Since the probation of cannabis in 1922, extraordinarily little research has been done on the medicinal potential of cannabis use. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Dr Raphael Mechoulam who originally discovered THC, leads the research of cannabis. The Entourage theory was originally proposed by Dr Raphael Mechoulam and Shimon Ben-Shabat, at the Institute in Israel in 1999.
In 2010, the Entourage effect was further developed by Dr Ethan Russo producing a better understanding of it is potential.
The human body has its own endocannabinoid system, it was first discovered by scientist in the 1990’s, when trying to understand the effect of cannabis on the body and named it the endocannabinoid system. Endo stands for endogenous, which means originating within the body. Exogenous means originating outside the body such as when consuming THC or CBD via oral or inhalation routes.
The Endocannabinoid system has two receptors that we know of; CB1 and CB2, each receptor responds to different cannabinoids, but some respond to both receptors. Phytocannabinoid refers to the group of chemical compounds that activate this system. These compounds interact with both receptors to regulate basic functions including mood, memory, sleep, pain, and appetite within the body at a cellular level.
Simply put, cannabinoids are the chemical messengers, and our bodies naturally have two, 2-AG and Anandamide, both are a natural fatty acid neurotransmitter’s which are found in the brain, spinal cord and some foods, like chocolate.
Anandamide (Ananda) comes from the Sanskrit meaning bliss or joy referring to its unique effects on the mind, body, and spirit. These receptors CB1 and CB2 work like a lock and key when flooded with cannabinoids, after a patient uses a tincture, smokes, vaporizes, eats edibles, or uses concentrates. CB1 receptors are in nerve cells in the brain and spinal colon whereas, CB2 receptors are mainly in the immune system in cells, tissue, spleen, and liver. Besides maintaining hemostasis, the endocannabinoid system responds to illnesses. Cannabis is the most common way to target the endocannabinoid system.
All plant oils are composed of natural plant chemicals. Cannabis is the only plant to contain the chemical elements known as cannabinoids. A hundred and twenty cannabinoids have been discovered and isolated so far (2019). The most known is Delta 9-Tetrahydracannabinoid (THC), and its lesser known cousin Delta 8-THC.
For decades, THC was perceived as the only psychoactive compound of cannabis. Today, we now know that there are other cannabis compounds called terpenes and phytocannabiniods that work in tandem with THC to produce the physical and psychological benefits of cannabis consumption. This is called the Entourage effect, simply put, the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts. The theory was originally proposed by Dr Raphael Mechoulam and Shimon Ben-Shabat, the Institute in Israel in 1999; in 2010 it was further developed by Dr Ethan Russo.