The entourage effect is very important in the topic of hemp and in order for us to understand the relationships and actions that occur between the components of hemp when they are working together.
There are hundreds of compounds in the hemp plant that have many therapeutic effects and benefits on our bodies.
The most famous compound is THC with CBD. But hemp is much more than just these two cannabinoids. It also produces other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBC, CBN, and many others, which play an auxiliary role in the general effects of a particular strain.
What exactly is the “entourage effect"?
When we use hemp in any form, our bodies absorb hundreds of compounds, each of which has its own unique effects and benefits, and their actions may change in the presence of other compounds.
Due to the effect of the entourage, the stronger therapeutic effects of all cannabinoid compounds are manifested when they are synergistic. That is, a kind of synergy (cooperation) is the interaction of individual factors, under the influence of which the effect is greater than the sum of all individual actions. In other words, this is the use of many components of hemp, which together bring better therapeutic results than isolated cannabinoids. And for an even simpler language - better and faster results will be achieved by mixing cannabinoids with others and other components than using one.
The entourage effect is the benefit
that we get from the combined use of several components
of the hemp plant, instead of one isolated.
The idea of the "entourage effect" began to develop in 1998 when two Israeli scientists Shimon Ben-Shabat and Rafael Meshulam (1*) as the first in their research reports suggested a significant effect on the body of the combined action of cannabinoids found in hemp.
This theory was soon followed by an expansion from Wagner and Ulrich-Merzenich (2*) with new knowledge. They went even further by identifying four main mechanisms of interaction:
- Influence on different systems in the human body.
- Improving the bioavailability (absorption) of active ingredients.
- Overcoming the protective mechanisms of bacteria.
- Minimizing unwanted side effects.
In addition to cannabinoids, the genus of hemp plants contains about 500 compounds. These are about 100 phytocannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBG etc. are phytocannabinoids, cannabinoids that are naturally found in plants), and other important compounds are terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids.
- Flavonoids - phytonutrients that are responsible for the bright, non-green colours that we see in plants. Flavonoids are known to have antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (especially those found in hemp).
- Terpenes - aromatic compounds found in all plants. Common terpenes are limonene (found in citrus fruits) and linalool (found in lavender). Terpenes have a therapeutic effect on the human body. The practise of aromatherapy is based on terpenes. Read more about hemp terpenes here.
Taking phytocannabinoids and terpenes together can provide additional therapeutic benefits.
A review of studies in the British Journal of Pharmacology for 2011 (3*) showed that the combined use of terpenes and phytocannabinoids can be useful in:
Synergy between cannabinoids
THC x CBD
The interaction between THC and CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the best-known entourage effects. While THC, the main intoxicating cannabinoid in hemp, binds directly to the CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, CBD does not bind. Their combination reduces the "proximity" of the binding of THC to CB1 receptors. As a result, we feel relaxed without euphoria. Many experience side effects after taking THC, such as anxiety, hunger, and sedation. Studies in rats and humans show that CBD can help reduce these side effects.
Why combine these two cannabinoids?
- A study conducted at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco found that combining THC and CBD produces more potent anti-tumour effects when tested on brain cancer and breast cancer cell lines than either compound alone.
- In a 2010 study (4*), patients with cancer pain were given either a pure THC extract or an extract containing almost the same levels of both THC and CBD - patients who received a THC / CBD combination reported less pain.
- A 2012 study (5*) in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that CBD “inhibits THC-elicited paranoid symptoms and hippocampal-dependent memory impairment”
This theory of the entourage effect is described in detail in the review “Taming of THC: a potential synergistic effect of cannabis and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage” (6*), authored by Dr Ethan Russo, a neurologist and pharmacologist who has long studied cannabis compounds and how they affect the body. In it, Russo wrote that cannabinoids and terpenes really work together, providing an improved therapeutic effect.
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CBD x CBG
When CBD and CBG are together, they also balance each other. According to Alpha-cat.org, CBD stimulates an enzyme that helps produce and regulate endocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced in the body), and CBG acts directly on our receptors. Also, when using only CBD, it can cause drowsiness, and one CBG can have an energy effect. That is, when used together, the effect is more balanced.
Why combine these two cannabinoids?
- The cannabinoids CBD and CBG have been found to inhibit the bacterial staph infection MRSA
- Phytocannabinoids, such as CBD and CBG, can interact with ECS and induce the production of sensory hormones that increase mood and improve the level of relaxation.
- Cannabinoids can reduce the harmful effects of free radicals and toxins in the body and keep the body at an optimal physiological level.
- CBG has a strong ability to limit the growth of bacterial cells, which may improve CBD activity in limiting the growth of these cells.
- Together, they reduce pain in the muscles and joints, reduce the symptoms of inflammation and other disease states leading to chronic pain and arthritis in the body.
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"A synergistic effect can be achieved if the components of the extract
act on different targets or interact with each other in order to improve
the absorption and increase the bioavailability of one or more substances of the extract."
1* - https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x
2* - http://files.iowamedicalmarijuana.org/petition/2012/Johnson_2010.pdf
3* - https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x
4* - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6334252/
5* - https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0269881112460109
6* - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19211237
Eva is our business manager for Germany and EU. She takes care of our wholesale partners and development of the German market. Her passion, hard-work, and responsibility help the progress of Cannadorra and the hemp industry in general.
Phone: +49 157 541 189 08 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org