Linalool is a Terpene that Could Replace Opioids in Pain Treatment - RxLeaf
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Linalool is a Terpene that Could Replace Opioids in Pain Treatment

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Purple Buds

Linalool is a purple powerhouse of good medicine that kills pain and dramatically reduces inflammation.

The opioid crisis is all-pervasive and stories of addiction and overdose populate the feeds of social media and mainstream news outlets.  It negatively impacts the economy, communities, families and now, according to new studies, even police dogs. Politicians struggle for a solution. The terpene called linalool might be a solution one right under their prohibitionist noses.

Cannabis activists and advocates have been aware, for some time now, that cannabis is a viable option in, not only in preventing addiction, but also in treating it. Recent research is affirming that cannabis can effectively treat the same symptoms and pain that prescription opioids do, but without the dangerous side effects.

Cannabis can also help patients work through the rigors of withdrawal from opioids by reducing symptoms and treating the anxiety of the recovery process. This is because cannabis contains a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes that help with pain relief, insomnia, mental health, and more.

There is one stand out terpene that can replace some opioid actions, however, and this is linalool.

close up of cannabis with purple leaves

What is Linalool?

Linalool is a terpene that offers a floral or sometimes spiced fragrance to cannabis (and other plants like lavender, grapes, and mint). It is also a contributing factor to the relaxing qualities of cannabis. However, it does so much more than this:

Prevention of Addiction by Replacing Opioids

Last year, a paper published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research found that 81 percent of a 2,897-subject survey said cannabis alone worked better to manage chronic pain than opioids in conjunction with cannabis.

The trend holds up in Canada as well. In 2017, a study in the International Journal of Drug Policy discovered 53 percent of 271 cannabis patients had replaced opioids with weed. Another 2017 survey, also conducted in Canada, found that 80 percent of 500 chronic pain patients substituted their pharmaceutical painkillers with cannabis.

The pain killing power of cannabis does not come from any single cannabinoid. More often that not, the medicinal benefit can be attributed to the action of a terpene. Linalool is a terpene of interest when it comes to killing pain.

Linalool acts as both an anti-inflammatory and a pain killer. It can be used to treat arthritis and cancer pain.  Other conditions for which the healing powers of linalool could be of benefit include: MS, chronic pain, and dystonia. Linalool also has sedative properties that can help with insomnia. Have you ever fallen asleep to the scent of lavender? That’s linalool!

close up of purple bud

Treating Addiction

In 2014, researchers saw a 25 percent drop in opioid overdoses in U.S. states with the implementation of medical cannabis programs. In 2019, a separate group estimated a 14 percent reduction in opioid prescriptions in legal cannabis states.

Opioid addiction has reached epidemic levels in the U.S. In 2017, 49,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses. An additional 2 million Americans are believed to be opioid abusers.

To make way for a successful recovery, addicts need to first grapple with withdrawal. They may need to deal with trauma that contributed to the addiction in the first place. This is a long process that involves counselling and typically medication. Cannabis is a good treatment option for PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

Stressful situations can be triggering for recovering addicts, jeopardizing recovery.  Cannabis that is high in linalool offers a sense of calm that greatly reduces anxiety. It also helps with sleep issues and the night sweats of the withdrawal stage.

Cannabis Strains Strong in Linalool

There are a few strains that are stronger in linalool than others, and these tend to be purple. These include: Purple Erkle, Mendo Purps, Grape Ape, Granddaddy Purple, and Lavender. Not only are these strains absolutely gorgeous to look at, their aroma is out of this world. Purple weed is among the most sought after cultivars.

Linalool is a wonderful medicine that can help battle opioid addiction – through both prevention and rehabilitation. If you have issues with addiction, talk to your doctor about linalool-rich cannabis instead of opioids.

 

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