Marijuana and the Entourage Effect

Photo Credit: MaxPixel

Photo Credit: MaxPixel

Marijuana has a plethora of cannabinoids and terpenes, and while they’re known to have their own unique medicinal benefits when isolated, it’s when they work together that something truly amazing happens. For example, the two most well-known cannabinoids, THC and CBD, work to balance each other, so that CBD can reduce any negative side effects that THC might cause while boosting its positive outcomes. CBD has been show to counteract some of the negatives associated with marijuana, like tachycardia, sedation, intoxication, and other psychoactive effects.

Terpenes, which are the cannabis compounds responsible for the scent and flavor of marijuana, can also play a powerful role in the entourage effect. These chemicals can actually morph how cannabinoids bind to their receptors, and in doing so alter the effects that are produced. On their own, terpenes can affect sedation, pain relief, and provide antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and anti-anxiety effects. When working alongside cannabinoids, however, terpenes could work in tandem to treat acne, MRSA infections, and psychiatric illnesses.

In recent years, pharmaceutical companies have dedicated more time researching the combination of different cannabinoids rather than isolating them, pointing to the powerful effects that whole plant cannabis can offer. It is important to understand what cannabinoid and terpenoid combinations can produce the most effective relief for your symptoms, and our app can help! Remember to document your regimen daily in order to monitor which dose works best. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. This post does not represent an endorsement on behalf of Leaf Science.

10 Facts About Cannabidiol (CBD)

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Cannabidiol is one of the better understood cannabinoids of the over 113 known cannabinoids that exist in cannabis. It’s gaining in popularity for its ability to treat a wide range of conditions without producing psychoactive side effects, but how well do you know the cannabinoid? Let’s look at the facts!

Because CBD does not act on the same receptors as THC, it is able to provide a myriad of health benefits without producing the psychoactive high that marijuana is known for. This makes the cannabinoid appropriate for use in pediatric treatment and makes it desirable among health professionals and patients who want symptom relief without any side effects. According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, CBD is able to act as an antiemetic, anticonvulsant, antipsychotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-tumoral and anti-cancer, anxiolytic and antidepressant, and an analgesic.

Although CBD can provide all of these benefits, one of the strengths of cannabinoid is that it is able work alongside other cannabinoids and terpenes to provide maximum relief through what is known as the “entourage effect.” Through this, CBD can actually buffer against the negative side effects of THC, so that patients can experience the therapeutic benefits of that cannabinoid with less severe side effects. CBD’s safety profile is so high that people have even started using it to treat ailments in their pets. Depending on dosage, CBD can either increase wakefulness among users, or provide sedative effects that facilitate sleeping. Larger doses help people stay asleep longer, while small doses help stimulate energy and help people wake up.

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

The Unknown Science Behind the “Entourage Effect” of Chemicals in Marijuana

Photo Credit: Merry Jane

Photo Credit: Merry Jane

Medical marijuana is known to produce symptom relief for a myriad of conditions and illnesses, but these effects are largely dependent on the chemical makeup of the particular strain chosen. This is because the cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis interact with each other in what has been deemed the entourage, and variations in the amount of these chemicals will produce a different effect. Many researchers believe when these compounds work together, they can enhance the therapeutic properties of cannabis and buffer against the psychoactive effects.

That said, the entourage effect is still relatively unknown due to federal scheduling that prevents significant marijuana research. Other researchers like neurobiologist and cannabis researcher Margaret Haney isn't fully convinced, and says more information is needed as to whether or not the entourage effect really exists. She explains, “The lay public has really taken on the notion of the entourage effect, but there’s not a lot of data. The cannabis field can say anything and it does. I’m not against marijuana. I want to study it carefully. We know it can affect pain and appetite but the large majority of what’s being said is driven by anecdotal marketing. These guys are really trying to make money.”

