People with medical or recreational interest in cannabis quickly become acquainted with terpenes as they research the characteristics of cannabis products. The steady legalization of marijuana across America and other countries has energized the field of pharmaceutical marijuana research, leading to the discovery of many medical uses for the cannabis plant. But its impressive influence over the way we experience the world remains a subject of speculation for most.
There aren’t too many mysteries that have eluded the scientific community for longer than the so-called “magic,” or powerful effects of cannabis. In 1998, the phrase Entourage Effect was coined by Israeli scientists S. Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam to introduce a novel concept: that cannabis compounds with no appreciable effect in isolation are able to affect the human endocannabinoid system when combined with other components.
The endocannabinoid system is made up of receptors that interact with the chemicals governing your mental and sensory functions. Nerve receptors CB1 and CB2, mainly found in the gut and brain, interact with anandamide (ADA) and 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG) cannabinoids. The variables in this interaction tremendously affect the central nervous system, influencing everything from mood to appetite and memory.
The Entourage Effect helps to explain why synthetic formulations of CBD or THC are not as effective as medical marijuana use. As an example, patients reported that cannabis consumption eases the weight loss caused by adverse effects of chemotherapy, while patients using pure THC medication reported less relief and psychotropic side effects.
Taking the Entourage Effect into account, there has been plenty of medical value in the combination of cannabinoids with terpenoids. The study of this combination is rapidly uncovering new data and findings on the benefits of plant-based medicines, which use cannabinoids and terpenoids working in tandem to provide relief for a variety of medical disorders.
While the effects of isolated terpenes are notable, the Entourage Effect showcases the possible amplification of terpene benefits when combined with CBD or THC. Cannabinoids and terpenoids work with impressive synergy and augment each other’s effectiveness, creating a potent healing solution in the form of a delectably fragrant cannabis product.
Examples of the Entourage Effect in real use cases is the usage of Myrcene terpenoids in medical marijuana; the interactive synergy between the two use terpenes to reduce resistance in the blood/brain barrier. Multiple terpenes are also used in combination; as an example, the combination of Pinene, Caryophyllene and Myrcene are frequently used to treat symptoms of stress and anxiety disorders.
Terpenoid/cannabinoid synergism has been a breakthrough for the cannabis industry as a whole. Outside of the pharmaceutical industry, recreational availability has gone through the roof with the legalization of marijuana in several states. The combination of cannabis and terpenes is now out of the shadows and in the media mainstream, with products readily available online.