Cannabis plants have garnered a lot of interest due to their recreational, scientific and medicinal use. As a cannabis user, you might have heard of the term “terpenes.” It is one of the most common words associated with cannabis and plays a role in the way cannabis interacts with our body; this is where the entourage effect comes into the picture.
What are terpenes?
They can be viewed as the building block of various types of plants, including cannabis. They play an integral role in the biological composition of the plant as well as the different compounds that are later derived from it. It is known to work with cannabinoids to product the entourage effect. Read more about cannabis terpenes here.
What is the entourage effect?
A cannabis flower consists of various compounds. A close inspection of the flower will showcase a layer of crystal resin that includes compounds like cannabinoids as well as different types of terpenes. You might think of THC and CBD when you hear the term cannabinoids. However, there are various other cannabinoids present in the flower, each which works together to deliver a plethora of therapeutic benefits.
The entourage effect can be viewed as a phenomenon. It is the idea that when you combine the different compounds and terpenes in flower in their natural state, the effect delivered is multiplied rather than added. So, when cannabis is used, each natural compound within it interacts with the human body together to produce an impactful effect. This effect is much more meaningful than what would have been provided had the various compounds within the cannabis flower had been used alone. This effect explains why different strains of cannabis have a varying impact on different individuals.
Terpenes and the entourage effect
Generally, terpenes are thought to deliver aroma and flavor merely. However, they also interact with the body to produce desirable results. Within each cannabis plant, there are at least three dozen of various kinds of terpenes. The reason why each strain of cannabis has a distinct scent is because of a given ratio of terpenes produced by the plant.
Moreover, terpenes interact with cannabinoids to deliver a lasting effect on the body. For example, beta-caryophyllene combines with alpha-pinene to reduce the dilation in blood vessels. This, in turn, leads to less inflammation in the body. This combined effect is what makes the entire cannabis plant a superior option than using isolated compounds.
An example of its benefit is how terpenes work with cannabinoids like CBD. Pinene is known to be anti-inflammatory. Same is the case with CBD. When they both are administered together, they interact and are known to prevent inflammation in the body in different ways.
Terpenes work with cannabinoids to deliver the desired effect by hitting different targets, thereby enhancing the sum activity in the said target receptor.
It is also believed that terpenes enhance the ability of the human body to process and absorb cannabinoids. This means that the terpenes work to improve the effectiveness of cannabinoids. Additionally, it also reduces the adverse effects associated with cannabis. This is because when the diverse molecules are consumed at once, the side effects are balanced out. For example, CBD, when consumed with THC, has been known to reduce anxiety and paranoia.
Benefits of the entourage effect
The underlying benefit of the impact is that terpene interacts with other compounds in the cannabis to deliver desired and more impactful results in the body. To better understand this advantage, let’s look at how the most common terpenes aid the various bodily functions.
Cannabis is rich in myrcene. This is the element that governs whether a given strain will have an Indica effect or a Sativa effect. One of the most common things myrcene is known for is its earthy and musky scent. You can say that this terpene is responsible for giving cannabis its classic smell that all cannabis users will be familiar with. Depending on the concentration of the terpene, it can have varying effects on the body. For instance, if the given strain has less than 0.5 percent of the element, it will energize you. If it was above 0.5 percent on myrcene, it would give you a “high.”
Limonene is a basic terpene that has a powerful Sativa effect. It helps in boosting the mood of the individual and is easily absorbed by the bloodstream. When consumed, it enhances the absorption rate of cannabis by the body. Therefore, when combined with cannabinoid, it boosts its effect by increasing absorption. Also, it is known to prevent the formation of chemicals that cause cancer in the body.
While CBD alone has an excellent anti-inflammatory property, the presence of caryophyllene further boosts it. How so? Well, this terpene has the power to link itself to the CB2 receptor in the body effectively. This automatically stimulates the body to unleash an anti-inflammatory reaction. When added to the same effect of CBD, you can rest assured that the combination of both is bound to mitigate inflammation.
There are then 200 plants out there that are equipped with linalool. This terpene gives a plant its floral scent. It is known to cause relaxation in the muscles and the body. Hence, the terpene may be used as a sleeping aid. THC, in isolation, causes anxiety when consumed in large amounts. However, when combined with this terpene, the effects of stress caused by THC are reduced. Various studies have also shown that linalool reduces lung inflammation as well as the onset of Alzheimer’s disease!
In conclusion, the desired effect caused by the combined consumption of terpenes and cannabinoids on the body shows that cannabis is better as a whole. Rather than indulging in its compounds in isolation, give cannabis a try as one product. You won’t be disappointed by the strength of effect you will feel.