Arkansas Marijuana Card Guide: The Entourage Effect
Medical cannabis is relatively new in Arkansas, but with only a few years under its belt we’ve seen multiple dispensaries, cultivators, and a ton of cannabis moved from seed to sale.
Arkansas cannabis patients have a lot of choices to select from, with different strains, product types, and concentrations available at every dispensary.
In choosing the right strain, Arkansans need to look at more than just THC to determine how the plant will interact with them, and in this Arkansas Marijuana Card Guide we’ll cover the entourage effect, what it is, and how to make it work for you the next time you’re shopping at the dispensary!
What is the Entourage Effect?
In the early 1960s, a chemist named Raphael Mechoulam became interested in cannabis after noting other compounds had been isolated from plants, such as morphine and cocaine, but there was no listed active compound for cannabis plants.
Mechoulam immediately went to work, borrowing cannabis samples from local police departments in his home country of Israel, and began examining them with precision and determination to figure out what was going on with this plant and its ingredients.
Only a few years later in 1963, he determined the chemical structure for cannabidiol (CBD),and just one year after that, became the first person to isolate delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.
His discovery and analysis led to further research where he discovered the first known endogenous (self-made) cannabinoid in the brain, naming it anandamide.
To say that Raphael Mechoulam was instrumental in identifying and understanding the compounds in the cannabis plant would be an understatement, and to many he is known as the ‘Father of Cannabis Research’.
Later in 1998, Mechoulam and his colleagues authored a paper on the entourage effect, suggesting that certain compounds may help the function of other compounds when they are taken together.
What is the Entourage Effect?
Mechoulam’s paper detailed an interesting phenomenon, two compounds were found to be working synergistically, with one promoting the work of the other.
One compound was found to bind to a receptor, and another compound didn’t bind to a receptor, but instead helped potentiate the binding process for the other compound.
Investigating this occurrence led to the conclusion that compounds could work together to produce different results, and in the case of these two compounds, more efficient results for one particular compound.
We now recognize that there are multiple types of entourage effects, some working only molecularly, and some are producing different psychoactive, or perceived effects.
Today, when people refer to the entourage effect, they usually mean the effects of the “high” from cannabis.
Most people are referring to the entourage effect of terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids working synergistically to produce certain experienced effects, such as sleepy, happy, hungry, etc.
How Does the Entourage Effect Work?
The entourage effect is the process of multiple components working together synergistically to provide the overall experience of consuming cannabis.
This can be applied to the combination of any two or more compounds, but it’s usually referring specifically to terpenes and how they affect the “high” from cannabis.
CBD & THC are also known to produce their own entourage effect, CBD actually helps to calm the more aggressive effects of THC further helps the receptor to bind more efficiently to THC.
Terpenes are one of the most important parts to the entourage effect puzzle, different compositions of terpenes will determine how the cannabis strain smells, tastes, and works.
Terpenes have their own independent therapeutic and medicinal properties, some having anti-inflammatory properties, or mood boosting effects for example.
They also maintain their own psychoactive effects, meaning they can alter how your brain processes certain things such as pain, mood, or thoughts.
In fact, terpenes likely play just as important of a role in the effects of a particular cannabis strain as the level of THC it has, if not an even more important role!
Terpenes act like funnels for THC, filtering the “high” into a category such as sleepy, happy, hungry, etc.
Especially when you have large concentrations of one type of terpene in a cannabis strain, those effects will be more prominent than terpenes that are not as concentrated or absent altogether.
Make the Entourage Effect Work for You
Currently, to understand a strain’s terpene profile and its entourage effect, a bit of extra research is usually required on the end of the patient.
Sites like Weedmaps and Leafly provide large banks of strain profiles, noting their terpenes, THC levels, and most commonly perceived effects.
Arkansas cannabis goes through extensive testing from the Steep Hill, testing each batch made by cultivators for heavy metals, pesticides, molds & fungi, and of course, terpenes, THC concentrations, and CBD levels.
Every package containing Arkansas cannabis should have a QR code located on it that will allow you to view that batch’s Steep Hill stats and determine more information on that strain’s ingredients and details.
Dispensaries like Natural Relief Dispensary in Sherwood, AR also list their strain’s terpenes on their menus, so you can skip having to scan or search your products on the spot.
It’s our hope that all Arkansas dispensaries and products will list their terpene profiles right next to the CBD and THC levels for Arkansas medical marijuana patients!
Become an Arkansas Marijuana Patient
We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way, feel free to give us a call at 844-249-8714, and we can answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Arkansas.
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
Helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at 844-249-8714, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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