Geraniol is a terpene found in cannabis with a sweet very pleasant floral aroma similar to that of a rose. In fact, the perfume industry switched from using rose petal extracts to using geraniol in many perfumes because they smell so similar. Although geraniol is known to attract honey bees, it is also used as an insect repellent for mosquitos.
Since the 1990s, geraniol has been talked about in both scientific literature and in publications like Mother Earth Living as an effective alternative cancer treatment. It brings hope to those suffering with cancer.
Early studies on geraniol showed remarkable results. Liver cancer was stopped cold in rats that received 400 micromoles of geraniol in their food daily. Mammary tumors in rodents were also halted with a similar dosage. It was also found that liver cancer in birds could be stopped by giving geraniol. Perhaps the most remarkable results of the early studies on geraniol was to show that it could stop the growth pancreatic cancer in hamsters. A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer at that time was a near death sentence because there was only a four percent survival rate within five years of being diagnosed. These terrible odds haven’t improved much today in fact. Keep in mind that geraniol is a terpene that occurs naturally in cannabis and is present in full spectrum CBD oil.
More recent studies on the effect of geraniol on inhibiting cancer have been just as promising. In a 2005 study published in Biochemical Pharmacology, geraniol inhibited the proliferation of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. A 2016 study published in the Cancer Medicine showed that prostate cancer cells were suppressed by altering the expression of master genes involved in cell proliferation. This causes the cancer cells not to be able to metastasize and spread to other parts of the body, the mechanism by which men with prostrate cancer die.
Geraniol may also have a role in complementary medicine where traditional medical treatments are combined with alternative treatments. In a 2002 study published in the peer reviewed Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, it was found that human colon cancer cells were more sensitive to treatment with 5-Fluorouracil, a drug used to kill colon cancer cells, after the administration of a 400 microM dosage of geraniol. In fact, the anti-proliferative effect of the 5-Fluorouracil treatment was twice as effective when geraniol was used. The mechanism for this effect seemed to be that geraniol prevented the differentiation of colon cancer cells, thereby making them more susceptible to the uptake of uptake of 5-Fluorouracil. Specifically, the geraniol was able to make the cell membrane of the colon cancer cells more fluid. This study was conducted at the Laboratory of Cancer Nutritional Prevention in Strasbourg, France. It was particularly well received because colon cancer does not respond well to chemotherapy.
A review of the anti-cancer effects of geraniol in the International Journal of Oncology in May 2016 shows that several types of cancer cells (lung, liver, breast, colon, kidney, oral, and pancreatic) are made more sensitive to chemotherapy by geraniol. Additionally, geraniol seems to have the remarkable ability to prevent the adaptive resistance against anticancer drugs that many cancer cells develop over time, rendering treatments that were initially effective ineffective over time. The researchers give the strong conclusion that there is no doubt that geraniol is able to inhibit cancer growth in vitro (cancer cells grown in a petri dish) and in vivo (cancer growing inside an animal).
Geraniol also shows great promise in patients suffering from neuropathy, a condition where the peripheral nerves in the feet and hands become damaged. This is a common complication in those suffering with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes so this could potentially help about one-third of the world’s population! In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research, researchers showed that geraniol has a protective effect in rats that are subject to diabetic neuropathy. The authors of this paper also mention that prescription drugs given for diabetic neuropathy fail in 40 to 50 percent of patients who take them. Furthermore, this is the best treatment that modern medicine can offer thus far. Perhaps the geraniol in CBD oil, along with the synergistic effects of the other terpenes and cannabinoids, can offer a reasonable chance at improving and preventing neuropathy in diabetics. The authors of this paper indicate that geraniol confers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help in neuropathy. Keep in mind too that taking CBD oil has no side effects, unlike the prescription drugs given for neuropathy.