There are literally hundreds of different compounds that can be found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are numerous, but the two most popular are THC and CBD. Both of these cannabinoids produce healing effects, but THC is the one that will get you high. There are also compounds called terpenes. These are fragrant oils that provide marijuana with its amazing, unique scents. The entourage effect is the interactive synergy of these cannabinoids and terpenes which produce the wide-array of medical benefits.
Isolates vs. Whole Plant Therapy
The entourage effect is a prime example of why THC-isolates or CBD-isolates may not always be the best choice for treating your condition. While it is true that isolating these two cannabinoids can be extremely helpful, this process can potentially decrease the cannabinoids symptom-treating abilities.
Whole plant therapy utilizes the entire plant, using the full spectrum of therapeutic compounds, instead of just one. Smoking cannabis flower is the main way to experience the entourage effect. Combining multiple cannabinoids and terpenes, or leaving them in their natural state, will allow them to work together, and even accentuate their healing capabilities.
Every Compound Matters
You may be wondering why you’ve only ever heard about THC and CBD. “If the other cannabinoids are so important, why don’t I know about them?” This is because on their own, they may not be so important. THC and CBD isolates are the only two that can produce significant effects. The other cannabinoids however, greatly influence the effects of these two main compounds.
You may also be wondering why terpenes matter so much. “Does the smell of marijuana actually play a role in its medical properties?” Why yes, it does! There are over 200 terpenes in the cannabis plant, all of which have different aromas. Our built-in (endocannabinoid) system, responds differently to each terpene. Terpenes play a role in how quickly cannabinoids can enter the bloodstream. The interaction between cannabinoids and terpenes can increase the medical benefit, significantly.
The Medical Possibilities are Endless
There are perhaps thousands of medical possibilities waiting for us. With so many cannabinoids and terpenes to work with, the combinations and therefore, medical possibilities, are endless!