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The purpose of these shorts posts is to function as triggers for people to undertake further examination and exploration. For this one I'll start with the claim that in the years ahead cannabis will be taking a much larger role in both spiritual and medical contexts.

This is an exceedingly complex plant and although—believe it or not—it has been studied more than any other plant on Earth, we are just beginning to understand the interrelationship of the hundreds of active compounds in cannabis and the different effects the plant is capable of producing.

For example, not only are there more than 100 cannabinoids in cannabis, there are also around 200 terpenes. Very briefly, terpenes provide the smell in all herbs, flowers, and plants, including cannabis, where they're produced in the sticky resin of the trichomes.

What matters about this to us lay folk is that a number of the major terpenes in cannabis exert a distinct influence on its physiological and psychological effects. Myrcene, for example, is the most abundant terpene in the plant. It has been shown to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, relaxing, and sedative effects and appears to exert a significant influence on the drowsiness (couch-lock) effect generated by some strains. Here's another one with very interesting potential implications. According to highly regarded researcher Dr. Ethan Russo, pinene, another terpene in cannabis, has shown a mitigating influence on short-term memory impairment from THC.

The encompassing point about all this is that there is an integrity to the whole plant. It's called the entourage effect. As the inevitable expansion of cannabis use for various purposes unfolds, it is important to acknowledge and honor this entourage effect and to be very wary of the single molecule approach that attempts to isolate and promote the use of specific compounds in cannabis.

Cannabis is an extremely ancient plant with many benefits to humanity. Its holistic integrity and intelligence far exceed the understanding of reductionists and corporate profiteers. It is the people's plant and must always remain so. It behooves us to pay attention in this rapidly changing environment to how cannabis takes its place.

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Cannabis: The Future and the Entourage Effect. 1599 Stephen Gray 26-Jul-17 19:08

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