This information has been provided by Merry Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Terpenes and the "Entourage Effect"

Photo Credit: Derrylwc (Wikimedia/http://bit.ly/2qoIauV

Photo Credit: Derrylwc (Wikimedia/http://bit.ly/2qoIauV

We know about how cannabinoids interact with each other through whole-plant cannabis therapy in what is known as the "entourage effect," but how does this relate to terpenes? There are around 200 terpenes that have been discovered in cannabis, and Dr. Ethan Russo discussed the wide-ranging therapeutic attributes of terpenoids in the September 2011 issue of the British Journal of Pharmacology. One example is the terpenoid beta-caryophyllene, which found in cannabis as well as leafy vegetables, herbs, and the oil of black pepper. The terpene binds with the CB2 receptor and is known to be gastro-protective, anti-inflammatory, beneficial for treating some ulcers, and a therapeutic compound for combating auto-immune disorders. 

Terpenoids and cannabinoids both increase blood flow, enhance cortical activity, and kill respiratory pathogens. According to Dr. Russo, cannabinoids and terpenoids can work together to "produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections." Additionally, terpenes and CBD can work to buffer the effects of THC, so that patients can experience the benefits of whole-plant cannabis therapy without experiencing psychoactive side effects. 

To learn more, read this article on Project CBD. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

The Ensemble Effect, Not the Entourage Effect, Says Dr. Grinspoon

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

When it comes to understanding how terpenes and cannabinoids interact with one another to provide therapeutic relief, most patients are familiar with the "entourage effect. In a time when legislation appears to favor isolating CBD from the other components of marijuana, it is important to fully understand the entourage effect, in which CBD, THC and phytocannabinoids, and terpenes work better together when relieving symptoms. Harvard professor Dr. Lester Grinspoon, however, thinks this interaction is improperly named, and that the entourage effect would better be described as a "therapeutic ensemble."

Dr. Grinspoon explains, "I think that the ensemble is a better idea than entourage, because the word 'entourage' implies on item moving in this direction - and it has company... and it is [the item] that is responsible for that activity, and the others just go along. That's entourage." He continues, "The word 'ensemble means that these are the three things that are required for the best therapeutic relief, but you can manipulate the percentage of two of them." At CannaBest Medical, we believe monitoring and tweaking the percentage of cannabinoids in your marijuana strain could make all the difference in discovering optimal relief. As medical marijuana testing advances in the industry, this process will only get easier. Please document the THC and CBD content of your medical marijuana dose daily in your journal, so that you can discover symptom relief and anonymously help others who are searching for the same thing!

This information has been provided in part by High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Finding The Optimal Therapeutic Ratio Of THC And CBD

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

When dosing medical marijuana, patients should understand that there therapeutic efficacy of a strain depends on the cannabinoid and terpene composition of the plant. The most easily identifiable and the most well-known therapeutic cannabinoids are THC and CBD, and some reputable dispensaries will test for these compositions, making it easier for a patient to select a medication more precisely tailored to his or her symptoms. Finding the optimal ratio of these cannabinoids can be difficult at first, and our app can help by allowing you to input specific data regarding your regimen, including the cannabinoid composition of your strain, until you discover the dose that works best for you. Until then, here is some information about THC and CBD to help inform your decision when choosing a composition for beginning your therapy. 

The cannabinoid THC is known for its analgesic, anti-emetic, and anti-inflammatory properties. CBD, on the other hand, is helpful for its anti-psychotic, anti-seizure, and anti-anxiety properties. The two cannabinoids work together in what is known as the entourage effect to enhance therapeutic relief while reducing negative side effects. Some research regarding THC:CBD research comes from the pharmaceutical industry in their developments of marijuana based medications, and they found a 1:1 ratio of THC-CBD in extracts was preferable to isolated compounds when it comes to targeting pain and muscle spasms and enhancing sleep. THC delays motor deterioration and increasing long term survival in patients who suffer from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), but research has shown CBD is able to work in conjunction with THC to enhance these effects. THC and CBD each are cytotoxic and anti-angiogenic agents, making them both powerful players in combating cancer symptoms.

As more research is completed on the relationship between different cannabinoids and terpenes, and as standardized testing becomes more developed within the medical cannabis industry, patients will be able to determine the strains that work best for alleviating their conditions. This information has been provided by Medical Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

What Are Cannabinoids?

