinal value. They have been found to fight cancer and act as an analgesic (pain killer). Like amino acids, terpenes are powerful building blocks within the plant’s physiology that aid in the production of vitamins, hormones, pigments, resins, and — yes, that most prized part of the herb — cannabinoids. Cannabis plants release more terpenes when temperatures are higher (one reason they emit strong odors during the peak of harvest season).

Understanding Terpenes

More than 200 terpenes are available in the cannabis plant, while more than 20,000 exist in nature. They are produced in the small resin glands that appear primarily on the surface of the flowers and sugar leaves of cannabis plants called trichomes. It is estimated that there are nearly 1000 strains of cannabis that have been bred. Each of these features a distinct and unique mix of terpenes, something called a terpene profile.

linalool cannabis terpene

Cannabis and cannabis products — such as concentrates — sold in legal and regulated states often feature a label providing a laboratory analysis that lists the exact percentages of cannabinoids and terpenes. Often, lab techs, budtenders, and pot nerds will discuss particular strains or extracts of cannabis in terms of their terpene profiles and how the overall efficacy of one profile (an individual of a particular strain) compares with other samples or methods of extracting concentrates.

Major terpenes include myrcene, pinene, and limonene. Myrcene, which conveys earthy and clove-like odors, determines whether a particular strain is indica or sativa by its percentage within the plant (further illustrating the important role played by terpenes). Pinene, a terpene also found in evergreens, has been found to increase mental focus and energy and acts as a bronchodilator — making it helpful for asthma sufferers. Limonene, as its name implies, provides an aroma of citrus and is found not only in cannabis, but also oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. It has been revealed to alleviate depression and aid in digestion.

Terpenes are very volatile, delicate molecules that are easily destroyed by heat and oxidation. Popular cannabis concentrates, like BHO and CO2 oil, are mostly void of terpenes. One new extraction method called live resin preserves the terpene profile of cannabis plants. This process involves cryogenically freezing plants immediately after harvest and then using a laboratory extraction process (backyard brewers need not apply) to remove and isolate a more accurate representation of a particular plant’s mix of cannabinoids and terpenes.

What is Linalool?

Linalool, one of the minor terpenes found in cannabis, conveys a floral aroma, sometimes with a hint of spice. More than 200 species of plants produce linalool, including a variety of mints and herbs. More important, linalool serves many roles in relieving a number of symptoms, including pain, depression, seizures, inflammation (similar to limonene), and even insomnia (because it acts as a sedative). Its tranquilizing effects are helpful for those suffering with many types of psychosis.

  • Analgesic: Linalool is helpful for conditions like multiple sclerosis, dystonia, arthritis, post-operative pain, and chronic pain from any source because it is a pain killer. Combined with cannabinoids of the same efficacy, linalool can be a reinforcing agent in a patient’s struggle to manage pain, especially if they are trying to avoid or reduce use of opiates such as Vicodin, Percocet, and Oxycontin.
  • Antidepressant: More than 20 million people in the United States alone suffer from sometimes debilitating depression. This common psychological ailment can negatively affect one’s career, personal relationships, and even physical health. Linalool, when combined with cannabinoids like THC that are also effective in helping alleviate depression, helps form an overall strategy for using cannabis to treat these types of disorders.
  • Anti-Convulsant: Just as chemotherapy is used to treat conditions other than cancer, seizures afflict those with conditions other than epilepsy, such as traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, and hydrocephalus. Most seizures feature a duration of between 30 seconds and two minutes. Typically, they do not cause lasting harm, although they seizures often very taxing, painful, or exhausting for sufferers. Seizures that last longer than five minutes are considered life threatening.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Those suffering from inflammation-based diseases, such as Crohn’s, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, asthma, fibromyalgia, dermatitis, IBS, lupus, and Parkinson’s, among many others, gain benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of linalool (as well as a variety of anti-inflammatory cannabinoids).
  • Sedative and Sleep Aid: It is estimated that 10-30 percent of people suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives, with 10 percent reported to experience chronic and severe sleep deprivation. Cannabinoids like CBN, when combined with terpenes such as linalool, help patients get the sleep they require to maintain homeostasis (balance) and health. Adequate sleep is critical for patients to most effectively fight their condition or disease.

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The  Studies

Ancient cultures have used terpenes like linalool, available in a variety of aromatic herbs like cannabis, for millennia to treat a wide variety of conditions. 21st century research has confirmed the beliefs of these ancient civilizations, revealing strong medical efficacy for a variety of conditions.

