The best analogy I’ve heard regarding the entourage effect is, “THC is your gas pedal, terpenes are your steering wheel.” What this means is THC alone, while it will get you high, can be a shallow high. If you’ve ever had the chance to take a dab of some THC Crystalline or “Wizard Stones” then you may have experienced this. While you will get high, it seems unguided and almost disconnected. This is where terpenes come into play. Terpenes are unsaturated hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants and are the driving force behind cannabis and the effects it has on your mind and body. They are also what gives cannabis its unique smells and flavors.
Now, THC and terpenes, although they play the main role in your high, they aren’t the only ones in this Entourage. Cannabis contains a wide variety of cannabinoids. While THC and CBD are the most commonly known cannabinoids, there are several others that play a smaller, but equally important role. Most cannabinoids are not psychoactive, meaning their purpose is NOT to get you high. However, they do have a wide variety of medical benefits, and combined with THC and terpenes, create the “Entourage Effect”. What this means is that all the cannabinoids and terpenes work together to give you the affects you feel after consuming cannabis. For example, cannabis containing higher amounts of the terpene Myrcene will typically be heavier on the body. Strains with higher concentration of Linalool or Caryophyllene are often great for stress relief, while cannabis higher in the Limonene terpene usually are more euphoric and energizing.
Aside from terpenes, cannabinoids like Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabichromene (CBC) and Cannabinol (CBN) play a very important part in the entourage effect. The term cannabinoid refers to one of a number of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. They each play a unique and important role. THC and CBD are the most commonly known cannabinoids, and for good reason. THC, aside from providing the psychoactive reaction, aids in pain relief, anti-nausea, anti-spasmatic, and an appetite stimulant. CBD has a lengthy list of
symptoms it alleviates. Aside from being an anti-inflammatory pain reliever, it is said to reduce seizures, relieve anxiety, reduce blood sugar, and kill or slow the growth of bacteria. CBD also acts as an antiemetic, a cancer cell inhibitor, a treatment for Psoriasis, antipsychotic, anti-spasmatic, and promotes bone growth. A lesser known cannabinoid; CBG acts as an appetite suppressant, has anti-inflammatory properties, inhibits growth of cancer cells, and also acts as an antibacterial and bone growth stimulator. As THC ages, it converts to a cannabinoid called CBN. CBN can be a pain reliever and a sleep aid.
There are over one hundred cannabinoids that have been isolated, and hundreds of terpenes that have been found in the cannabis plant. The THC-driven way of choosing your cannabis products is slowly shifting to a new school of thought; placing importance on terpenes and how varying cannabinoids co-star to create the Entourage Effect.
By Educator – James Phillips