- Hammond Lewis
Georgia Marijuana Card Guide: The Entourage Effect
Cannabis is a plant full of many compounds and the extraordinary number of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and therapeutic compounds make each cannabis plant extremely unique.
Every strain can have its own makeup of ingredients that can impact the experience a Georgia cannabis patient will have.
The nature of how these compounds interact with each other, and ultimately how you react to them, is called the entourage effect, and in this Georgia Marijuana Card Guide, we’ll cover what you need to know about it, how it works, and how to use it for your benefit!
The Science of Discovering Cannabis
Currently, there is extensive (albeit, not enough) research going towards understanding cannabis more thoroughly, especially for medical cannabis.
And although lately we may have ramped up our investigation of the cannabis plant from a scientific perspective, it wasn’t always this way.
In the early 1960s, a chemist named Raphael Mechoulam took a special interest in cannabis, after noting that while other plant based compounds such as morphine and cocaine had been isolated and identified, the same wasn’t the case with cannabis.
So, Mechoulam went to work, borrowing cannabis samples from local police departments in his home country of Israel and began examining them with precision and determination to figure out what was going on with this plant.
At the time, the Israeli Government considered what Mechoulam was doing illegal, which led him to speed up his research considerably, and successfully as it turned out.
Only a few years later in 1963, he determined the chemical structure for cannabidiol (CBD), and a year later from that became the first person to isolate delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.
His discovery and analysis led to further research where he discovered the first known endogenous (self-made) cannabinoid in the brain, naming it anandamide.
Mechoulam’s work laid the foundation for our analysis and understanding of the components of the cannabis plant, and without his detailed isolation of cannabinoids and compounds we wouldn’t even know what THC is or anything about how it works in the brain.
Mechoulam Discovers the Entourage Effect
The entourage effect is a term first coined by Raphael Mechoulam in 1998 to describe the process of one compound assisting a different compound in doing its job.
Mechoulam’s 1998 paper on the entourage effect suggested that certain compounds may help the function of other compounds when they are taken together.
In the paper, two compounds were found to be working synergistically.
One compound was found to bind to a receptor, and another compound didn’t bind, but instead helped potentiate the binding process for the other compound.
This discovery was critical in our understanding of how our bodies put the compounds in cannabis to work, and now we know there are multiple types of entourage effects, some working only molecularly, and some even psychoactive, or perceived.
Today, when people refer to the entourage effect, they usually mean the effects of the “high” from cannabis.
Most people are referring to the entourage effect of terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids working synergistically to produce certain experienced effects, such as sleepy, happy, hungry, etc.
How the Entourage Effect Works
The entourage effect is the process of multiple components working together synergistically to provide the overall experience of consuming cannabis.
This can be applied to the combination of any two or more compounds, but it’s usually referring specifically to terpenes and how they affect the “high” from cannabis.
For example, THC and CBD produce the entourage effect of having CBD’s calming effects narrow out THC’s inclination to producing anxiety, making for a smoother and calmer “high”.
With terpenes, the entourage effect is like a funnel for THC’s “high”.
Certain terpenes have their own independent effects and medicinal properties, such as drowsiness, mood elevation, anti-inflammatory, and even effects such as analgesic properties or immune system regulation.
Because of this, when terpenes come together in a cannabis strain’s plant structure, they will arrive in different constitutions and amounts, some grouping together to form large portions of a plant’s terpene profile, and some remaining mostly dormant, or even absent altogether.
The makeup of this terpene profile combined with the concentrations of THC and CBD will produce an entourage effect that greatly relies on the plant’s terpene profile to funnel the THC through, producing a “high” that sits somewhere in the category of those terpenes’ prominent effects.
So, a plant with most of its terpenes being known to produce drowsiness could produce a very sleepy “high”, regardless of whether it’s an indica or sativa.
While a plant’s class or strain type will certainly influence its perceived effects, the terpene profile and ratio of CBD:THC is possibly even more critical to how the patient will experience those effects.
Make the Entourage Effect Work for You
Currently, to understand a strain’s terpene profile and its entourage effect, a bit of extra research is still required on the end of the patient.
Sites like Weedmaps and Leafly provide large banks of strain profiles, noting their terpenes, THC levels, and most commonly perceived effects.
Users can also read through comments to see what cannabis patients and consumers have to say about the effects, which can help give you a range of what you might expect from each strain.
And while many state medical marijuana programs require extensive testing and analysis for heavy metals, bacteria, and molds, sometimes the only people with the analysis information are the testers and cultivators.
It’s important for Georgia cannabis patients to be able to identify the compounds in their low-THC cannabis oil, so they can better understand the medicinal and therapeutic properties of the medication they are taking.
It’s our hope that Georgia will keep this idea at heart when moving forward with designing the laws and rules for cultivators and patients.
Get Your Georgia Marijuana Card
As a Georgia marijuana patient, you can legally purchase up to 20 ounces of low THC cannabis oil. For Georgians, this means getting the relief you need naturally and organically, and Georgia Marijuana Card is here to help.
Reserve your appointment today and get $25 off when we start processing applications!
Feel free to give us a call at (866) 781-5606, and we can help answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Georgia