Advertise With Us

THC + CBD: Why the Two Most Abundant Active Cannabinoids Work Best in Combination

The magic power of cannabis keeps mesmerizing marijuana enthusiasts, advocates, experts, breeders, researchers, and nonetheless, the thousands of people globally whose lives have been forever changed for the better thanks to medicating with the ancient cannabis plant.

Yet it seems that our understanding of the complex, mysterious pathways through which the active compounds found in cannabis work to promote health and well-being is still rather limited. In this article, we will look into what science has to say when it comes to why the two most abundant active cannabinoids, namely THC and CBD, work best in combination.

THC, CBD, and the Entourage Effect

It was all the way back in 1999 when the very phrase “entourage effect” was first introduced. While trying to decode the ancient healing powers of the cannabis plant, researchers were brought to the invaluable discovery that none of the multiple possible isolated forms of the active cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plant works better alone than when combined with the rest of the active compounds produced within the plants.

One of the highly reputed experts to conduct the first explicit study on the synergistic effect of cannabis’ active compounds was the Israeli-based professor and organic chemist Raphael Mechoulam, who happened to be the very leader and initiator of cannabinoid-related extensive research.

Born in Bulgaria in 1930, Professor Mechoulam is currently 88 years old. After developing a major scientific interest in the pharmacology and chemistry of  cannabinoids, Professor Mechoulam and his team of researchers were the first to succeed in the total synthesis of many of the major active cannabinoids found in marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabidiol) CBD), and various others.

What’s more, Professor Mechoulam initiated yet another unparalleled research project headed by two of his postdoctoral researchers, William Devane and Lumír Ondřej Hanuš. Raphael Mechoulam’s postdoctoral researchers managed to isolate, as well as to further characterize the first endocannabinoid to be described in-depth, in particular, anandamide, also known as “the bliss molecule.”

Unlike phytocannabinoids such as THC, CBD, and CBN, to name a few, endocannabinoids are not produced by the cannabis plant but instead, they are naturally produced within the human body. However, despite their quite different origin, both endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids are known to play a profound role on stimulating the body’s endogenous cannabinoid system in order to induce a whole array of crucial effects that help to maintain one’s physical and mental well-being.

Professor Mechoulam has published well over 350 scientific articles over the years, and it was one of his Ph.D. students, Shimon Ben-Shabat, who was the first person to discover yet another endogenous cannabinoid, namely 2-AG.

The discovery of both anandamide, as well as 2-AG endocannabinoids,  has forever changed the way scientists understand the action of the endogenous cannabinoid system and the effects of phytocannabinoids on directly or indirectly stimulating or inhibiting the effects of endocannabinoids.

And so, we have endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and that’s only the very tip of the iceberg, so when one gets in the very depths of cannabis plants chemistry and pharmacology, trying to decipher the effects and benefits of the herb, things can feel truly very perplexing. But the truth is, it is in the divine perplexity of the cannabis plant where the sacred magic of the green medication resides. The science behind cannabis is a paradoxical world but it is in these paradoxes where one can find how utterly amazing creatures cannabis plants actually are.

Video by: hampapartiet – Cannabis / Marijuana: THC / Anandamide

Is the Entourage Effect Only a Theory

Indeed, at least as of now, the entourage effect remains a theory, for in order to be considered scientifically valid, much more research is needed, involving a significantly bigger period in time, as well as a broader range of experiments, studies, and nonetheless participants who are willing to volunteer for the sake of a brighter and greener future.

However, even though only a theory up-to-date, the entourage effect seems to make better sense than anything else said, promoted, or believed in when it comes to the healing and recreational benefits of cannabis which would be impossible to experience fully in the absence of the array of active compounds produced within the cannabis plant.

Recently, a 2019 study that casts doubt on the credibility of the entourage effect was published. However, as the study authors note, it is pretty much possible that the entourage effects of terpenoids are actually “mediated through modulation of a subset of the cannabinoid receptor signaling repertoire,” which means that the study’s results should not be considered set in stone. Also, what the authors further highlight is that cannabinoid receptors are known to couple to “multiple G proteins, as well as signaling through other pathways,” in particular, pathways that have not been the subject of the study that has cast some doubts over the reliability of what the entourage effect theory suggests.

As we take into account the mountain of anecdotal evidence on the benefits of whole cannabis plant-based means and methods of consumption, as well as the growing number of highly reputed researchers who keep coming up with trustworthy studies that prove there is a composite interaction between active cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, it becomes crystal clear that whether fully accurate or not, the entourage effect is real.

To illustrate the scientifically based studies on the beneficial, synergistic action of active cannabinoids, with a focus on THC and CBD, let’s check out a few of the multiple evidence available on that matter.
To start with, a study that took place at San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center discovered that combining THC and CBD produces significantly more potent anti-tumor effects than either of these compounds could provide on their own when tested on breast cancer and brain cancer cell lines.

It was in a 2012 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology that researchers found Cannabidiol (CBD) to inhibit THC-induced paranoid symptoms, as well as “hippocampal-dependent memory impairment.

Not the least, a 2010 study shed more light on the way patients with intractable cancer-related pain demonstrated increased tolerance to medicines that combined both THC and CBD, as compared with the patients’ tolerance and potential benefits of medicating with pure THC extract.

