The Entourage Effect: Using THC and CBD Together
People are turning to cannabis-based products for relief from a myriad of conditions. You can find CBD oils, prescription drugs containing synthetic THC or pure CBD, and medical marijuana products rich in CBD, THC, and other healthful compounds.
This begs the question, which of these products is the best?
Research suggests that patients may experience greater benefits when THC and CBD are used in combination with one another or with other compounds found naturally in cannabis. The synergy that exists between compounds found in cannabis is known as the entourage effect.
Let’s take a look at some of the research that supports enhanced benefits via the entourage effect.
In a 2010 study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, researchers set out to compare a THC+CBD extract to a THC-only extract in the treatment of intractable cancer-related pain. The extract containing both THC and CBD was found to work better than THC-only or placebo against advanced cancer pain.
In a 2018 meta-analysis, researchers examined the effects of purified CBD versus a CBD-rich cannabis extract in treatment-resistant epilepsy. They concluded that CBD-rich extracts resulted in greater symptomatic improvement. What’s more, these extracts were met with fewer adverse effects than CBD monotherapy. The authors concluded that this difference “is likely due to the synergistic effects of CBD with other phytocannabinoids (aka Entourage effect).”
Another way that CBD and THC work together may allow more patients to benefit from cannabis-based therapies.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the compound in cannabis that results in euphoric effects. While some people enjoy the intoxication, others would rather reap the health benefits of medical marijuana without the cognitive side effects.
This is where CBD comes in. CBD (cannabidiol) may be able to counteract some of THC’s intoxicating effects. With fewer adverse effects, patients can enjoy more flexibility in their medical marijuana use. Reduced intoxication could lead to more opportunities for medical cannabis, and therefore, greater symptomatic relief.
These and other studies support the idea that patients may experience greater benefits and fewer side effects when they opt for a cannabis product rich in both THC and CBD. In fact, those products that contain additional healthful compounds in cannabis may offer further benefits.
So, what types of medical marijuana products fit the bill?
Dried marijuana flower, or bud, is arguably the best source of naturally-occurring cannabis compounds. The cannabinoid-rich resin remains intact, offering blends of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other nutrients found within.
Edibles, vape pens, and tinctures typically contain THC or CBD monotherapy, meaning that these compounds have been separated from other compounds. However, some of these products will contain both CBD and THC, likely resulting in reduced side effects and enhanced efficacy.
If you are unsure which products to choose, talk to your dispensary agent. Tell them that you are interested in the entourage effect, and they can help you select products rich in THC, CBD, and other phytonutrients.
If you are an Arkansan suffering from one of these 18 medical conditions you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana, which includes both THC and CBD products.
Click here to learn more about what Arkansas Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at (844-249-8714) and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment.