Many people know about the medical benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid found in marijuana. But it turns out taking CBD alone may not be the most effective way to get those benefits, writes Joseph Misulonas.
A study conducted over a four year period in Brazil examined how CBD helped patients with epilepsy. As with many other studies on the subject, the researchers found about two-thirds of people with otherwise untreatable epilepsy showed signs of improvement when given CBD.
But more interestingly, they found that patients who received CBD that included amounts of other cannabinoids such as THC were more likely to show improvement than people who received pure CBD with no other amounts of cannabinoids. 71 percent of patients who received CBD extracts that contained small amounts of other cannabinoids showed improvement, compared to only 36 percent of patients who received pure CBD.
This study would seem to prove the idea of the “Entourage Effect,” a theory among cannabis enthusiasts that all the different cannabinoids in marijuana work together to produce the ideal effect. For instance, the presence of CBD in marijuana helps temper some of the psychoactive effects of THC. But the Entourage Effect was mostly hypothetical and there wasn’t any real scientific research backing up until now.
This research is particularly noteworthy because some states without legalized medical marijuana do allow for CBD medications that contain little to no amounts of THC for people with severe cases of epilepsy. This study would suggest that those medications are not as effective as ones that do contain a stronger presence of other cannabinoids.