The concept of holism is about the fact that things are often more than just the sum of their mere parts. For example, did you know that a single banana contains roughly 422 mg of potassium?
Now, what would you rather take: a bite out of a banana or a potassium pill?
When you eat a banana, there’s a lot more that you benefit from than just the potassium. There’s also a ton of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and dietary fiber as well is a sweet and enjoyable taste and a somewhat satisfying small meal. These are all benefits that come as part of a whole.
When you take a potassium pill, you do get a direct influx of potassium into your system. However, you miss out on all of these other positives that are meant to work together as a system. In all her brilliance, nature has worked with us over evolutionary history to create a number of different symbiotic connections and relationships that were designed, literally from the ground up, to work together each step of the way.
When man, in all his ignorance, decides to improve upon this by breaking everything down into little component parts and rebuilding new systems, much ends up left out of the equation that was designed to be there through the process of long-term coevolutionary development.
This synergistic level of design inherent in nature is something we call the “entourage effect”.
Cannabis and the Entourage Effect
As we have seen, both CBD and THC confer enormous benefits to our bodies. But there are other elements within the cannabis plant that are also highly positive, including other cannabinoids and terpenes.
That’s why, if we really focus on the plant’s ability to offer up its synergistic reservoir of positives, we can maximize the impact as we consume this plant in all of its various parts. This optimizes its therapeutic benefit.
As the reader is likely aware, cannabinoids interact powerfully with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This is roughly analogous to how neurotransmitters interact with synapses in the brain.
Some slightly less well-known cannabinoids, such as CBG or CBC, as well as key terpenes like linalool, when they are combined in terms of consumption with CBD, can actually function as even better therapeutic treatment tools for a variety of different health concerns than they might if taken as isolated substances, known as pure isolates.
For example, a combination of CBD, CBG, CBDV, and THC actually functions better as a tool in the battle against multiple sclerosis than would just CBD or THC if consumed by itself. This, of course, is precisely the synergy idea that we discussed above known as the entourage effect.
The fact is there are nearly 120 different phytocannabinoids and well over 200 different terpenes. And if we just isolate a single one, we lose out on all the rest. It is the plant as a whole that in many cases has the greatest derivative health impact.
As we move forward, it will be imperative that scientists and researchers in this field find new and creative ways to prove the health benefits of all of these interesting compounds particularly when taken together. And as that process moves itself along, we will be there every step of the way to promote knowledge, understanding, and natural health.