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Cannabinoids and the Entourage Effect
CBD Oil has been gaining momentum in popularity as of late due to its amazing health benefits. CBD is a cannabinoid that originates from the cannabis plant, but it’s just one of the hundreds of cannabinoids that have been identified so far. Studies are underway to investigate the therapeutic benefits behind the other lesser-known cannabinoids, especially when combined with other whole plant parts.
What is the Entourage Effect?
In a nutshell, it’s the health benefits that you get from ingesting the multiple components of the cannabis plant together at the same time. The Entourage Effect is produced from the interaction of the cannabis plant’s cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and proteins combined.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the main components behind the Entourage Effect and why they work so well together:
Cannabinoids The chemical compounds that naturally occur in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Cannabinoids bind to receptors found in the human body’s endocannabinoid system and have been shown to have many therapeutic benefits by helping with a wide range of ailments like pain, anxiety, and even cancer. THC and CBD are the more well-known cannabinoids, but you can learn more about the other common cannabinoids and their unique health benefits they offer as well.
Flavonoids These can be found all throughout nature, in everything from flowers to fruits. Flavonoids may not be unique to the cannabis plant, but the flavonoids found in cannabis known as cannaflavins are. Cannaflavins are responsible for what makes the cannabis plant strain unique – the smell, taste, colors, and overall sensory experience. It also produces a relaxing effect.
Terpenes Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in many plants. It’s the main ingredient found in essential oils. The terpenes found in cannabis produce flavors, aromas, and also have a direct interaction with our bodies. Just like cannabinoids, they bind to the body’s endocannabinoid receptors. When different terpenes are combined with CBD, their therapeutic potentials increase dramatically.
Benefits of the Entourage Effect
Scientifically, we are still in the early stages of being able to fully understand the entourage effect and its benefits. What we do know is that many components of the cannabis plants working together exert a greater therapeutic effect than a single compound alone. One example is the case of Marinol, which is the brand name for a pure synthetic form of THC. Marinol has been available on the market for nearly 30 years, and scientists thought it would have the same effect as a whole cannabis plant. However, they found that patients preferred the whole plant over Marinol instead.
Additionally, several experiments found that whole plant extracts were more effective in reducing pain and spasms in MS. This study illustrates that several terpenoids have been shown to exhibit synergistic effects with cannabinoids when dealing with inflammation, depression, pain, anxiety, sleep, and addiction.
The Entourage Effect has also shown to help with the absorption of cannabinoids. Myrcene, for example, is a terpene that can help ease the symptoms of chronic pain and inflammation. When taken with cannabinoids, Myrcene reduces the resistance of the blood-brain barrier and lets the beneficial chemicals get to where they need to be the most effective for treatment.
Still Much to Discover
We still have a lot to learn about how the Entourage Effect can help unlock greater potentials therapeutically. Future studies hope to increase the likelihood that new healing options are on the horizon. Using whole plant extract may be the key to future medical breakthroughs.