The Entourage Effect of whole plant medicine

Posted on June 23, 2016

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Within the last decade, scientists have discovered hundreds of biologically active nutrients called phytochemicals, which are found in whole, unprocessed foods. There’s pterostilbene, a powerful antioxidant found in almonds, blueberries and Pinot Noir grapes that enables cells to break down fat and cholesterol; compounds like lycopene, which colors tomatoes red, and anthocycanin, which gives berries their deep hues of blue. And of course, there’s the world of phytocannabinoids, cannabis-derived compounds including the famously psychoactive THC, as well as the less-known such as CBDV, a proven anti-epileptic.

Food and health researchers have long concluded that while our bodies readily absorb these kinds of nutrients from whole foods, our ability to absorb synthetic, isolated supplements is limited at best. That’s exactly what cannabis researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem discovered when comparing the efficacy of whole-plant cannabinoid (CBD) extracts with synthetic, single-molecule CBDs.

As the pharmaceutical industry rushes to market synthetic CBDs, research points to what’s called the “Entourage Effect,” wherein compounds working together synergistically in whole-plant medicines amplify the overall effects and benefits of the medicine. When comparing synthetic CBDs with whole-plant extract, the Israeli researchers observed a narrow therapeutic window that limits the usefulness of the synthetic form and a far greater range of effectiveness for CBD-rich, whole-plant extract. This, combined with the Entourage Effect, makes whole-plant CBD extracts more effective at lower doses, with fewer adverse side effects, making it ideal for clinical use. Read the article here – The entourage effect of whole plant medicine