This is the fourth installment in our weekly series, “Let’s Talk Terpenes,” published every Monday. For more information, read the introduction to this series, “Let’s Talk Terpenes: A Guide For Medical Marijuana Patients.”

Island Sweet Skunk, Jack Herer, and Skywalker OG are just a few strains known to be potent in the sweet and flowery terpene known as Nerolidol. As such, it delivers a subdued and nuanced floral aroma with notes of fruity citrus, apples, and rose.

Nerolidol, also known as peruviol and penetrol, is a naturally occurring sesquiterpene alcohol found in the essential oils of many types of plants and flowers. There are two isomers of nerolidol, cis and trans, which differ in the geometry about the central double bond.

Trans-nerolidol is a secondary terpene found in many strong aromatic strains like Green Mountain followed closely by Sour Kush and Tangilope. 

Trans-nerolidol has been traditionally used for its relaxing, slightly sedative effects.

Trans-nerolidol has been extensively studied for a variety of therapeutic uses as well, particularly for its anti-parasitic, antifungal and anti-bacterial properties. These findings are consistent with the traditional use of orange oil as a natural disinfectant. Research has shown that trans-nerolidol can reduce Leishmaniasis infection by 95%. Likewise, research has found that it significantly inhibits the growth of four species of Babesia parasites.

Another study found that trans-nerolidol can effectively reduce skin lesions caused by the fungal infection Microsporum gypseum. Perhaps most remarkably, studies have shown that the introduction of trans-nerolidol actually sensitizes infectious bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli to antibiotics. In other words, trans-nerolidol can work together with antibiotics to destroy bacterial pathogens more effectively.

A more recent study from 2013 focused on nerolidol’s effects on the hippocampus of mice. The researchers discovered that the terpene displayed sedative effects in all animals subjects. Again, more research is needed on humans to validate these findings, but it is not unreasonable that the same effect would still apply.

Many botanicals contain high levels of trans-nerolidol, including lemongrass, jasmine, tea tree, ginger and neroli (an essential oil distilled from bitter orange flowers).

Whether you’re seeking a sense of relaxation or an aid for sleeplessness or anxiety, knowing how much nerolidol is in your medicine can play a key factor in selecting the ideal strain. Feel free to email us to assist with any questions you may have.