Cannabis’s Entourage Effect: Why Whole Plant Medicine Matters

Cannabis’s Entourage Effect: Why Whole Plant Medicine Matters

Take a close look at your cannabis buds. They’re covered in a sticky dusting of crystal resin, which contains hundreds of therapeutic compounds known as cannabinoids and terpenoids. We assume you’re well acquainted with THC and CBD, but these are just two among many important players working together to produce specific effects. This interactive synergy between cannabis compounds has been coined the “entourage effect,” and once you know what this is, you’ll see why medicines containing only THC or CBD aren’t always sufficient for many medical conditions.

What Are THC- and CBD-Only Medicines?

THC-only medicines primarily refer to synthetic renderings of THC, the two most popular being Marinol (dronabinol) and Cesamet (nabilone). These are legal pharmaceuticals primarily prescribed to treat cancer-related nausea, but their efficacy is questionable. A 2011 survey on forms of consumption found only 1.8% of 953 patients prefer synthetic THC pharmaceuticals over inhaled or infused methods. Furthermore, it can take hours for a THC-only pill to deliver relief whereas inhaled methods take effect immediately.

Leafly
Bailey Rahn
Publish Date: October 28, 2015

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