Cannabis is a miracle plant. While both THC and CBD can elicit many beneficial properties, it’s when they are consumed in conjunction with minor cannabinoids and terpenes where the real benefits begin to appear.
If you’d like to order cannabis online in Canada, then here’s what you need to know about the entourage effect — a process that describes the potent underlying synergies between plant compounds in the cannabis plant where it’s true healing potential comes to the fore.
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds responsible for the potent smell of cannabis. They are short isoprene chains that make up the building blocks of essential oils in the plant kingdom.
There are 50,000 known terpenes throughout the plant kingdom, and currently, a little over 100 have been identified in the cannabis plant. The different ratios of terpenes are what give strains their unique properties, and science shows that the ingestion of these compounds can affect the brain in remarkable ways.
When combined with cannabinoids, the presence of terpenes can enhance the effects of cannabis. Aside from THC, many of the cannabinoids found in cannabis have a weak binding action at the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the human body. But when combined with terpenes, this sensitivity is significantly increased.
Does Science Support the Idea of the Entourage Effect?
Several studies exist on the effects of terpenes in cannabis, but the most well-known was a 2011 study named Taming THC. In this study, cannabis researchers investigated the potent synergies that exist between terpenes and other compounds present in the cannabis plant.
Dr. Ethan Russo, who led the study, invented the term “entourage effect,” one which encapsulates the effects associated with the simultaneous consumption of hundreds of compounds in the cannabis plant. In the study, researchers were able to show how the medicinal benefits of certain compounds become accentuated when consumed in conjunction with more of the plant profile.
Terpenes and the Entourage Effect
In the study, researchers provided an in-depth analysis of the medicinal properties that the common terpenes possess when synergized with other major cannabinoids found in the plant. Many of the terpenes analyzed are those commonly found in high quantities in many of our favourite strains.
Pinene and Memory Recall
Short-term memory recall is a common issue for many who consume cannabis. At one point or another, we’ve all found ourselves lost mid-sentence, having forgotten what we’re talking about. Anyone susceptible to such effects will do better when they consume a strain high in the terpene pinene.
Pinene is one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis, and it’s also the terpene which gives pine trees their distinctive aroma. Researchers found that pinene acted as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. This means that it slows down the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine that’s responsible for memory recall.
Myrcene and Sedation
If you really want to bring out the sedative qualities of cannabis, then strains high in the terpene myrcene may be helpful. Researchers showed that when combined with THC, it often promotes the “couch-lock” effect. Some patients use cannabis specifically for this purpose, while others prefer to avoid the sedative effects. Either way, it can be extremely useful to understand the power of strains high in both myrcene and THC, as this potent synergy can bring about a deeper relaxation than may otherwise occur.
When it comes to mood benefits, researchers also noted the importance of two other common terpenes, namely limonene and linalool. The synergies of both these terpenes appear most strongly when combined with CBD, where they can really help provide relief for anyone treating social anxiety with cannabis.
When it comes to improving sleep, researchers also found further beneficial synergies. By combining the terpenes caryophyllene (pain-relieving), linalool (anti-anxiety), and myrcene (sedative), they can often help promote sleep quality rather than merely eliciting a hypnotic effect.
How To Consume Marijuana to Benefit From The Entourage Effect
There are several ways in which we can consume cannabis. Between flower, concentrates, edibles and topicals, each exhibits its own particular benefits, but if we’re looking to maximize the benefits of the entourage effect, then we must only consume from a source that preserves much of the original plant spectrum.
For this reason, raw flower is one of the best sources, as none of the plant compounds are lost or destroyed due to complex extraction methods that many forms of concentrates undergo.
Many forms of cannabis oil and concentrates contain little more than THC or CBD and are often devoid of terpene content. While such products are often very affordable, they lack the plant profile that’s required to fully unleash the benefits associated with the entourage effect.
If you’re consuming any form of cannabis concentrate or oil, then it’s important to ensure that the producers have taken measures to ensure the presence of as much of the original plant profile as possible. You’ll likely pay a premium for such products, but if you want to maximize the potential of the entourage effect, then it’s a price well worth paying.
Order Cannabis Online in Canada
The entourage effect can really unlock the true benefits of cannabis. While THC or CBD alone can provide a pleasant buzz or promote relaxation, it’s when we combine these cannabinoids with the terpenes in their natural ratios that we can really promote the beneficial effects of cannabis. Whether it’s for a mood lift, increased alertness, decreased anxiety, or to bring on the drowsiness as we wind down for bed, it’s by understanding the unique actions of terpenes that allows us to truly tailor the experience.
If you’d like to order cannabis online in Canada and experiment for yourself with unique combinations, then at Elite Buds BC, we’ve got cannabis flower and several concentrates such as live resin that preserves much of that original plant compound so as to truly benefit from the properties of this remarkable plant.