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The Entourage Effect

Although every bottle of The Myrcene Hemp Gin inevitably results in an entourage of friends and family asking for a nip, in this article we’re talking about something very different altogether.

The Entourage Effect refers to the manner in which cannabinoids (natural elements from the cannabis plant including THC, CBD, CBG and over 400 others) interact with terpenes (the essential oils contained in all plants). They work together to create a synergistic effect which neither achieves alone. In other words, when you ingest cannabis together with terpenes, you get a uniquely positive effect. It’s a bit like gin & tonic…when you have them alone, they’re one thing, but together – magic!

 

The Mango Myth

A pervasive myth came out of West Coast rap going back to the 1980s, and legend has it that both Dre and Eazy E were big proponents of the concept. It goes like this: eating mangos before smoking increases the intensity and duration of weed’s effect. This was routinely dismissed as nonsense until recent times. Due to cannabis prohibition, almost nobody from the scientific community was studying the cannabis plant and its effects. From the 1980s onwards, considerable research into cannabis started taking place. What happened when scientists took a closer look is that the link between cannabis and myrcene was discovered, and it was found likewise found that both mangos and cannabis contain large quantities of the same terpene: myrcene.

 

The Science

Well, what was previously a myth is now a bona-fide scientific fact… Sort of. We now have a wild understanding of the body and organs, specific receptors and something called the ECS (endocannabinoid system). Essentially, your brain and body tell each other a story via nerves. Studies found that simply, the use of CBD with terpenes “broadens clinical applications” in the medical world. That’s a funny way of saying the entourage effect is peaking the interest of the medical world.

They found it could be beneficial for:

  

The Science of the Entourage Effect

 

…And that’s just the beginning. We know terpenes have unique effects on the body through receptors in the gut. A terpene like Myrcene generally delivers sedative, relaxing effects. Piney terpenes can up your alertness and memory, while lemony aromas should uplift your mood. No, these are not psychoactive chemicals, they’re found in things like lavender, black pepper and lemons! Does this sound familiar? It should, CBD use generally eases chronic pain and inflammation (Duh.) but interestingly, of the hundreds of strains, each is unique because of the terpenes present in the weed flower. So there are terpenes in black pepper… but also already in the weed plant. Different strains affect you in different ways… Sativa? Indica? Look closer at the terpenes present instead.

So when CBD is being ingested, it’s actually working on the same neurotransmitters to reduce pain that the terpenes are - even before you go demolish 3 mangoes. Is it really such a stretch that additional terpenes would synergize and exaggerate the symptoms of getting high? Hmm. 

 

Soak It Up

When the terpene myrcene is present in your bloodstream and you ingest cannabis, it acts as an express receptor. You receive the cannabinoids from the cannabis faster, and it acts longer. 

This is the reason why we began experimenting with myrcene in the research and development of our gin. Myrcene is known to ease symptoms of chronic pain and inflammation, while also encouraging analgesic responses when combined with THC. A research paper titled Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-terpenoid Entourage Effects was published by the British Journal of Pharmacology in August 2011. It systematically observed a number of positive clinical outcomes due to the interaction of myrcene and certain cannabinoids, referred to as “phytocannabinoid-terpenoid synergy” by lead researcher, the physician and neurologist Dr. Ethan Russo. Amongst other insights, Dr. Russo demonstrated that: 

  • When myrcene was ingested alongside THC, it reduced pain, acted as a muscle relaxant and exhibited sedative properties.
  • When myrcene was ingested alongside CBD, it reduced pain and inflammation, with potential applications for cancer treatment.
  • When myrcene was ingested alongside CBG, it potentially relieved other effects of cancer.
 

Mango Entourage Effect

 

We are firm believers in the old adage that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” and science confirms this as fact – whole plant therapies are universally recognised as being more effective than isolates. Taking a holistic approach to cannabis is at the core of our vision, and so we pursued this ideal when developing our gin in order to magnify the benefits of hemp as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. But to be honest, we didn’t genuinely expect it to actually magnify the other effects…

 

Message In A Bottle

Just after launching The Myrcene for Christmas 2018, we received the following email from Bob (name changed to protect the crew):

“Hi guys, I just wanted to write to yo because my friends are all telling me that I’m mental. I don’t know if this is a placebo effect or what, but it seems that when I drink your gin either before or after smoking weed, I get about 30% more stoned!? Am I imagining this? I know you do the whole scientific thing so what’s the go?”

Well Bob, it appears you’re experiencing The Entourage Effect. We were intrigued, and so we asked a friend-of-a-friend to give it a go. Although she didn’t put a “30% more stoned” number on it like Bob did, she said that after drinking 50ml of our gin, the effects from one bowl of Malawi pure sativa (which she is very familiar with) were far more potent and made her feel “almost trippy”. While this is purely anecdotal, we’re currently looking into the feasibility of a clinical trial to test this.

In the meantime, if you choose to consume THC (the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant and the substance that makes you feel “high” or “stoned”) at the same time as drinking The Myrcene Hemp Gin, please be careful.

Peace out, Myrcenaries!

 

READ NEXT: THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM - THIS IS NOT TAUGHT IN MEDICAL SCHOOL

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