What Is The Entourage Effect

0085_USA Medical What is the Entourage Effect_02

Opinion by Jake Crossman

For thousands of years, hemp plants have been used to treat a variety of different ailments both physical and mental. As of today, there are over 120 different recognized cannabinoids that are in hemp plants that all work concurrently with one another. Recently, scientists have discovered that when certain cannabinoids are combined and used together, something called “the entourage effect” takes place. What is the entourage effect you may ask?

No, this is not the name of a boy band, or a series of action movies – the entourage effect is a scientific phenomenon that is not only present when cannabinoids are combined but when other drugs are combined with each other correctly as well. 

This blog will tackle the strange science behind the scientific quandary, and will hopefully answer the question: what is the entourage effect? 

What Is The Entourage Effect: Background 

The primary idea of the entourage effect is that plants as a whole are better treatments than an isolated substance from the plant. While certain isolates from plants, specifically hemp plants, are useful in their own right individually – combining a select few cannabinoids from a hemp plant together can provide much more potent effects and all-encompassing relief. 

The reason that the entourage effect works so well with hemp extracts is because of something that it interacts with already in our bodies called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is a complex network of neurons and cells that are a part of every major organ system in the body. Primarily, when cannabinoids enter the body they interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain which are part of major functions in the body such as mood, appetite, and fatigue. When a cannabinoid is introduced into the body it innately interacts with the ECS which is what makes it such an effective way to treat different health-related issues. 

“The entourage effect was first brought up in relation to the endocannabinoid system, with its combination of active and inactive synergists.4 The concept was refined and qualified by Mechoulam: [this type of synergism may play a role in the widely held view that in some cases, plants are better drugs than the natural products isolated from them] (Ramos).”

The use of the entourage effect is something that modern medicine does not have an total understanding of yet because large pharmaceutical companies only isolate certain certain compounds to treat very specific illnesses rather than combining medicines that might work adjacent to one another and combat the root of the issue. There is still a lot of work to be done to make the entourage effect a mainstream way to treat illness. 

What Is The Entourage Effect: Uses 

The current research on the entourage effect is mainly focused on the effect that it has on mood-related disorders such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD. While the effects can be seen in other areas of health such as helping people who suffer from insomnia, or those with chronic pain – the entourage effect is a huge help to mood disorders. 

Thus, the “entourage effect” is the suggested positive contribution derived from the addition of terpenes to cannabinoids (ncbi).”

Terpenes are what make different strains of hemp work, smell, and act differently. For instance, cannabis Sativa has a different effect than cannabis Indica. The cannabinoids that are derived from hemp plants all have different terpenes – thus creating the entourage effect that differentiates each cannabinoid. 

Research shows that combining multiple cannabinoids such as CBG+CBD has drastic effects on the way that Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety Disorder are treated. These two phytocannabinoids have been shown to work, in some instances, better than a traditional SSRI or antidepressant. This is because both CBG and CBD interact with the CB1 receptor in our endocannabinoid system. This receptor specifically helps to regulate the hormone cortisol, otherwise known as the stress-causing hormone (ncbi).

When CBG+CBD enters the body the ECS directs these cannabinoids to areas of need. Unlike taking a pain pill that numbs pain throughout your entire body your ECS can locate exactly where you will need help, whether it is with pain, fatigue, or mood, and direct cannabinoids to those areas. This is why scientists are trying diligently to get major pharmaceutical companies to adopt using hemp because it truly is an incredible plant. 

Therapeutic Effects 

Our early ancestors used hemp in medicinal practice and ceremonies to treat stress and induce euphoric effects. Today, hemp can be used for the same concepts in a controlled environment. Broad-spectrum hemp extracts are extracts that have a 0.0% THC concentration and cannot get the user high, unlike full-spectrum extracts. Broad-spectrum cannabinoids are now being used in holistic health therapeutic sessions to decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. 

When combining cannabinoids such as CBD+CBG+CBN, etc in an oil, or vapor, it can have a calming effect that therapists use to aid in recovery. These cannabinoids are being looked at as therapeutic agents to treat BPD, cancer, and addiction. The entourage effect enhancing these treatments is something that needs to be looked at and studied more closely because the results are clearly there – figuring out what cannabinoids work best together so there can be healthy, holistic, medicines created with zero side effects must happen for the progression of modern medicine. 

What Is The Entourage Effect: Final Thoughts 

Major pharmaceutical companies want to keep isolating specific medicines that will only treat a very specific thing. They want to keep doing this because it is not about helping people, it is a business and the goal of the business is to profit off of illness, and disease. 

Using plants as a way to treat any type of ailment is something that has been around for thousands of years, it was the very first medicine – and in some parts of the world, these healing plants such as hemp are still being used today because of their incredible benefits. 

Just recently, scientists are starting to research and get actual medical proof that these plants, on a molecular level, have the same capabilities as “modern” medicine. In some instances, the healing powers of a hemp plant have more benefits than any pill or prescription you might be given by a doctor. 

The entourage effect is a powerful tool that can be used in many different ways to create hundreds of organic and natural medicines for years to come. It is my hope that the world will once again adopt the power of plants and utilize the entourage effect to its full capability. 

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Works Cited

Ferber, Sari Goldstein, et al. “The ‘Entourage Effect’: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders.” Current Neuropharmacology, Bentham Science Publishers, 2020, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7324885/. 

Sanchez-Ramos, Juan. “The Entourage Effect of the Phytocannabinoids.” Annals of Neurology, vol. 77, no. 6, 2015, pp. 1083–1083., https://doi.org/10.1002/ana.24402. 

 

 

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