If, when you hear the word ‘entourage’, you conjure in your mind images of a cadre of morally-bereft, wannabe, showbiz types from Queens then you’re just like me. But that’s not the kind of entourage we’re talking about today. No, the kind we’re talking about is specifically related to plant medicine. More specifically ‘whole plant medicine’.
Though most of our medicines these days comes from plants, it’s rare that we ingest them in their natural form. Mainstream medicine is inundated with pills, serums, balms, and a whole host of other things that though derived naturally have come a long way since that point. But there are those that believe backed by a growing base of evidence that suggests these medicines would have a stronger influence upon the body if they were ingested in their plant form.
This is the basis for what’s now popularly known as ‘whole plant medicine’.
The Entourage Effect is basically the idea that when the components of a cannabis plant interact together they provide a greater effect than any one of those components would by themselves. This is most effective when they’re in their natural state. Pretty straightforward, yeah?
In plants, including marijuana plants, there are hundreds of natural components. When we bring multiple compounds together we can end up multiplying the effect of these compounds. This is what’s called a ‘synergistic effect.’ By working together they can amplify each components effect by a far greater degree.
What’s great about this phenomenon is that it can manifest itself in a myriad of ways. As you would expect the different compounds when mixed together produce various effects on the body. There’s a fascinating study done by Ethan Russo, a neurologist invested in studying the effects cannabis compounds have upon the body. In this study, he published details how these same compounds, like terpenes, work together to influence our body.
Here are a few examples of the kinds of things terpenes could potentially help you experience according to the study. One of the terpenes, pinene, ostensibly improves cognition and memory affected by THC. Working together pinene, myrcene, and caryophyllene may contribute towards relief from anxiety. THC working with CBN (another cannabinoid) brings about sedated feelings of relaxation.
These are just a few of the examples but you get the idea. The synergies that come about from whole plant therapies are only just being understood. Really, we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. In a few years time, we could have infinitely more knowledge to hand and lives may be changed.