It is important to note that not all individuals have a good tolerance to THC, and especially when it comes to the psychoactive effects triggered by THC. With this in mind, both medicating and entertaining with cannabis are truly subjective experiences, as no two marijuana users are exactly alike. If person A could possibly ingest 100 mg THC and feel excellent, person B may ingest only 20 mg THC and feel quite uncomfortable. With CBD, things are quite different, as in the lack of the same psychoactive properties as THC, Cannabidiol has managed to find its way to a much broader public, partially because it does not really impair one’s cognitive abilities for a particular amount of time as THC.

Indeed, the successful use of cannabis greatly depends on managing its psychoactive properties. Each cannabis user’s individual goal is to be able to administer a measurable, consistent dose of a CBD-rich cannabis product that also contains as much THC as the particular person can handle, or in other words, feels comfortable with.

What is crucial to realize is that even when administered in a rather small amount, THC can confer the health benefits of CBD, and quite possibly, the health benefits of the rest of the active cannabinoids available in whole cannabis plant-based medicinals.

According to a 2005 report published in Nature, oral administration of as little as 1 mg THC a day has proved to bring a “significant inhibition of disease progression,” which was discovered after examining an animal model of hardening of the arteries (also known as atherosclerosis). And so, as it turns out, the average THC dose that we tend to associate with the psychotropic effects of THC is actually way higher than the effective dose of THC one needs in order to experience the full range of benefits of CBD. Most importantly, this highlights the magic hidden in the cannabis plant. Whether you will take a few puffs or get to smoke a fat joint all by yourself remains mostly a matter of personal needs and preferences, at least as far as reaping the benefits of both CBD and THC as effectively as possible is concerned.

Ultimately, because of probably acting through different mechanisms, while both CBD and THC carry different pharmacological properties, they can lead to quite similar physiological effects. To illustrate this better, both THC and CBD can induce anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects but as these two active cannabinoids may act through different mechanisms, taking advantage of both THC and CBD could potentially greatly enhance the desired outcome surrounding pain relief and management, as compared with taking either THC or CBD alone.

Video by: Medicinal Genomics – Mara Gordon – Comparison of the Anti-Tumor Efficacy of a Whole-Plant Extract vs. Pure THC…

Why THC and CBD Work Best when in Combination: Final Notes

If you need more evidence on whether or not THC and CBD work best when in combination, we highly recommend that you get to know better the life-changing stories of the number of parents of desperately ill children, who have managed to bring their kids back to a healthy, joyful life thanks to medicating with full-spectrum CBD Oil. Full-spectrum CBD Oil is not derived from hemp plants but from cannabis plants that are intentionally bred to produce higher amounts of CBD, such as CB Dutch Treat, CB Diesel, and Cali Kush, to name a few, while also containing a well-balanced, low level of THC, too.

We don’t know about you but we definitely feel privileged to witness the rise of know-howand enthusiasm on working with homemade cannabis infusions, as this is the best way to be sure what gets into your body while also upgrading your skills and building a solid foundation of knowledge on the benefits of the green medication in the most cost-effective, and more importantly, the most sustainable way possible. Really, just think about the whole plethora of cannabis strains one can choose to grow from seeds that feature varying THC to CBD levels for the sweetest, 100% personalized cannabinoids intake, such as Dwarf Low Flyer, Grape Ape, Original Skunk, Pineapple Express, Amnesia Haze, Fruity Pebbles, among many others. And when thinking of the amazing world of cannabis strains, think about the fact that we are the first generations to witness the lift on the ban on marijuana that has blocked progress on taking best advantage of the healing cannabis plant-based remedies for well over a century. We are writing history, bud buddies!

Of course, if you’re fortunate enough to be able to freely access a legally operating dispensary, you can easily find multiple cannabis concentrates, edibles, and topicals that are loaded with a wide range of CBD-to-THC ratios. Yet we firmly believe that nothing can compare with the joy of filling them fat mason jars with cannabis flowers that you have personally watched grow and develop ever since just fragile, tiny seeds.

We are truly blessed to have the opportunity to combine a very wide array of CBD and THC forms but we must not forget to couple these with the best whole-plant cannabis products we can possibly lay hands on for maximized benefits. For instance, you can enjoy a readily-available or homemade cannabis capsule that is high in CBD, made by using CBD-rich cannabis flowers that also contain a comfortable amount of THC. Alternatively, if you already have a bottle of hemp-derived CBD Oil, we highly recommend that you pair with a weed tincture that contains the most suitable levels of THC based on your personal tolerance levels and preferences, or simply take a few puffs of your favorite strain rolled in a classic joint to increase the potency of your CBD intake.

Whether the entourage effect is only a theory is not the real question, just like knowing why THC and CBD, being the two most abundant active cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant work best when in combination, is also not the real question. The question is whether mankind is ready to put an end to the old ways and to embrace a holistic perspective on humans’ health and well-being. It is effortless to see that the old ways fail to open new doors, as never before the legalization of medical marijuana did cancer sufferers have any natural alternative to the toxic, harmful conventional anti-tumor medications. Let’s not forget that cannabis is not only a recreational or medical plant but it is also a spiritual plant. The way Mother Nature has designed cannabis plants and the active compounds they produce is certainly beyond the comprehension of most mere mortals but is definitely comprehensible by those who carry an open mind and an open heart to the immortal secrets of the Universe. Respect the green medication and let yourself discover the most suitable combination of THC and CBD based on your personal needs and preferences, for this is merely a matter of a bit of a trial and error, and a whole lot of patience, observation, and a positive attitude towards getting to know better the beauty and wisdom of the cannabis plant, as they reach way beyond the physical plane of existence.