The “Entourage Effect” and how small things can make a big difference in Medicinal potency. By K.McKernan Hon BSc and Master Herbalist
Nowadays, the term ‘micro-dosing is swiftly gaining in awareness and popularity. It is the concept of consuming a medicine (usually referring to psilocybin mushrooms) in a smaller dose than one does normally. The idea is to offer some of the therapeutic benefits without ingesting a large or the normal-sized dose of one thing. It also relates to the notion of the entourage effect which is an important theme in the field of Cannabis medicine. The overall idea is that we don’t need large amounts of something to make a big difference to our health; rather we need the synergy of unique elements moving together. What’s just as important is the manner in which medicine is combined, and the fine workings of each element of a plant synergistically enhances other medicinal aspects of the plant. To take an analogy from the world of vitamins and minerals: the manufacture of essential brain neurochemicals takes the combination of around 30 nutritional elements to manufacture. A deficiency of even one mineral or vitamin can begin to compromise the body’s ability to produce its own healthy brain chemicals. This kind of condition can affect mental, emotional, and cognitive functions. In the world of cannabis, there are 500 unique medicinal elements that compromise the many varieties of chemovars, so the impact of the entourage effect is quite prominent (Gordon, 2019)
An interesting way to conceptualize this unique myriad of phyto-molecules, cannabis doctor and researcher Dr. Russo coined the “Entourage Effect” (Russo, 2019) or the notion that the hundreds of unique molecules comprising cannabis work together like an orchestra to enhance and tune the interaction with the body. An example would be the terpenoids changing the cellular permeability to enhance the absorption of cannabinoids for optimal bioavailability. This means that including an essential terpene or essential oil in any formula can enhance the body’s ability to absorb another essential medicinal element like CBD.
Although the Entourage Effect as is unique and rather new the idea in the field of cannabis medicine, herbalists have always known that whole plant medicine is so often the most effective and safe way to consume a medicinal plant. This is overlooked by those schooled in conventional medicine which overemphasizes the impact of singular components. Because of nature’s incredible communication mechanisms and the evolution of plant medicine over millions of years, it has evolved into a type of balance that pharmaceuticals can rarely attain. On the contrary, the same micro-dosed combo of pharmaceutical elements would be awkwardly instructing the body and result in toxins overtaking, and that’s why medication interaction is a very serious issue in terms of health and safety. The wrong combination of medications can have fatal results.
Alpha Extracts has used honed in on a specially formulated bottle that takes into account the power of entourage effect. By combining eight unique cultivars, plus terpenes- one bottle of Omega 8 activates the endocannabinoid system in a unique way where many subtle and powerful medicinal elements can heal the body. By combining eight unique strains, this formula touches on cannabinoids, terpenoids, essential oils that are often left out of more simply formulated bottles. By recombining the elements, we are returning to wider spectrum medicine that include more elements of this plant that has evolved over millions of years to be one of the best healing companion plants of humanity. Each minor element whispers an instruction to the body to empower the the overall purpose of the human body’s endocannabinoid system: to restore to body’s many systems to balanced function. Rediscovering cannabis as medicine means we shift the focus away from just THC delta 9, and see it as just one of the 500 unique elements found in the many cannabis cultivars.