Citronellol is a terpene found in some strains of cannabis, as well as in essential oils and other plants such as citronella, basil, eucalyptus, ginger, catnip, and Cymbopogon citratus (a plant with antihypertensive properties). It is commonly used as a fragrance in perfumes and as a flavoring agent in food and drinks. Early research suggests it may be a viable neuroprotectant and anticonvulsant and may help open up constricted airways.

“The citronellol in this candle helps keep the bugs away at night.”

“This joint smells like a rose because of all the citronellol in the strain.”

What is citronellol used for?

Citronellol is a widely used terpene in fragrances, especially those emulating a rose scent, or other general floral fragrances. It may be added directly to certain soaps, detergents or other scented products. It is also used in the food industry as a flavoring agent in non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages alike, and other food products like candies, gums, ice creams, and even baked goods. 

Early research on citronellol suggests some potential health benefits. It may be neuroprotectant: In a recent human cell study, researchers studied various essential oils to test their effectiveness as a neuroprotectant and found that of all oils observed, citronellol was the second-most effective fourfold. Other studies suggest it may have anticonvulsant properties as well.

CitronelIol may also help with constricted airways. In a recent study on rats, citronellol inhibited the contraction of rat trachea when concentrations of citronellol reached sufficient amounts, suggesting citronellol has inhibitory properties on airway smooth muscle cells. Researchers suggest this could mean inhaling citronellol-rich essential oils may have therapeutic effects for those with constricted breathing.

How to use citronellol

Citronellol is generally considered safe to ingest for humans as a food additive. It has been found in some orange juices, lemon peel oils, bilberry, guava, nutmeg, green tea, star anise, and even plum brandy. 

You can also inhale it by using essential oils rich in citronellol in a diffuser. To use it in cannabis, look for cannabis products that test high in citronellol.