When you think of lavender, what comes to mind? I think of beautiful purple flowers, calming cosmetic creams, relaxing bath products and sweet desserts. All these attributes help describe this week’s highlighted Terpene, Linalool. Wikipedia states Linalool is found in over 200 plant species mainly from the families Lamiaceae (mint and other herbs), Lauraceae (laurels, cinnamon, rosewood), and Rutaceae (citrus fruits), but also birch trees and other plants, from tropical to boreal climate zones. The terpene is so common that the average person consumes up to 2 grams of Linalool each year. Though this amount may seem high, Linalool doesn’t accrue and passes through the body fairly quickly, unlike other cannabinoids that get stored in fatty tissues in the body or the brain.
Linalool has a high evaporation point of 388 degrees Fahrenheit (198 Celsius), which is why when using the decarb method, you are left with that herby floral taste in your extract. You’ll find that dank bitter cannabis taste along with those floral notes, are the other evaporated terpenes that were affected by the high heat of the decarboxylation. This is why we want to look at the Cedeno Method (passive decarb) when creating our extracts for cooking. At 155 Fahrenheit, we can still achieve those floral tones, while maintaining more of the other terpenes and natural plant compounds. By adding lavender flower into our butter or oil with fresh cannabis flower, we can start to build a beautiful depth of flavor with our extract, right from the start.
Linalool has calming and relaxing therapeutic effects. This is why we see so many moisturizers and bath products using lavender, it’s aroma is calming. When we add the other compounds of cannabis, like THC and CBD, the entourage effect of the full plants enhances how our body feels. Picture a hot bath after a long day at work, relaxing right? Now dim the lights, add some candles, a bath bomb, and put on a little Kenny G. That right there is the entourage effect. All these other little parts enhance our experience of that hot bath. Medically Linalool, helps with insomnia, stress, depression, anxiety and pain. The potential of linalool in food offers a huge range of potential for proving cannabis as a superfood. Terpenes are unique on their own but when we add cannabinoids to them, this is where we start to see promising opportunities.
I love to finish menus with a dessert using Linalool as the key terpene. There are so many different options we can look at botanically, by building a base of supporting flavors that will complement our key ingredient. I recently made a CBD infused Lavender Panna Cotta where I was able to add Linalool to the cream after it had cooled before pouring into my moulds. This is the perfect dessert to finish a menu that’s full of big flavors where you may have used THC at the beginning. The Panna Cotta itself is light, sweet and offers just enough where you wish you had just one more bite. The lavender gives that delicious floral flavor where the added Linalool reacts with the cbd to create that zen like state of calmness. Lastly the CBD is going to help balance the THC from the previous course. The entourage effect is the goal when we use cannabis in food and Linalool offers some of the best examples of where we already use terpenes to achieve this in beauty and selfcare.