A 2002 study published in the Journal of Phytomedicine revealed that linalool is a major anti-inflammatory agent, potentially helping with a variety of inflammation-related ailments, such as cancer, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease. The same research team, in a 2003 study, found linalool to also be a pain killer. These researchers again, in 2006, conducted another linalool study that further collected and examined data from animal models. This study reinforced the fact that linalool is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

2008 research published in the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Journal supported the sedative qualities of linalool. The study estimated that 19 million Americans suffer from anxiety-related ailments, with 16 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 54 being patients of one or more anxiety conditions, which sometimes lead to substance abuse and mood disorders.

This study revealed linalool to be a powerful sedative that delivers real efficacy to those who suffer anxiety disorders and one of their most common side effects, insomnia. Concluded the study:

“Our data…suggested that linalool modulates the central nervous system by producing unconsciousness and degradation of motor movements.”

linalool cannabis

A 2010 study involving mice that employed three different sub-types of linalool found it to be an effective anticonvulsant, meaning it shows significant promise for those who suffer seizures, such as patients of epilepsy and brain tumors. Reported the study:

“Linalool…[was] effective in preventing tonic convulsions induced by transcorneal electroshock in the animals.”

More Research Needed

As with all areas of cannabis science, terpenes like linalool are in desperate need of well funded, robust research in the form of human trials. Until cannabis is dropped from Schedule I and real studies are permitted by reputable research institutions and laboratories, medical professionals and patients must play a guessing game in terms of the types and dosages of terpenes like linalool that are most appropriate for particular conditions.

Will Illinois Expand List of Qualifying Medical Marijuana Conditions?

Will Illinois Expand List of Qualifying Medical Marijuana Conditions?

The state of Illinois is in the process of implementing a highly regulated medical cannabis program for its sick and ailing citizens. The law, similar to those found in other states, allows participants to possess and consume up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis every 14 days. It covers 33 conditions, ranging from Alzheimer’s and ALS to Crohn’s disease, Lupus, and Parkinson’s. It even covers Tourette’s syndrome.

While Illinois’ list of included conditions is longer than that of many other states, patients with serious conditions that they believe are aided by consuming cannabis, but that are not included on the list, have become vocal in the state. In May, the state’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board recommended the inclusion of 11 additional conditions to the Illinois medical program:

  1. Anorexia nervosa
  2. PTSD
  3. Chronic post-operative pain,
  4. Irritable bowel syndrome
  5. Migraine
  6. Neuro-Behcet’s autoimmune disease
  7. Neuropathy (peripheral and diabetic),
  8. Osteoarthritis
  9. Polycystic kidney disease
  10. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  11. Superior canal dehiscence syndrome

The fate of this list of conditions lies in the hands of governor Bruce Rauner, who must decide by the end of August if he desires to expand the state’s new medical cannabis program.

bakerMaureen Bake

Maureen Bake, a nurse in Chicago, recently asked,

“What’s it going to take? We don’t want to wait any more. This is not fair. We should have this choice available to us!”

Bake suffers from both fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. The former is a recognized medical condition in the state that entitles her to medical cannabis, while the latter is not yet approved.

Illinois resident Tom Surman suffers from three life-altering conditions, all of which are on the pending list: Diabetic neuropathy, PTSD, and migraine headaches.

“I don’t want to be a lawbreaker,” said Surman. “I certainly don’t want to be a lawbreaker…and get caught!”

Tom SurmanTom Surman

Dr. Marc Sloan, a pain management physician in Illinois, believes that the additional conditions should be added so that the state’s program can better serve patients throughout the state. Dr. Sloan reported,

“I believe that we should make the drug available to patients that can benefit from it.”

Sloan advocates medical cannabis because he believes it is safer than most conventional pharmaceutical drugs. His primary objection to traditional therapies? “Side effects,” he said. “We have 2013 statistics that report no deaths related to marijuana and we have 18,000 deaths related to prescription opiates.”

Jessica Harshbarger, a medical cannabis advocate in the state, found relief in cannabis after years of suffering with extreme migraine headaches caused by a blood disorder. During a visit to Colorado to visit family, Harshbarger discovered the efficacy of cannabis. Her headaches simply stopped. Regarding her time in Colorado, Harshbarger revealed,

“I didn’t have a single headache the whole trip. I felt fantastic.”

Harshbarger and thousands of others are hopeful that Governor Rauner will approve the list, allowing her to legally consume cannabis to treat her debilitating migraines and maintain an active life with her children. She said she hopes the governor approves the conditions so she’ll “not have to uproot my kids out of school and move away to Colorado or somewhere else. I don’t want to have to be a marijuana refugee.”

Will patients and advocates celebrate a victory because the state decides to include sufferers of the 11 new conditions in its program? Only time will tell. Officially, the conditions are still “under review.”

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