Raphael Mechoulam, a chemist, initially described the entourage effect in 1998. He explained the notion as a synergistic interaction of cannabinoids and terpenes in the body to optimize the plant’s medicinal and cognitive characteristics. While some scientists reject Mechoulam’s assertions, research indicates that cannabinoids and terpenes actually interact with the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to generate the individual properties of each strain.
In this article, we’ll go over cannabis terpenes and cannabinoids and how they react in the body to enhance the benefits and distinguish each strain. What called “entourage effect”.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE TERPENES?
Terpenes are a group of 200 chemical compounds found in hemp and cannabis. Terpenes, often known as the “messenger” chemical, are responsible for the plant’s scent, color, and medicinal effects. Terpenes also help plants develop, protect themselves, and survive by attracting pollinators and repelling predators.
Terpenes, often known as “essential oils,” are classified into three types based on the amount of carbon atoms per molecule:
Terpenes are responsible for strains smelling, tasting, and acting differently from their counterparts. When the terpene linalool is found in cannabis, it produces a lavender scent and has a soothing effect. Other rich terpenes, such as myrcene, limonene, pinene, and caryophyllene, give a variety of different fragrances and applications.
Soon we will learn how terpenes are manifest entourage effect.
CANNABINOIDS? WHAT ARE THEY?
Cannabinoids are active plant cannabis components such as CBD and THC. Cannabinoids do not have an odor, yet they have considerable health advantages as well as psychotropic potential. To create their effects, more than 100 major and minor cannabinoids bind to receptors in the brain, neurological system, immune system, and throughout the body.
The most significant psychoactive cannabinoid in the plant is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC also helps with sleep deprivation, discomfort, and nausea. The most powerful non-psychoactive cannabinoid is CBD. The anti-inflammatory, anti-seizure, and anti-anxiety effects of this legal hemp chemical are well documented. Hemp and cannabis also include a slew of small yet significant cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, and THCOa.
Soon we will learn how cannabinoids are manifest entourage effect.
TERPENES AND CANNABINOIDS: HOW DO THEY WORK IN THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM?
The Endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of cell receptors and signaling molecules found throughout the body that govern a variety of tasks such as:
- Immune reactions
- Pain relief
The ECS is also the most comprehensive neurotransmitter system in the body. It relies on signaling molecules known as “endocannabinoids” that bind to receptors in the brain system, immunological system, and endocrine system to work effectively. Endocannabinoids are naturally produced by the body. Unfortunately, some individuals are weak in these necessary substances. Fortunately, cannabis-derived cannabinoids and terpenes function similarly. Cannabinoids and terpenes aid to alleviate disease and promote balance by binding to ECS receptors.
Cannabinoids predominantly interact with two ECS receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mostly found in the brain and nervous system. THC binds to these receptors to provide the pleasurable and psychoactive effects. CB2 receptors are found mostly in the intestines and the immune system. CBD interacts with these receptors more strongly in order to modify immune cell functioning and prevent inflammatory disorders.
Until recently, scientists considered that only cannabinoids could bind to ECS receptors. Most people did not believe terpenes played a significant influence. However, with Mechoulam’s theory and further study, specialists are discovering how important terpenes are to the overall effects of the plant.
WHAT ROLE DO CANNABIS TERPENES PLAY IN THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT?
According to the Entourage Effect, the plant as a whole, including terpenes and cannabinoids, has more potent therapeutic benefits than a single cannabinoid could alone. To validate the notion, researchers from the University of Arizona Health Sciences put the plant’s pain-relieving qualities to the test.
“We’re interested in the concept of the entourage effect,” said John Streicher, Ph.D., a member of the Arizona Health Sciences Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center, “with the idea being that maybe we can boost the modest pain-relieving efficacy of THC (with terpenes) without boosting the psychoactive side effects, so you could have a better therapeutic.”
Streicher and his colleagues discovered that cannabis terpenes such as alpha-humulene, geraniol, linalool, and beta-pinene mirrored THC’s pain-relieving qualities. Terpenes also boosted the effects of cannabis in a broad spectrum solution without enhancing the euphoric experience.
STRAINS OF CANNABIS AND THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT
Every cannabis strain (or named cultivar) includes a specific combination of terpenes and cannabinoids that work together to generate different features via the Entourage Effect.
Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) is a potent, uplifting, and cerebral hybrid that contains roughly 20% THC. Caryophyllene, humulene, limonene, and myrcene are the major terpenes in GSC, giving it an earthy-herbal scent with underlying overtones of spice and citrus. Girl Scout Cookies, according to user feedback, induce satisfaction, relaxation, exhilaration, and upliftment. People have also reported using the strain to treat pain, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and Parkinson’s disease.
Greenhouse Seeds created Super Lemon Haze from a hybrid of Lemon Skunk and Super Silver Haze to provide a bright and energetic high. With a herbal and floral aroma, SLH includes 19 percent THC and dominating terpenes of terpinolene, caryophyllene, myrcene, and ocimene. Super Lemon Haze is also said to assist with pain, inflammation, sleeplessness, and depression.
Blue Dream is a high-potency strain that is a hybrid between the Blueberry and Haze lineages. Blue Dream has a woodsy aroma with spice and citrus notes, as well as terpenes including myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene, and limonene that dominate. It is a biphasic cannabis strain, which implies that large dosages provide sedative effects. Blue Dream is well-known for its ability to cure gastrointestinal disorders, discomfort, nausea, and sleeplessness.
THE END RESULTS
The Entourage Effect and the science behind this remarkable plant fascinate us here at ACS Laboratory. That is why, each year, we create new methods for testing for additional cannabinoids and terpenes. We now reliably measure 22 cannabinoids and 38 terpenes, more than any other laboratory in the eastern United States. Our Certificates of Analysis capture each strain’s complete terpene and cannabinoid profile, allowing brands and customers to select the best product for the desired benefits.
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