The Synergy of Hemp, Yoga, and Oranges
If a person practices yoga without syncing their breath to their movement,
the full therapeutic benefits of yoga cannot be achieved. If a person takes vitamin C and skips out on the orange, they are missing the essential nutrients that help the body process the orange. If a person takes a CBD isolate rather than a full spectrum product, different cannabinoids cannot nourish and heal as many pathways of the body.
What is in the hemp plant made of?
To understand the synergy of the hemp plant, one must first understand the chemical makeup of the plant.
Over 500 chemical compounds have been discovered in hemp thus far…
★ Over 110 cannabinoids: These stimulate the CB receptors in the brain.
[Cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabidivarin
(CBDV), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and more….]
★ Over 200 terpenes: These stimulate receptors in the brain as well.
[D-limonene, myrcene, linalool, alpha-pinene, nerolidol, caryophyllene
(humulene), phytol, and B-amyrin, and more….]
★ Flavonoids: Give the plant its pigment/color, block UV rays, deter predators, and
attract pollinators. For humans, they are great antioxidants with
anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
★ Various fatty acids: Essential, monounsaturated, polysaturated, and saturated —
hemp boasts a perfect 3:1 ratio of omega 3 linolenic acid and omega 6 linoleic acid.
★ Vitamins: Such as carotene, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulphur, calcium,
iron, and zinc, as well as vitamins E, C, B1, B2, B3, B6.
★ Plant sterols: These help lower LDL-C (“bad” cholesterol).
★ Chlorophyll: These contain vitamins, antioxidants, and therapeutic properties.
★ Gamma Linoleic Acid: The body converts this into substances that reduce
inflammation and cell growth.
What will the Entourage Effect do for my body?
The potential uses of hemp’s cannabinoids are dependent on what the body needs. The endocannabinoid system is one of the most comprehensive systems of the body. The cannabinoids will utilize the pathways available (more cannabinoids=more potential pathways) to heal the body where it is needed
Much of the time, we do not know where our bodies need healing. We also have no awareness of when there is a potential ailment forming in the body. Luckily, the endocannabinoid system is spread throughout the body, has more receptors than any other system of the body, and can use cannabinoids to rehabilitate the body or prevent an issue before it even forms—this is how hemp helps the body achieve and maintain homeostasis.
Microbiologist and prominent endocannabinoid researcher David A. Dawson explains in his book Medical Cannabis, The Definitive Guide, “the four basic mechanisms of whole plant extract synergy as follows:
- Ability to affect multiple targets within the body.
- Ability to improve absorption of active ingredients.
- Ability to overcome bacterial defense mechanisms.
- Ability to minimize adverse side effects.” (pg. 96)
What is the Entourage Effect?
The whole plant works together to create what the hemp community coins “the synergy of nature.” When the different compounds of the plant are activated in harmony, different pathways in the body are modulated. Interestingly, the plant acts differently when different combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes are present.
“It is now well accepted that the health benefits of fruits, vegetables and
other plant foods are due to the synergy or interactions between the different
bioactive compounds or other nutrients present in the whole food, and not to the
action of a sole compound (Liu. 2013, ^1). Similarly, Cannabis-based
therapeutics exert their pharmacological effects in humans via
synergistic or antagonistic interactions between the various
(“ Cannabis sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules” — Christelle M. Andre,* Jean-Francois Hausman, and Gea Guerriero )
This synergy is even more applicable to a plant like hemp, which has such a vast array of chemical compounds. For example, while fruits and vegetables usually have a single terpene, hemp has hundreds of them. In his paper, Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid -Terpenoid Entourage Effects, Dr. Ethan Russo concludes,
“Considered ensemble, the preceding body of information supports the
concept that selective breeding of cannabis chemotypes rich in ameliorative
phytocannabinoid and terpenoid content offer complementary
pharmacological activities that may strengthen and broaden clinical
applications and improve the therapeutic index of cannabis extracts
containing THC, or other base phytocannabinoids. Psychopharmacological and
dermatological indications show the greatest promise.”
avasana is the final pose of a yoga class — it entails lying on the ground and,
well, actually it’s a practice of death.
Holding any yoga pose goes deeper than muscle alignment, it is an insight into who you
are and how you go about your life. Are you comparing yourself to everyone else in the class? Constantly checking the clock to see how much time is left? If so, you are probably doing that in your life. In the 8 limbs of yoga, “asana,” or physical practice, is only the 3rd limb, and there is an important purpose behind it. Asana is a tool to become comfortable in the body in order to turn off “chitta vritti,” or the chattering mind.
The goal of the 8 limbs of yoga is to lose the self by submerging the self into the present. Savasana allows a person to bring their body to a state of rest and repair, which then allows for the practice of a deep, penetrating concentration and awareness. Savasana is an opportunity to let go of whatever is coming up and to create new patterns. It is the death of the old you; it is to let yourself be reborn into a more enlightened, more peaceful, more synergized you.
…What does savasana have to do with
Utilizing parts, rather than a whole, never leads to the same endpoint. Yoga was designed with a wisdom of the body-mind connection. For example, which is better—eating an orange or taking vitamin C pills? The fiber of the orange is going to help the body process the vitamin C; this is the intelligence of nature.
While taking a CBD isolate does have its achievable benefits, there are simply not as many as there would be from a whole plant extract.
Just as how the yogis have acquired knowledge and passed it down to us, plants have the ability to do the same thing. Both yoga and hemp benefit our bodies and minds in ways that we are not fully aware of. CBD works best in a whole-plant extract.
How Can I Get the Entourage Effect?
❏Look at 3rd Party Testing Certifications.
In order for CBD isolates to isolate a single cannabinoid (CBD), they must burn off the other cannabinoids. During this process, other important plant compounds can be destroyed as well. “Full spectrum” products ensure that all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds have been preserved—thus, the entourage effect is established. This includes a tiny amount of the cannabinoid THC, but CBD products do not contain enough THC to create any sort of “high”—in fact, it’s just the opposite—they promote focus.
How to ensure that the terpenes and cannabinoids are all present in a product:
Right now, CBD manufactures have no federal guidelines to follow, which means that there is a lack of quality control on products, leaving the consumer extremely vulnerable. Luckily, Botanicam only works with manufacturers that do their third party tests through certified labs, and on top of that, Botanicam randomly tests their brands to ensure that the manufacturer has provided reports that are accurate. Check this out
Importantly, these reports will state the exact cannabinoids present in each specific product. This way, a person can make sure to get the specific cannabinoids they are looking for.
I want the whole enchilada.
It is clear that we do not fully understand the hemp plant or all of its possible benefits and uses. That is why science is diving deeper into hemp everyday. For now, it might be best to trust the plant like we would trust an orange—Vitamin C is nice, but oranges are better.
An Article By Evie Louise
Evie Louise is a recent psychology graduate from New York University. She is a certified in International Cannabinoid Clinical Therapy. Evie sees all forms of the cannabis sativa plant as the future of psychiatry, and hopes to use it in her therapy practice as a full spectrum approach to mental health and wellness.