In case you haven’t watched CNN for a while (…does anyone?), the network’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has a sequel to his immensely popular documentary documentary on marijuana. One of the highlights making the rounds is this breakdown of what cannabis does to your body, including a process known as “the entourage effect.” Sorry Bros, it has nothing to do with this guy, as I was hoping:
Scientifically, what it means that for marijuana to be 100% effective as a medicine, it needs the sum of all its parts. He explains in a blog post on CNN:
It was halfway through our long afternoon discussion that Mechoulam, now 83, pulled out a paper he had written in 1999, describing something known as “the entourage effect.”
Think of it like this: There are more than 480 natural components found within the cannabis plant, of which 66 have been classified as “cannabinoids.” Those are chemicals unique to the plant, including delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiols. There are, however, many more, including:
— Cannabigerols (CBG);
— Cannabichromenes (CBC);
— other Cannabidiols (CBD);
— other Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC);
— Cannabinol (CBN) and cannabinodiol (CBDL);
— other cannabinoids (such as cannabicyclol (CBL), cannabielsoin (CBE), cannabitriol (CBT) and other miscellaneous types).
Other constituents of the cannabis plant are: nitrogenous compounds (27 known), amino acids (18), proteins (3), glycoproteins (6), enzymes (2), sugars and related compounds (34), hydrocarbons (50), simple alcohols (7), aldehydes (13), ketones (13), simple acids (21), fatty acids (22), simple esters (12), lactones (1), steroids (11), terpenes (120), non-cannabinoid phenols (25), flavonoids (21), vitamins (1), pigments (2), and other elements (9).
Here is the important point. Mechoulam, along with many others, said he believes all these components of the cannabis plant likely exert some therapeutic effect, more than any single compound alone.
While science has not yet shown the exact role or mechanism for all these various compounds, evidence is mounting that these compounds work better together than in isolation: That is the “entourage effect.”
Here’s the video. Pretty neat how he lays it out there: