One of the buzz words in the cannabis industry right now is the “entourage effect.” Simply stated, the theory is that combining cannabis compounds creates a different physical or psychological impact than a single compound on its own.
The two most commonly known cannabinoids, psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD)—have garnered the most attention among researchers and consumers, but more than 100 other cannabinoids have been identified so far. Terpenoids/terpenes, are found in many other plants including spices, herbs, trees and fruits, and are what give cannabis strains their distinctive smells and flavors.
Research shows cannabis compounds influence each other’s mechanisms and not just the famed CBD-THC combo (where CBD acts as an antidote to the paranoia and anxiety that comes with being too high), even small amounts of terpenes (fragrant oils that give cannabis its smell) can alter the effect.
What this all comes down to is full plant medicine vs using specific parts of the plants as medicine. Some are pro-entourage effect stating that our body needs as many cannabinoids as we can get, utilizing the full spectrum of therapeutic compounds cannabis has to offer is most beneficial. Others who aren’t so in favor believe, it’s easier to treat specific issues with isolated cannabinoids as their theory is the consumption of all cannabinoids can invoke the complete opposite of the desired result and believe the future lies in tailored cannabinoid formulations.
No matter how you use the cannabis plant, it’s all about learning what’s best for your body and being open to trying new things. The synergies cannabis provides are endless and as legalization happens, more definitive research will follow. As always, it’s up to the consumer to do their research and remember no one ever died from cannabis use so have fun experimenting!