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The entourage effect in cannabis research abstract photo
Research_

The entourage effect

Research on the mechanisms responsible for the entourage effect

A study of the ‘entourage effect’ – the notion that the pharmacological effects of cannabis are greater than the sum of individual cannabis chemical components.

Project overview

Cannabis is a complex mixture of approximately 460 molecules, including hundreds of cannabinoids and terpenoids. The ‘entourage effect’ is the notion that the pharmacological effects of cannabis are greater than the sum of individual cannabis chemical components. This is an under-researched area of cannabis science, and while there are some data that lend support to this idea, more research is needed. Moreover, the exact biological and pharmacological mechanisms responsible for the entourage effect need to be clarified. This will provide a means to better harness the entourage effect to treat disease and promote health.

In this study, we will assess cannabinoid and terpenoid synergy through their interactions with cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors as well as Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels. We are currently assessing whether various terpenoids enhance the actions of THC, CBD and endocannabinoids at these receptors and channels. This should provide the rationale for undertaking human studies that clearly verify the existence of the entourage effect.

Professor Mark Connor
Professor Iain McGregor
Associate Professor Jonathon Arnold

Dr Marina Santiago
Dr Jordyn Stuart
Dr Richard Kevin

Cellular drug discovery

The Lambert Initiative

We presented data at the 2016 Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology conference in Melbourne.

None of six common terpenes/terpenoids found in cannabis (α-carophyllene, α-pinene, β-pinene, linalool, limonene or β-myrcene modulated CB1 or CB2) mediated opening of potassium channels by THC. Studies examining effects on cannabinoid receptors linked to calcium channels and adenylate cyclase are required to further this work.

Studies examining cannabinoid-cannabinoid interactions will follow.

We are looking for PhD students to join our team and work on this project