The entourage effect of medical cannabis is one reason to incorporate the whole plant when using cannabis for the medical benefits.
Cannabis (Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis) is known to contain hundreds of physiologically active compounds. These include but are not limited to phytocannabinoids (plant-based cannabinoids), terpenoids (naturally occurring organic chemicals derived from terpenes) and flavonoids (plant metabolites). Whole plant cannabis preparations have been used traditionally in my wife’s home country of Nepal and South Asia via Ayurvedic Medicine. Whole plant preparations exhibit superior therapeutic effects and have less adverse effects than isolated natural components of cannabis or synthetic cannabinoids. Therefore, the most clinically useful strategy is to use the whole cannabis plant. In modern terms, this means ingesting the combination of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which can be achieved by selecting specific cannabis chemovars (plant strains). CBD has been shown to antagonize the undesirable side effects of THC, such as intoxication, sedation and tachycardia, while enhancing the analgesic, anti-emetic, and anti-carcinogenic properties of THC. In addition, the psychoactive side effects of THC are rarely noticeable when the CBD:THC ratio exceeds 4:1.
If you live in a place with a medical cannabis program please have an honest conversation with your Physician to see if medical cannabis is a good fit for you. If you live in Missouri and you don’t have a Primary Care Physician, you can come see my wife, Dr. Strong in St. Louis. Dr. Strong will be providing Medical Marijuana Physician Certificates starting in June 2019.
McPartland, John M., and Ethan B. Russo. “Cannabis and cannabis extracts: greater than the sum of their parts?.” Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics 1.3-4 (2001): 103-132.
Russo E, Guy GW. A Tale Of Two Cannabinoids: The Therapeutic Rationale For Combining Tetrahydrocannabinol And Cannabidiol. Med Hypotheses 2006;66:234-46.