The entourage effect has long been a major part of debacles and discussion among scientists and cannabis experts. While some believe that this phenomenon is a collaboration that takes place between the cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. Others simply fail to recognize the synergy of CBD and THC to provide major health benefits.
The entourage effect sometimes referred to as whole plant medicine in simple words means diverse compounds working in tandem with each other to provide medicinal advantages. This also means that isolated compounds work less effectively than components put together. Given the fact that we have so many engineered cannabis products out there. We think it is safe to say that the therapeutic benefits of the plant rest on the premise of the entourage effect.
These days, the entourage effect has been absorbed into a simple term. Particularly after the discovery of the whole plant synergy in 1998. The research suggested that the natural receptors of the body respond to the whole plant extracts better than a single compound. This study also hinted why drugs made out of whole plants receive acknowledgment in the mainstream medical community.
Unfortunately, the entourage effect is often used in daily jargons and it is constantly labeled on cannabis products without prior knowledge. However, the science behind the entourage effect is a complex system of counter-arguments. In this post, we will help you understand the entourage effect under the light of new studies.
What Does Research Say?
So far, a no. of studies have been published in journals and across several platforms. Looking at the research studies published in the past few years we decided to dig a little deeper into the concept of the entourage effect. To begin with, let us look at a study that questions the entirety of the entourage effect. The study reveals how this complex term is thrown around while marketing cannabis products. Whereas, the term has been overrated and overpitched during the marketing process.
In contrast, when we look at the boosting effects of cannabinoids concerning the entourage effect, this is what we can conclude. For starters, when a CBD strain is engineered to produce highly potent plants, it makes up for a good product. But it is believed that THC can enhance the therapeutic performance of CBD products. Not only this, but compounds termed as terpenes also contribute towards a positive effect. To prove the hypothesis stated above we looked at a study on breast cancer. More precisely, an in vitro study tested on animals.
The study suggested that whole plant extracts work more effectively than isolates of THC and CBD in decreasing the growth of cancer cells. The authors of the study went on to say that the presence of THCA and CBG (major extracts of the cannabis plant) accounts for the entourage effect in this case. Additionally, the study also compared the cannabis isolates with the whole plant marijuana extracts. Particularly in the case of epileptic patients. After a few tests, the researchers concluded that whole-plant extract with a smaller dose can work as effectively as CBD isolates.
Also Read: How To Deal With Anxiety Using Cannabis?
Cannabinoids Supporting Role: Is It Real?
So far, we have understood that the friendship between the cannabinoids works to provide the essential therapeutic benefits. However, there’s more to the elements of the entourage effect than preached by the cannabis industry. For instance, the effects of THC and CBD account for the interaction between the natural receptors and cannabinoids. The action occurs in the peripheral region, the central nervous system, and the brain. All these actions occur at the aforementioned receptor sites. In turn, this also states that the entourage effect is real.
What’s more: the entourage effect also helps us learn a little about the effectiveness of THC and CBD, say the authors of the study. But at the same time, the authors argue that it is dangerous to extrapolate from the existing evidence. While some might believe that other chemicals are vital for therapeutic effectiveness. Others simply state facts. And the bad news is, facts reveal that we don’t have supportive documents to show how chemicals improve the working of CBD or THC.
The study continues to say that the role of newly-found compounds such as CBN and CBG is still not clear. The reason behind this is quite clear. You see, certain components are present in abundance while others are scarce. And to fully understand the entourage effect, every compound requires in-depth research. While some molecules play a major role in supporting the action of CBD. Others might simply exist to provide no benefit.
We have to take all these factors into account while understanding the entourage effect. There are new forms of studies out there and each propose a different theory. With so many theories at hand, we cannot help but take cannabis evaluations to get an online medical marijuana card. This helps the patients get an expert view on cannabis before consumption.
Various Nuances Of The Entourage Effect
Cannabis experts and researchers believe that entourage effects rest on different parameters. To begin with, we have the intra-entourage effect – an effect between the cannabinoids and terpenes. For those who don’t know, terpenes help provide taste and smell to the cannabis plant. Next, we have the inter-entourage effect. It is one on one interaction between cannabinoids and terpenes. For example, THC will work in tandem with CBD. On the other hand, one terpene will interact only with other terpenes. While there’s plenty of evidence to support the inter-entourage effect, lack of evidence in case of intra-entourage effect blurs all the lines.
So, Is The Entourage Effect Beneficial?
As we have evidence to show that the inter-entourage effect works, it is safe to say that this effect can highly benefit the cannabis industry. Especially in the case of terpenes. If we take a look at the functions of terpenes, the first two things that come to our mind are taste and scent. Aside from that terpenes change the way cannabinoids bind with each other. As a result, terpenes become capable of altering the effects of cannabinoids collectively.
In such a way, they also prove the theory of the entourage effect. Scientifically speaking, terpenes work in accordance with the effects of cannabinoids. The reason why terpenes have long been known for reducing inflammation, decreasing pain, and alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and depression. The only exception is that terpenes do not work alone. Cannabinoids along with the terpenes produce a powerful effect. And the good news is, they alter the natural functioning of CBD and THC. Hence, revealing that terpenes add more power to the already-supportive functions.
Existing research on the subject of cannabis has people wondering a lot of things. Most of the studies regarding entourage effects definitely help us believe in the supporting structure of cannabinoids. By understanding how phytocannabinoids work together, cultivators can engineer new types of strains. These strains could directly cater to the needs of the patient. For instance, anxiety patients can consume CBD rich strain with little amounts of THC and other components. This, in turn, can cause the patient to feel relaxed without feeling intoxicated.
More vitally. If you seek medical cannabis treatment make sure you consult a doctor or a cannabis expert. You can also get 420 evaluations to receive an online medical marijuana card.