The Entourage Effect
Cause and effect of the entourage effect.
Any self-respecting music or movie star travels with an entourage. When it’s time to get to work, they have a large group of people who all bring something different to the party to make sure the show goes on exactly as planned.
And the biggest star of the cannabis world, THC (tetrahydrocannibol), and main sidekick CBD (cannabidiol) have an entourage of their own. Essentially, THC and CBD are both phytocannabinoids, or what are often simply called cannabinoids.
While THC and CBD are by far the most well-known chemicals in play, cannabis plants actually feature up to 120 different cannabinoids. They also feature other smaller organic compounds called terpenes, or terpenoids that work in conjunction with THC, CBD and other cannabinoids to keep your body, and more specifically your endocannabinoid system in balance.
Terpenes also play another important role in making the cannabis experience as joyful as it can be. They are aromatic molecules that find their way to the nose. They give particular cannabis strains their unique fragrances and flavors.
Getting the whole band together.
The entourage effect is a theory that suggests THC, CBD, other cannabinoids, terpenes and terpenoids all work better when taken together. Research supports the idea that additional therapeutic benefits can be gained from taking a fuller spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes at the same time.
Anxiety, pain, inflammation, epilepsy, depression, nausea, fungal infections, and the side effects of chemotherapy are all conditions that appear to benefit from the combination of cannabinoids and terpenes. The big takeaway is that terpenes are really helpful for people, just as they are for plants.
In the same way terpenes are essential for the cannabis plant to thrive, you can take advantage of their benefits as well. So, the next question becomes, how can you start to integrate this great example of organic symbiosis yourself?
An entourage of your very own.
Bringing the entourage effect into your life can happen in a number of different ways, depending on your ultimate goals for your cannabis use. For starters, some people experience side effects when taking THC that don’t lead to ultimate happiness for them. Anxiety, hunger, and lethargy are all possible, but multiple studies suggest CBD may help reduce unwanted effects. If you have consumed too much THC, many people report that even a small dose of CBD helps tremendously.
The bottom line of the entourage effect is really about experimenting with a combination of THC and CBD. And combining these two all-star cannabinoids begins with figuring out your own personal ratio that works best. And that depends on your specific goals. What are you hoping to achieve?
If you’re utilizing cannabis solely for the psychoactive effects of THC, then CBD may actually detract from the feeling you are looking for. If you’re fighting cancer and struggling with nausea, you will have a different ratio of THC to CBD than someone with muscle pain issues.
Finding your ideal ratio could also begin with a conversation with your personal physician. He or she will be able to provide a recommendation for a proper ratio based on your current health and goals. And, like any time you’re trying a cannabis product for the first time, it’s best to take it low and slow. Start with a low dose, and be sure to wait for a few hours to feel the full effects.
For THC, a good low dose to begin would be 5 milligrams (mg). For CBD, 5 or even 10 milligrams (mg) would be a great place to start. It’s also important to note that many people aren’t interested in THC, and CBD can be beneficial on its own. A CBD isolate product will have zero THC, but a full-spectrum CBD may contain trace amounts of THC. Full-spectrum CDB products achieve some of the goals of the entourage effect while eliminating nearly all THC from the compound.
Lastly, the entourage effect is still a theory. As with all medicinal cannabis products, the research continues, and more research is required. Stay tuned to the Joyitude Blog for future updates as we continue to monitor the science of happiness.