'Entourage Effect'. How Cannabinoids And Terpenes Work Together
From a normal perspective on Cannabis buds, most will know that the bud gets frosty with trichomes and can identify that there is THC and CBD within the precious milky looking resin glands. However, when looking from the standpoint of medical research, Cannabis contains over 400 natural components and through research and development, scientists have identified over 66 as Cannabinoids.
What is the Entourage Effect?
Raphael Mechoulam is a heavily decorated scientist who has done copious amounts of research in the field of Cannabis. In 1964, he became the first person to ever isolate THC by itself. There was a famous synthetic form of THC available by prescription named Marinol, used as treatment for patients who suffered chemotherapy, yet many doctors found Marinol a poor substitute for the real thing. Later research proved that all cannabinoids work simultaneously with one another in a therapeutic way, so that isolation of just THC had different effects as when grouped with other terpenes and cannabinoids.
Mixing different cannabinoids resulted in different effects on the brain
During Raphael Mechoulam’s research in the 1960’s, he discovered that for THC to be totally utilised it must be grouped with the other components. The BBC actually did a programme where the TV reporter was given a dose of THC and then a dose of THC and CBD together. The results were that the isolated THC alone gave her a feeling of sadness and feeling low, however when she was given a mix of THC and CBD combined, she becomes very happy and with fits of uncontrollable laughter.
Therapeutic effects of cannabinoids and terpenes
The Stanley Brothers from Colorado broke the doors open for alternative medicine when they created a CBD strain for a girl named Charlotte Figi. The strain which would later be known as Charlotte's Web and the plant extract was used to prevent her extreme level of daily seizures. CBD is now being used to treat a huge list of illness and disease and to help improve the quality of everyday life. CBD is now used as treatment for MS, Crohn's Disease, Parkinson, Diabetes, nausea, spinal injury, Glaucoma, Cancer, Epilepsy, Osteoporosis, depression and many others.
Medical examples of the entourage effect
The spray called Sativex is a perfect example of how the entourage effect works and utilises all of the plants terpenes, as well as cannabinoids and links them together like one big chemistry chain. Sativex is made by GW Pharmaceuticals based in the UK and this is what company chairman Dr. Geoffrey Guy had to say regarding the therapeutic compounds of cannabinoids and terpenes working in harmony…
“More than a decade of experiments revealed that a whole plant extract, bred to contain roughly the same amounts of THC and CBD in addition to the other components in the plant, was more effective in reducing the pain and spasms of MS than a medication made of a single compound. It could be that multiple individual compounds play a role, or it could be due to their interaction in the body; it could also be combination of both.“
Terpenes and Cannabinoids combined
There are 120 discovered terpene profiles discovered in Cannabis and these are the precious aromas and fragrances we associate with the plant. Terpenes are found naturally all over the world and perfume is a prime example of how terpenes are isolated and preserved. For example, if you eat a mango and then smoke Cannabis, the terpenes from the mango you have just eaten will naturally interact with the terpenes present not only in the mango but also the terpenes present in the cannabis. The result is a different high or body stone, depending on the alchemy of cannabinoids working together in your brain.
Let's take a look at some of the identified components:
• Cannabigerol (CBG);
• Cannabichromene (CBC);
• Other Cannabidiols (CBD);
• Other Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC);
• Cannabinol (CBN)
• Cannabinodiol (CBDL);
• Cannabicyclol (CBL)
• Cannabielsoin (CBE)
• Cannabitriol (CBT)
• Nitrogenous compounds (27)
• Amino acids (18)
• Proteins (3),
• Glycoproteins (6),
• Enzymes (2),
• Sugars and related compounds (34)
• Hydrocarbons (50),
• Simple alcohols (7),
• Aldehydes (13),
• Ketones (13),
• Simple acids (21),
• Fatty acids (22),
• Simple esters (12),
• Lactones (1),
• Steroids (11),
• Terpenes (120),
• Non-cannabinoid phenols (25),
• Flavonoids (21),
• Vitamins (1),
• Pigments (2),
• other elements (9).