Terpenes And Their Entourage Effects
Most of the current animal studies involving cannabidiol use synthetic and single-molecule CBD produced in biochemical laboratories. But the whole plant extract includes CBD, THC, and 400 other trace elements. In fact, most of these compounds synergistically interact to create the “entourage effect” as known in science. This effect helps magnify the therapeutic benefits of the individual components of the plant. That is why the medicinal impact of the whole plant is much greater than the total of its parts.
In fact, it is of utmost importance to consider the entourage effect when analyzing the data from animal studies. For example, 100 mg of single-molecule CBD is not equal to 100 mg of the whole plant extract-which is rich in CBD.
Dr. John McPartland reiterates that cannabis is naturally polypharmaceutical and the synergy effect arises due to the interactions between the multiple components of the plant.
Terpenes are a kind of aromatic molecules that easily evaporate – and you can immediately smell them. There are various studies conducted on the pharmacological importance of terpenes – also known as terpenoids. That is why the component is commonly is aromatherapy – a popular holistic healing modality. In fact, the psychoactive flavor and compelling fragrance of marijuana are determined by the most predominant terpenes in the particular strain.
Cannabis contains around 200 terpenes – but only a very few of these components are substantial enough to be “nose worthy.” Some of the predominant terpenes are diterpenes, monoterpenes, and sesquiterpenes – which are categorized by the number of repeating units of a 5-carbon molecule known as isoprene. The terpenes in the marijuana plant have given it an evolutionary advantage. In fact, pungent terpenoid oils help repel animal grazers and insects while others help prevent fungus.
Terpenes are healthy for people as well as plants. Dr. Ethan Russo resealed a report in September 2011 which was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology – it discusses the wide-ranging therapeutic characteristics of terpenes – which are usually lacking in CBD-only products out there.
For example, Beta-caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene found in oregano, black pepper oil, and other edible herbs. It is also available in green leafy vegetables and many cannabis strains. It is ideal for treating certain ulcers in the digestive tract. It also offers great benefits for auto-immune disorders and inflammatory conditions. In fact, the substance directly binds to the cannabinoid receptor known as “CB2.”
Jurg Gertsch – a Swiss scientist – documented beta-caryophyllene’s binding affinity for the CB2 receptor in 2008. In fact, he described it as a dietary cannabinoid since it is the only terpene that can activate a cannabinoid receptor. That is why green leafy veggies are healthy to eat.
Terpenes and cannabinoids help increase blood flow, kill respiratory pathogens, and enhance cortical activity. In fact, the compound has helped destroy MRSA – an antibiotic-resistant bacteria that has taken the lives of thousands of Americans in the recent past. Dr. Russo’s paper reports that cannabinoid-terpene interactions can result in healing of pain, depression, inflammation, epilepsy, addiction, fungal infections, cancer, and various bacterial infections.
The terpenes in marijuana play another important part – terpenes and CBD help buffer THC’s tricky psychoactivity. In fact, cannabinoid-terpene interactions would help amplify the beneficial health effects of cannabis while reducing THC-induced anxiety in the process.
The terpene profile can vary depending on the strain of marijuana. Patients who will abandon a suitable strain for one with a higher content of THC or CBD may not get the best relief if the terpene profile is quite different.