What the entourage effect tells us about the medical potential of cannabinoids other than CBD.
Do you remember that year or two in elementary school when everyone had the same toy and was constantly playing with it? Maybe it was yo-yos or Pogs or Tamagotchis. More recently, it’s fidget spinners or flipping partially-filled water bottles. I know I wasted at least two years getting good at yo-yos when I should have spent that time improving my skills in something I enjoyed even more: sports. Maybe then I could have gotten a scholarship to university instead of drowning myself in debt.
Whatever the cool toy in your school was, it’s a perfect analogy for the health benefits of a specific cannabinoids in Cannabis that everyone is talking about: cannabidiol (CBD). If we only focus on CBD, however, it’s guaranteed we’ll be giving up future benefits had we explored other options.
Figure 1. Are yo-yo’s the CBD of toys?
Cannabis doesn’t create a singular medicinal compound in its many molecular structures. The number of possibly-medicinal compounds in just one plant can reach into the triple digits. From the widely-known THC to the more obscure CBN and THCV, the cannabinoid therapeutic potential is well beyond what we currently know to be true.
For example, THCV is a CB1 neutral antagonist at low doses, but an agonist in high doses. While more research is surely required in order to create a complete record of cannabinoid therapeutic effects, there already exist significant findings about some of the lesser-known cannabinoids cousins of THC and CBD:
- THCV:Less psychoactive than THC – Controls seizures, reduces appetite.
- CBDA:CBD’sacidic precursor -Fights nausea, combats inflammation, tumor- and cancer-fighting properties.
- CBC:Only found in trace amounts – Reduces pain, antibiotic properties, anti-cancer properties.
- CBN: Oxidative product of THC- Alleviates pain, combats muscle spasms, sleep-aid.
- CBG: Byproduct of CBGA aging process -Reduces blood pressure, antifungal/antibiotic properties, antidepressant.
What this tell us is that the world of cannabinoids is incredibly intricate. While it might be hip to play with the one fancy toy in cannabis school–CBD–the exciting potential of these other cannabinoids means we shouldn’t limit ourselves and our future chance at graduating to a new level of cannabis education.