The Clever Root

Spring / Summer 2016

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8 2 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t 8 2 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t W ithin the last decade, scientists have dis- covered hundreds of biologically active nutrients called phytochemicals, which are found in whole, unprocessed foods. There's pteros- tilbene, a powerful antioxidant found in almonds, blueberries and Pinot Noir grapes that enables cells to break down fat and cholesterol; compounds like lycopene, which colors tomatoes red, and antho- cycanin, which gives berries of all kinds their deep hues of blue. And of course, there's the exciting world of phytocannabinoids, cannabis-derived com- pounds including the famously psychoactive THC, as well as the less-known such as CBDV, a proven anti-epileptic. Food and health researchers have long concluded that while our bodies readily absorb these kinds of nutrients from whole foods, our ability to absorb syn- thetic, isolated supplements is limited at best. That's exactly what cannabis researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem discovered when comparing the efficacy of whole-plant cannabinoid (CBD) ex- tracts with synthetic, single-molecule CBDs. As the pharmaceutical industry rushes to market synthetic CBDs, research points to what's called the "Entourage Effect," wherein compounds work- ing together synergistically in whole-plant medi- cines amplify the overall effects and benefits of the medicine. When comparing synthetic CBDs with whole-plant extract, the Israeli researchers ob- served a narrow therapeutic window that limits the usefulness of the synthetic form and a far greater range of effectiveness for CBD-rich, whole-plant extract. This, combined with the Entourage Effect, makes whole-plant CBD extracts more effective at lower doses, with fewer adverse side effects, mak- ing it ideal for clinical use. Whole-Plant, Whole Medicine THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT OF WHOLE-PLANT MEDICINE BY DEBORAH PARKER WONG CANN BIS

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