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The "entourage Effect" Of Cannabis Compounds


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I originally read this in O'Shaugnessy's. Thanks to Zach from Cannalytics for the copy. I wish there were more copies of this paper available in Michigan.

 

Here is a link to the full PDF, well worth the click. The original article is much too large to post, but there is tons of info in it.

 

http://cannabisclinicians.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/OS-2011-Terpenes+Minor-CBs.pdf

 

 

A taste:

 

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Experienced marijuana smokers who tried the drug Marinol (pure, synthetic THC) when it became prescribable in the mid-1980s, reported that the effects were noticeably dissimilar. But it wasn’t until the late 1990s that the research establishment acknowledged that another compound, cannabidiol (CBD), was exerting significant effects, too.

 

In 1999 a British start-up, G.W. Pharmaceuticals, began clinical trials of a plant extract containing equal amounts of THC and CBD. Multiple Sclerosis patients found the combination more effective in reducing pain and spasticity than a THC extract, and less psychoactive. The THC-CBD combo, “Sativex,” has now been approved for use by MS patients in England, Canada, New Zealand, and a growing list of European countries.

 

Several of the so-called “minor cannabinoids” ?notably tetrahydrocannabavarin (THCV), cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabichromene (CBC)? also show therapeutic promise, and plants with high levels of each have been grown out in G.W.’s glasshouses for research purposes.

 

Now scientists are formally acknowledging something else that Cannabis consumers have long taken for granted: aroma is associated with effect.

 

 

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It’s the terpenoids ?components of the plant’s “essential oils”? that create the fragrance. Terpenoids contain repeating units of a 5-carbon molecule called isoprene, and are prevalent in smelly herbs such as mints and sage, citrus peel, some flowers, aromatic barks and woods. The aroma of a given plant depends on which terpenoids predominate. They tend to be volatile molecules that readily evaporate, and they’re very potent ?all it takes is a few reaching the nose to announce their presence. The cannabinoid content of a trichome might be 10 times heavier than the terpenoid content.

 

Evidence that “phytocannabinoid-terpenoid interactions” enhance the therapeutic effects of cannabis was presented by Ethan Russo, MD, at a conference in Israel last fall and is about to be published in the British Journal of Pharmacology. Russo, a neurologist and ethnobotanist,, is senior medical adviser at G.W. Pharmaceuticals.

 

Terpenoids and cannabinoids are both secreted inside the Cannabis plant’s glandular trichomes and they have a parent compound in common (geranyl pyrophosphate). More than 100 terpenoids have been identified in Cannabis. The most common and most studied include limonene, myrcene, alpha-pinene, linalool, beta-caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, nerolidol and phytol. Anecdotal evidence suggests that alpha-pinene is alerting, limonene is “sunshine-y,” and beta-myrcene is sedating.

 

As the names suggest, pinene is abundant in pine needles and limonene in lemons. Myrcene is found in hops (Humulus), the only other member of the Cannabicae plant family.

 

The fact that most terpenoid compounds are common components of the human diet and “generally recognized as safe” by the Food and Drug Administration has made research possible, and scientists employed by flavors and fragrances manufacturers have investigated their properties over the years. But the terpenoids “remain understudied” in terms of therapeutic potential, according to Russo.

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Although this article has focused on the terpenoids, Russo’s talk in Israel gave equal time to CBD, THC-V, CBC, and CBG (the parent compound of the others). Evidently the extensive breeding program directed by G.W.’s Etienne de Meijer has yielded plants rich in each of these cannabinoids, and probably others. At the 2011 meeting of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, held in Chicago in July, several talks and posters described promising results with G.W. extracts whose exact contents were not revealed by the investigators.

 

Intrepid California cultivators are trying to follow G.W.’s lead. Labs have already begun testing for the cannabinoids that may not be “minor” after all, and for terpenoids.

 

The text of this article was also published here: http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/07/14/how-cannabis-works/

Edited by Northern Lab
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I originally read this in O'Shaugnessy's. Thanks to Zach from Cannalytics for the copy. I wish there were more copies of this paper available in Michigan.

 

Here is a link to the full PDF, well worth the click. The original article is much too large to post, but there is tons of info in it.

 

http://cannabisclinicians.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/OS-2011-Terpenes+Minor-CBs.pdf

 

 

A taste:

 

 

 

The text of this article was also published here: http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/07/14/how-cannabis-works/

What would it take to test for these other cannabin

oids?

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