What’s the cannabis entourage effect?
There are many claims about the health benefits of cannabis. Most people I talk to are confused by this. We take pills to help one ailment, then other pills for different ailments. All of these pills are made specifically for a certain disease or health condition. For cannabis, the claims are that it helps pain, cancer, glaucoma, PTSD, fibromyalgia, migraines, arthritis… The list goes on and on. So why does this one plant help so many different ailments?
Chemical compounds in cannabis
We hear about THC and CBD most of the time. CBD products are available in many stores and sites online. THC and CBD are two of the over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis. There are also natural terpenes and flavonoids working together to help in their own way. In doing so, they add to the entourage effect.
Cannabis is Anti-Inflammatory
Many of our diseases today are related to inflammation. Inflammation affects our bodies and our pain levels. Many of the medications we take today, including opioids, have anti-inflammatory properties. When the inflammation is reduced, the pain is lessened, allowing our bodies to heal.
The endocannabinoid system
The endocannabinoid system, which all mammals have, is the largest neurotransmitter system in our bodies. Receptors for the endocannabinoid system are found all over our bodies, in our brain, organ, connective tissue, glands and on our skin. These include CB1 and CB2 receptors. The extra helpful part is that other receptors, such as the opioid, serotonin, and steroid receptors. We produce endocannabinoids in our bodies. The phytocannabinoids in plants help boost our endocannabinoid system.
Cannabis and Homeostasis
The main job of cannabis is to restore our bodies to homeostasis. In homeostasis, all the different parts of our bodies work together to create balance. When we are in homeostasis, our health is in balance and we feel good. It is when things get out of balance that problems occur.
This is a very brief summary of the cannabis entourage effect. As of this writing, (1-30-2018) cannabis is still listed as a schedule 1 drug. This policy states that cannabis has no medicinal value, therefore research for the medical value of cannabis is very lacking. There is potential for this plant to help many diseases and conditions. Research is being started, however, and some are testing which terpenes and cannabinoids work best together to find the optimum result for specific diseases and conditions.