Peanut butter and jelly, Cheech and Chong, vodka and orange juice – just some of the many dynamic duos that mankind has created. One power team that’s out there working in nature is CBD and THC. They pair up together to form what’s known as the “entourage effect.”
Medical experts who have studied the effects of cannabis are in favor of what they call whole plant therapeutics. In other words, leave all that fancy CBD extraction behind and learn to love weed for what it is. According to research, cannabis’s mix of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids interact with each other and enhance one another’s medicinal effects. That sticky, crystally resin all over your buds is home to hundreds of these compounds that are all working together.
For example, there’s a 2012 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology that shows CBD is able to help counteract the paranoia and forgetfulness that can be caused by THC.
Weed didn’t always contain as much THC as it does today, and it also used to have way more CBD and other cannabinoids. But, growers made what their customers wanted, and what their customers wanted was to get stoney baloney. In general, CBD is thought of as the “medical” cannabinoid and THC as the “recreational” one, but this isn’t totally true.
CBD-majority weed has been sweeping the nation in recent years, after hearing stories about strains like Charlotte’s Web that have literally proven to be miraculous for children suffering from seizures. Many states now have CBD-only laws, where there are strict THC limits placed on all legal medical cannabis. While CBD-only strains are useful to some, but many need that whole plant medicine to feel relief.
THC has been shown to have therapeutic properties of its own, but cannabis prohibitionists are all about preventing it because that’s where the psychoactive effects come from.
It’s not just CBD and THC interacting in the entourage effect, though. It’s also all the cannabinoids and terpenes that give weed its flavors and aromas. Linaloon and limonene combined with CBD, for example, is being studied as an anti-acne treatment. Pinene is found to help counteract the memory loss and slower thinking caused by high amounts of THC.
According to many experts, when shopping for CBD tinctures and oils, “full spectrum” oil – which includes all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in a cannabis plant – is the best cannabis-based medicine on the market.
However, full spectrum oil is not the universal answer here. Many can see the future of mainstream adult cannabis use turning to some him DIY bar in which specific cannabinoid and terpene combinations are created depending on the individual smoker’s needs. It’s like a daily vitamin made just for you, only better because it’s weed.
Scientists have been studying the interactions between specific cannabinoid and terpene combinations for years now. If they can prove that interactions are consistent and reproducible, this means they can someday be brought to mainstream medicine and used on patients to deliver a consistent and reproducible reaction.
While the future of weed has been pretty unpredictable, one thing stands out as more and more studies are done on the entourage effect: the future of weed will probably be personalized to every smoker. It’ll be like ordering that double mocha latte with one sugar and two creams – made shamelessly just for you.