When you hear the word “Entourage”, you might think of the HBO show from a while back. It’s a satire about a young movie star whose entourage helps him navigate the tricky landscape of Hollywood. The entourage brought him to greater success.
The Entourage Effect is when cannabis compounds like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) work together. Each brings the other to more tremendous success.
Many of us know how good cannabis is. Marijuana can expand our minds, boost our creativity, help us relax, lead us to profound contemplation – and get us high. In addition, medical marijuana supports good health in countless ways.
There’s been a separation between the medical and the recreational worlds, with CBD considered the “good” part of cannabis and THC the “bad.” At least this is how the two have historically been viewed.
Universal knowledge of THC and CBD already exists. THC is the part of cannabis that gets you high recreationally. THC can help with pain, nausea, and low appetite, such as for HIV/AIDS or cancer patients. CBD also helps with pain and nausea, as well as with seizures and migraines – without any sense of intoxication.
THC and CBD are cannabinoids, which are the components found when cannabis is broken down into its most essential parts. There are over 100 different cannabinoids. Until now, we thought each cannabis component needed to be separated and researched on its own and that each individual cannabinoid could be used for a different purpose.
Now research reveals that individual cannabinoids can be used to support others, enhancing and strengthening their purpose and effectiveness. That’s the Entourage Effect.
How Does the Entourage Effect Work?
The most prosaic example of the Entourage Effect is how (primarily) THC and CBD work together for the average recreational cannabis user. THC produces the high, which can be great, but some people experience anxiety. CBD provides a calming effect. Experienced cannabis users know that finding the right balance of THC and CBD is the key to a great experience. Still, there’s been a lot of guesswork for those who partake.
Researchers believe that the Entourage Effect will dramatically increase the potential of both THC and CBD for medical applications, both by magnifying known effects and by expanding the number of uses.
The endocannabinoid system was only recently discovered. The endocannabinoid system is made up of receptors in the brain and throughout the central nervous system. It got its name while researchers tried to understand how cannabis has so many different impacts on health. The endocannabinoid system helps achieve homeostasis – a perfect balance to help our immune system and other body systems to run well. The compounds from cannabis bind naturally with endocannabinoid receptors – they are a perfect fit!
Cannabinoids, along with other cannabis components like terpenoids and flavonoids, send messages through receptors on the cell’s surface. As a result, they help the endocannabinoid system work better. The human body produces its own cannabinoids, but plant-based cannabinoids help support this communication system.
More Research Is Needed
Legitimate research on the Entourage Effect has been limited. The federal government continues to classify recreational cannabis as Schedule 1 (considered a harmful substance). This may be changing soon, but up until now, scientists haven’t been eager to accept anecdotal evidence as solid. Most of the data in support of the Entourage Effect’s validity has been anecdotal.
Anecdotal evidence is real evidence, and it has been consistent and precise. It supports the reality of the Entourage Effect. It shows that the interaction of different cannabinoids can produce new and unique properties. Even tiny alterations in formulas could be enough to provide medically significant differences.
This anecdotal evidence is a great start and should inspire more scientific research.
Ratios Are Key
Marijuana ratios may be the key to getting the most out of the Entourage Effect.
We know that the medical and therapeutic properties of certain cannabinoids are distinct. For example, THC and CBD act in different ways on endocannabinoid receptors throughout the body. Within the brain, THC binds with the CB1 receptor. Meanwhile, CBD binds with the CB2 receptor while simultaneously preventing CB1 receptors from binding with THC. This means that CBD can decrease some of the impacts of THC, such as anxiety and psychoactivity. The CB1 receptor mainly messages with the brain and nervous system, and CB2 primarily works with the immune system and pain management.
Cannabis products labeled with a ratio indicates the amount of CBD to THC. So if you see 1:1 on a label, it means that for every milligram of CBD in the product, there will be one milligram of THC.
In the future, we should see more complicated ratios that will help us find effective treatments for many different diseases. And the recreational cannabis user will be able to find that perfect, exquisite balance.
See Your Friendly Buddy Boy Brands Budtender
The good news is that the cannabis industry is paying attention to the Entourage Effect. Your Buddy Boy Brands budtender can help you make choices based on different strains with various combinations of cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids.
It’s a good bet that the Entourage Effect will continue to develop in both the medical and recreational arenas. Each person’s own endocannabinoid system is unique, so it may take some experimentation to find your perfect balance. We may not be gorgeous young movie stars (at least, not yet), but we can have our own Entourage Effect to support us in finding better health and a better high!