Geranyl – What Is It? All You Need To Know About Geranyl



jəˈr-āˌnil | noun

It’s a highly fragrant terpene that exhibits an intense floral aroma with fruity notes of banana, peach, and apple. This terpene is found in over 60 essential oils, including lemongrass, geranium, and sassafras. Also known as geranyl acetate, this terpene displays antimicrobial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. 

“This hemp pre-roll smells like fresh flowers; maybe it’s rich in citronellol and geranyl.” 

“I am tasting a distinctive floral, fruity scent in this hemp strain, maybe from the geranyl in it.”

What is it? 

It’s a terpene found in hemp and a variety of essential oils and botanicals. This organic compound has a diverse presence in many natural sources, including almond seed, celery, and coffee. Herbal medicine relies on this organic ingredient, and many other terpenes such as borneol, for pain relief. Traditional Chinese medicine used the effectiveness of oils containing geranyl to treat stomach aches. Eastern medicine used this terpene for centuries to relieve swelling. Research has explored and confirmed the anti-inflammatory effects of this terpene, which are likely the reason behind these benefits.

Everyday uses of geranyl

It’s widely used by the fragrance and food industries. You’ve likely used it in your self-care routine or dining experiences. Often included in bath gels, baby powder, and shampoo, this terpene serves as a fragrance enhancer. You will recognize it through its intense rose or lavender essence. Because this terpene is present in so many plants and herbs, it displays a versatile flavor profile that extends from cinnamon to citrus. The citrus taste of this component derives from its connection to citronellol, which is a primary ingredient of citronella oil. 

How does it smell?

This terpene is a colorless liquid with a pleasant floral or fruity rose scent. Manufacturers use it in rose, lavender, and geranium formulations to achieve a sweet fruity or citrus aroma. 

Therapeutic benefits of this terpene 

The beneficial properties of this terpene have been explored both in isolation and in combination with other terpenes. Research shows that geranyl exhibits analgesic (pain-relieving), antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. 

Antimicrobial and antifungal effects

One 2017 study examined the antimicrobial and antifungal activities of one essential oil with geranyl acetate as a major constituent. The authors of the study found that the oil showed effectiveness against several types of fungi, yeast, and bacteria. In a 2018 follow-up study, researchers revealed that this terpene shows effectiveness against microsporum gypseum, a fungus that can cause skin infections. The studies showed the synergistic effect of this terpene against infection when combined with fluconazole, a common antifungal medication. 

Analgesic effects

One 2013 animal study published in ISNR Toxicology revealed that high doses of this terpene could relieve pain in animals. The authors of the study concluded that this terpene’s potential as an analgesic medication stems from its antioxidant properties. 

Where to find it in hemp

As a minor terpene, geranyl is present in hemp in trace amounts. You can find it in certain hemp strains and some full spectrum and broad spectrum hemp CBD products. 

Final thoughts

Geranyl is a potent monoterpene found in hemp and many other herbs. It exhibits anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.