Linalool is instantly recognizable in the smell of burning bud, giving it a flowery, spicy aroma

An alcoholic terpene, linalool is abundant throughout nature in a few hundred plant species.

It should come as no surprise, once you isolate this terpene, that it’s found in many plants which we associate with sweet and spicy flavors and aromas, including:

  • Lavender
  • Cinnamon
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Oregano
  • Laurel – decorative shrubs

…as well as several species of citrus fruits, several tropical and boreal plants, and even a few fungi. Linalool is so common that even if you never touch cannabis, you end up consuming about two grams of the stuff every year through food.

Flavor and aroma:

Most prominently, linalool has an aroma of lavender with a hint of cinnamon, but when present in cannabis it generally smells like a random mixture from your spice rack. In taste, linalool is a bit spicy and herby, but is usually not present in quantities great enough to heavily sway the overall plant’s taste.

What it does:

Linalool has a list of clinically proven health benefits. Such as:

  • Antiseptic – It is antimicrobial against various pathogens, including E. Coli. Spraying it can reduce germs in an air sample by as much as 40%.
  • Anti-inflammatory – At large quantities it reduces inflammation.
  • Anticancer – Linalool inhibits tumor cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

In addition, it may inhibit Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to all that, it has sedative effects and relaxing properties, making it an ideal stress-reliever and anti-anxiety treatment, as well as being indicated as an analgesic, anti-convulsant, antidepressant. There’s even more medical findings where that came from. Before we call linalool a “miracle drug,” however, we should circle back to that list of plants that contain linalool and how much you come in contact with already. Obviously, it takes huge quantities of linalool to yield the more significant benefits, which are usually far more than what you’d obtain from a hit off a vape.

Outside of all the medical applications, linalool is also used as a perfume agent in the majority of perfumed hygiene products such as lotions and shampoos. There is also some small applications of linalool in insect repellent and disinfectants.

Where to find it:

While linalool is present in trace quantities in any cannabis strain, the ones that have the most linalool are:

  • Lavender
  • Grand Daddy Purple
  • Pure Kush
  • Pink Kush
  • Special Kush
  • Amnesia Haze
  • LA Confidential
  • OG Shark

In short, most strains high in linalool tend to be on the relaxing sativa side, contributing a sedative note to the strain’s entourage effect. High amounts of linalool are practically the definition of couch lock.

Toxic advisory:

Though rare, it is not unheard-of for people to be allergic to linalool, particularly in oxidized form. If you have a friend who breaks out in a rash after using lavender soap or gets a sneezing fit near your floral scented candle, they just might be allergic to linalool.

Fun facts:

If you are really down for the linalool and don’t even care how you get it, it’s available by the bottle for pretty cheap, and in fact is even produced synthetically. Meanwhile, if you still want a hemp-family plant that delivers linalool, your best bet is “Humulus lupulus,” better known as “hops,” yes, like the beer brewing ingredient.


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Freelance author and researcher for twenty years, a career spanning two-thirds the age of the World Wide Web itself. Passionate about finding the truth and informing the public. Investigative research for the purpose of consumer awareness. Avid cannabis enthusiast and geek of many talents and interests.


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