Can terpenes consumed orally play a role in the ensemble effect?

Can terpenes consumed orally play a role in the ensemble effect?

Can terpenes consumed orally play a role in the ensemble effect?

     It has long been known that cannabis is greater than the sum of its parts. Cannabinoids working synergistically to modify or potentiate the effects of THC is what we now refer to as the entourage or ensemble effect. This ensemble effect, in part, is due to phytocannabinoid-terpenoid synergy. If inhaling terpenes could modulate or potentiate the ensemble effect, could the same be said for terpenes consumed orally?    

    I first became aware of the profound impact of phytocannabinoid-terpenoid synergy when dabbing live resins, however, felt something very familiar when I was on a raw-juice kick. I was making my morning juice consisting of beets, carrots, kale, ginger, and lemon… and dabbing some concentrates. After consuming the juice, I immediately felt a head rush of euphoria and energy. My high had changed entirely. Could the terpenes from the fruits and vegetables play a role? After all, ginger alone has 40 terpenes.

    It is becoming rather common to see terpenes added to edibles or gourmet cannabis dinners as a selling point. Cannabis-derived terpenes are not cheap, usually between $50-$200/ml. Blue River is marketing sugars and simple syrups infused with cannabis-derived terpenes. While they don’t officially make the claim, there are modifying or potentiating effects when consumed with THC. Marcus Richardson, a.k.a Bubbleman has made claims on his YouTube channel that he does, in fact, experience “modulation” when consumed along with smoked cannabis.

    There are many articles online about the myrcene in mangos having a modifying and potentiating effect on cannabinoids, however, most of this is anecdotal evidence. One well-known expert on the subject, David Watson had chimed in on one of these articles stating that he had tried to prove that mangos could modulate and potentiate THC but failed. However, when smoking cannabis, the “effects of myrcene was very profound.”

    While there is an astounding amount of speculation claiming that terpenes present in food can modify the psychoactive effects of THC, one will be hard-pressed to find a cannabis expert that will attest to these claims, or even take them seriously. It is not necessarily that the science doesn’t support the claims as much as there is a lack of peer-reviewed studies on the matter. Terps are cool, and undeniably have profound effects when inhaled, however maybe not as much when consumed orally.

Juice Recipe (1 serving):

4 large kale leaves

3 carrots

4 celery ribs

½ cucumber

½ beet

½ lemon

1 inch of ginger root

1 TB of hemp seed oil

Kassi Roosth and Erich Berkovitz co-own and operate PharmEx LLC., an OHA/ODA certified medical processing lab and edibles kitchen in Polk County. Both Kassi and Erich are OMMP patients and hold CELTA certifications from the Universtiy of Cambridge to teach English as a second language. Kassi is a private gardener, cannabis grower, and the garden bed specialist for Illahe country club in Salem, OR. Erich is a cannabis grower, processor, and consultant with a culinary background. Kassi and Erich have been a team since '08 and have been on many adventures together that include working as mountain guides for BSA high adventure bases, building and operating a processing lab and hydroponic grow, and rescuing a spastic pitbull named Abigail.


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