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The Entourage Effect Part One

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

“We have just scratched the surface and I greatly regret that I don’t have another lifetime to devote to this field (the study of cannabis).” - Dr. Raphael Machoulam

“The phrase {entourage effect} now commonly refers to the compounds present in cannabis supposedly working in concert to create ‘the sum of all parts that leads to the magic or power of cannabis.’"  - Wikipedia

In 1998 the term “entourage effect” was introduced by Shimon Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam.

CBD is all the rage because it can help with several health issues and make day to day life a little easier without harsh side effects. Yay! Count us all in!  But here’s the problem: CBD is only one part of all the parts that lead to the “magic.” Therefore, it is important that, as a consumer, you get a product that has as many of the “parts” as possible

To make matters more interesting/confusing, chemists are now isolating the parts and piecing them back together for specific therapeutic benefits. So, here is the question: What are Mechoulam and Ben-Shabat referring to when they said, ‘the sum of all parts leads to the magic?” In the next few emails we take a deeper dive into “the entourage effect.” What are all the active ingredients and what are their health benefits? There are over 115 discovered cannabinoids, 20,000 discovered terpenes, and 6,000 discovered flavonoids. While cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are found throughout nature, the cannabis plant has over 100 cannabinoids, 200 terpenes, and 20 different flavonoids. The first email is no surprise we look at cannabinoids!  Let's first say that while science and equipment are racing forward at breakneck speed in this industry, consumers can expect to see tinctures spotlighting different cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, or CBC along with CBD (in the near future...wink wink).  Unfortunately, most labs only test for a certain number of cannabinoids the usual ones are: THCA-A, Delta 9THC, CBDA, Delta 8THC, CBNA, CBN, CBD, CBG, THCVA, CBGA, CBDV, CBCA, THCV, and CBDVA. If you don’t want to get geeky for a minute skip ahead. You don’t need to know where/how cannabinoids are created to get the gist, but it’s kinda cool, if you geek-out on this stuff like me! Below is a handy diagram of some cannabinoids.  Cannabinoids all start out as a cannabinoid precursor that turns into CBGA and CBGVA.  From there, they go through a process called: biosynthesis.  In other words, they morph into other cannabinoids as the plant develops via sunlight and other conditions.

This is a list of a few of the progressions of cannabinoids.  For example, you will not find CBN or CBL on here because they do not come from heat (decarboxylation).  They are synthesized by oxidation (degradation). However, they both still come from cannabinoid precursors. As the CBGA and CBGVA changes into other cannabinoids, it doesn’t reproduce. Meaning that different strains and harvests will be higher in different cannabinoids.  For example, if there is more CBD there is less THC and CBC. In conclusion - The following list is why "the parts" are where the magic happens, the entourage effect. This is a short list of a few cannabinoids and what their therapeutic benefits are believed to be.  I have included a list of ALL the cannabinoids found in cannabis because they are believed to either work in conjunction or have therapeutic benefits themselves.  Have a look at this list compared to the comprehensive list of cannabinoids, and you'll see that there's a lot of parts that make up the sum. Please keep in mind that a lot of research is being done and these statements are not meant to treat, cure or prevent any diseases. CBD: Pain, Inflammation, Calms Epilepsy, Anxiety, Depression, Reduce Oxidative Stress, Heart Ailments, Type 1 Diabetes, Help with treating Schizophrenia THC: Anxiety, Glaucoma, Nausea, Pain, Appetite Stimulant, Muscle Spasms, insomnia CBG: Glaucoma, IBS, Huntington’s disease, Colorectal Cancer, Antibacterial, Appetite Stimulant, Muscle contractions in bladder CBC: Pain, Inflammation, Digestive & Gastrointestinal Disorders, Antibacterial, Antifungal, possibly the regeneration of brain cells thus aiding in neurodegenerative conditions CBN: Sleep, Sedative properties, Antibacterial, Appetite stimulant, Delay progression of ALS THCV: Diabetes, Anxiety, PTSD, Alzheimer’s disease, Stimulates Bone Growth CBDV: Seizures, Nausea CBCV: Pain, Inflammation, Depression CBGV: Inflammation, Dermatitis, Inhibition of growth and division of certain cancerous cells

Here’s a quick visual of only the cannabinoids in the hemp plant working synergistically to create the “entourage effect.”  This is a comprehensive list.  If I left a few out please excuse my oversight. Cannabichromene (CBC), Cannabichromenic acid (CBCA), Cannabichromevarin (CBCV)Cannabichromevarinic acid (CBCVA), Cannabicyclol (CBL), Cannabicyclolic acid (CBLA), Cannabicyclovarin (CBLV), Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabidiol monomethylether (CBDM), Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), Cannabidiorcol (CBD-C1), Cannabidivarin (CBDV), Cannabidivarinic acid (CBDVA), Cannabielsoic acid B (CBEA-B), Cannabielsoin (CBE), Cannabielsoin acid A (CBEA-A), Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabigerol monomethylether (CBGM), Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), Cannabigerolic acid monomethylether (CBGAM), Cannabigerovarin (CBGV), Cannabigerovarinic acid (CBGVA), Cannabinodiol (CBND), Cannabinodivarin (CBVD), Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabinol methylether (CBNM), Cannabinol-C2 (CBN-C2), Cannabinol-C4 (CBN-C4), Cannabinolic acid (CBNA), Cannabiorcool (CBN-C1), Cannabivarin (CBV), 10-Ethoxy-9-hydroxy-delta-6a-tetrahydrocannabinol, 8,9-Dihydroxy-delta-6a-tetrahydrocannabinol, Cannabitriol (CBT), Cannabitriolvarin (CBTV), Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ^8-THC), Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (Δ^8-THCA), Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-C4 (THC-C4), Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (THCA-A), Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinolic acid B (THCA-B), Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid-C4 (THCA-C4), Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabiorcol (THC-C1), Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabiorcolic acid (THCA-C1), Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabivarinic acid (THCVA), 10-Oxo-delta-6a-tetrahydrocannabinol (OTHC), Cannabichromanon (CBCF), Cannabifuran (CBF), Cannabiglendol), Cannabiripsol (CBR), Cannbicitran (CBT), Dehydrocannabifuran (DCBF), Delta-9-cis-tetrahydrocannabinol (cis-THC), Tryhydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (triOH-THC) In the next blog, we’ll go over terpenes and their roll in the entourage effect. Until next time, Stay healthy my friends!

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