In recent posts, we explored the subjects of THC and CBD. Today, we’ll take a closer look at these cannabinoids and their respective contributions to cannabis consumption. The best indication of the entourage effect is observed between CBD and THC.
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the most renowned cannabinoid found in marijuana. But before we delve into THC, let’s first examine its acidic form, THCa. In this form, THC doesn’t bind to the appropriate receptors to induce the intoxicating effects of cannabis. It’s only converted to THC upon heating, such as lighting a joint or baking cannabis for edibles, which eliminates the “a” and allows for the mind-altering effects when consumed. In small doses, THC has exhibited analgesic and relaxing properties, as well as a calming effect.
Cannabidiol, equally crucial for comprehending the effects of cannabis, starts out as CBDa. Although it doesn’t have the intoxicating effects of THC, it would be misleading to say that CBD has no psychoactive qualities. In reality, CBD wouldn’t make a significant impact on our physiology, as in its anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety effects if it lacked these properties. CBD interacts with a variety of receptor types in the body to produce various possible therapeutic outcomes. While it isn’t a panacea, CBD has helped numerous individuals alleviate symptoms with its potent calming and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cannabis compounds are impressive on their own, but combined, they create a beautiful harmony known as the Entourage Effect. This synergistic relationship between cannabis chemistry, sometimes explained as 1+1=3. Meaning, you can’t reduce the joint effect because they are doing things together than they can’t do alone – jointly the individual components are greater than its parts. For example, some MS patients, are prescribed Nabiximols, an FDA-approved botanical spray that provides a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD. It’s prescribed to alleviate several symptoms including neuropathic pain and spasticity, and has been a very successful medication for a lot of people.
The entourage effect isn’t only about enhancing effects like pain relief, but it also lessens the impact of some undesired effects. CBD modifies the way THC binds in the brain, leading to less paranoia-inducing/intoxicating effects. This is especially useful for individuals who find THC discomforting in isolation. The higher the CBD concentration in the product, the less intoxicating it becomes.
While debated in the past, recent research suggests that THC and CBD do have a synergistic effect. While we need further research to fully understand the entourage effect, remember that cannabis consumption typically involves more than one compound.
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– Caitlin Davis, Ben Eirdosh