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Here at CannaBest Medical, we can't stress the importance of understanding and documenting your cannabinoids in order to discover your optimal medical marijuana dose, but those who are new to medical cannabis may not understand exactly what a cannabinoid is. Cannabinoids are considered the primary chemical components of cannabis, and they are responsible for creating the therapeutic relief patients desire.

There are over 111 cannabinoids in cannabis, and these chemical compounds cause reactions as they enter the body and interact with the endocannabinoid system. When cannabinoids eventually enter the brain or immune system, they seek out different CB receptors into which they fit perfectly in what is called "binding affinity." The most well known cannabinoids are THC and CBD, and both have medically beneficial properties for targeting different chronic illnesses and symptoms. Cannabinoids may target different symptoms, but they can also work together synergistically to provide therapeutic relief for the same symptom in what is known as the "entourage effect." 

Remember to document the cannabinoid composition of your lab-tested medical marijuana in our app as you journal on a daily basis, so that we can gain a better understanding of how cannabis combats specific symptoms and so you can keep track of what works for you! This information has been provided by Whaxy and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Why CBD Is Not Enough: The Entourage Effect

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Photo Credit: Whaxy

As the medical marijuana movement gains traction, many states want to enact laws that allow patients to reap the medical benefits of marijuana without allowing the possibility of getting stoned. These laws normally legalize High CBD or CBD-Only strains of marijuana, but isolating the cannabinoid does not always offer sufficient relief. This is because of something called the "entourage effect," in which a synergistic relationship occurs among the cannabinoids and terpenes found in the marijuana plant and enhances the therapeutic outcome. According to the National Institutes of Health, when cannabinoids and terpenes are allowed to work together, they can effectively treat "pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, [and] fungal and bacterial infections."

Research shows CBD is effective in reducing seizures, but the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) claims the percentage of medical marijuana patients who use the plant to treat seizure disorders is relatively low (only two percent in states like Rhode Island and Colorado). The group also reports, "the vast majority of [all medical marijuana] patients have symptoms that benefit from strains of marijuana that include more than trace amounts of THC." While some patients and children have benefited significantly from the use of CBD-only oils, there are many children and patients who would experience greater relief from the use of both CBD and THC in the treatment of their symptoms. 

Whaxy explains in further detail why CBD alone is not enough, and offers parental testimonies for children who found CBD-only treatments were unsuccessful. Read the full article here

Study Shows Link Between Medical Marijuana and Seizure Prevention

Photo Credit: Marijuana Investor News

Photo Credit: Marijuana Investor News

With all of the claims made by parents of patients who suffer from various seizure disorders or by the patients themselves regarding marijuana's ability to reduce or eliminate seizures, it almost seems common knowledge that the plant has anti-seizure properties. That being said, this anecdotal evidence is only as good as the clinical research that is able to support it, and unfortunately United States drug laws severely limit this research. 

Now, a recent analysis performed by doctors Daniel Friedman and Orrin Devinsky seems to back these claims. The doctors reviewed several clinical trials involving cannabinoids and realized there was potential for treating epilepsy. Friedman explained, "When you look at the combined weight of animal data, it appears that cannabidiol appears to have the most consistent anti-seizure effect." In addition, Epidiolex, which is 99% CBD, reduced seizures by 50% or in 2/5 of all patients in one study, or eliminated seizures by 50% in 137 of 213 patients in another study. 

Even though the current clinical research on medical marijuana is lacking, many medical communities and research foundations are coming out in support of removing barriers and allowing access to the plant for further studying its effects on epilepsy. Even the Epilepsy Foundations expresses an interest in exploring CBD's ability to treat seizure disorders. 

Many states on a local level have enacted CBD-only laws, but these laws seem insufficient, as research suggests cannabinoids work better supplementing each other in what is called the entourage effect. On a national level, the United States still has a long way to go to improve access to medical marijuana and remove barriers to researching it's therapeutic properties. 

Visit Marijuana Investor News to read more about these recent studies that back the claims that  marijuana is an effective way for reducing or eliminating seizures.