The Entourage Effect: Going Beyond Just THC & CBD

The Entourage Effect

CBD based drugs happen to be gaining momentum in recent years following a media frenzy around Charlotte’s Web (CWEB), a non-intoxicating cannabis breed which has been processed to some CBD-rich petroleum to an epileptic child.

The remedy prompted several countries to embrace CBD-only legislation under which THC-rich medicines stay illegal. While CBD-only cannabis medicines have proven to be life-changing for many individuals, these legislation mainly exist to help those afflicted by seizures.

The human body, naturally producing cannabinoids, has cannabinoid receptors — CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mainly found in the brain and are responsible for dealing with things like pain, movement coordination, cognitive abilities (thinking, memory), appetite and emotions. CB2 receptors are more commonly found in the immune system and have an effect on things like pain and inflammation.

When CBD enters the body, it stimulates the body to create more of its own cannabinoids, thus producing the beneficial effects seen in so many patients.

Src: Charlottes Web

THC-only drugs primarily refer to synthetic renderings of THC, the 2 hottest being Marinol (dronabinol) and also Cesamet (nabilone). These are valid additives primarily prescribed to treat cancer-related nausea, but their efficacy is questionable. What’s more, it usually takes time to get a THC-only pill to provide relief where as inhaled methods take effect instantly.

Where things get really interesting is when products contain a range of cannabinoids beyond just the most well known THC and CBD. When a multitude of compounds work together in unison even stronger benefits can happen.

The notion of cannabinoids is becoming a lot more mainstream lately, for most people it used to just be indica vs. sativa, but as science progresses people are realizing there is far more to it than just that. As it turns out, whilst the cannabis plant had been used as a crude remedy for seizure disorders all through history, the Charlotte’s World strain was the plant that returned this longlost all-natural history into main stream, present day awareness.

Getting Nerdy With Cannabinoids

Cannabis is comprised of countless therapeutic chemicals called cannabinoids and terpenoids. We assume you’re well familiar with THC and CBD, however those are only two among many crucial players working together to produce certain consequences. This interactive connection between cannabis compounds has been coined the”entourage effect,” and once you know this is, you will realize why medicines containing just THC or CBD are not always adequate for many medical conditions.

The diverse chemical accessibility in entire plant drugs is notable in its own right, but research looking in to how cannabinoids and terpenoids come together adds another degree of amazement. The terpene myrcene, for example, can decrease resistance in the blood-brain barrier, allowing easier passing of other beneficial chemicals. Pinene may help counter act compromised cognition and memory due to THC.


A mixture of terpenes pinene, myrcene, and caryophyllene help unravel stress. THC also CBN yields enhanced sedating effects. Linalool and limonene combined with CBD has been examined within an anti-acne treatment. These examples only scratch the surface of most possible synergies made available to us by means of whole plant treatments. Consider all of the medical possibilities waiting for us since the combinational possibility of these compounds are all unlocked.

The thought of the number of lives could be changed for the better by such discoveries is almost overwhelming.

“The entourage effect” is really a term applied to describe drugs using the full range of therapeutic compounds cannabis needs to offer you. A glimpse of the most abundant cannabinoids and terpenes is provided below in both graphics illustrating the properties and advantages of each and every (click on each for expanded versions). As you can see, each of those therapeutic agents that are refined out of THC- and – CBD-only medicines have so much to offer patients handling a wide breadth of symptoms and illnesses.


Scientific Studies

According to NCBI:

Cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, are the most important active constituents of the cannabis plant. Over recent years, cannabinoid-based medicines (CBMs) have become increasingly available to patients in many countries, both as pharmaceutical products and as herbal cannabis (marijuana). While there seems to be a demand for multiple cannabinoid-based therapeutic products, specifically for symptomatic amelioration in chronic diseases, therapeutic effects of different CBMs have only been directly compared in a few clinical studies.

The survey presented here was performed by the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM), and is meant to contribute to the understanding of cannabinoid-based medicine by asking patients who used cannabis or cannabinoids detailed questions about their experiences with different methods of intake.

The survey was completed by 953 participants from 31 countries, making this the largest international survey on a wide variety of users of cannabinoid-based medicine performed so far. In general, herbal non-pharmaceutical CBMs received higher appreciation scores by participants than pharmaceutical products containing cannabinoids. However, the number of patients who reported experience with pharmaceutical products was low, limiting conclusions on preferences. Nevertheless, the reported data may be useful for further development of safe and effective medications based on cannabis and single cannabinoids.


That is not to say synthetic, hemp-based, and CBD-only medicines aren’t effective choices for most patients, notably as laws restrict accessibility to alternatives. These sorts of products have served a monumental role either as medication and as a pruning stepping stone.

However, what more can patients get out of whole plant medication? Instrumental in this field of science is Ethan Russo, M.D., a neurologist with long studied cannabis chemicals and their role within your system. We’re not only talking about the well-known THC-CBD label team here even small levels of terpenes (fragrant oils that give cannabis its smell) can make a huge difference.


What Makes a Successful Cannabis Dispensary in The US?

Among the states that have legalized marijuana, the choices for cannabis dispensaries vary significantly from one state to another.

While some places such as Denver, Colorado offer numerous dispensary options to the cannabis consumers, others have very limited number of dispensaries.

Legalization in more states will increase access to cannabis dispensaries, and states where pot is already legal are also likely to see more dispensaries coming up in the near future.

Looking at the market trends, it is likely that the marijuana business will grow highly competitive in the years to come and even more so since more people and businesses have money to invest because of the lower taxes that came into fruition in 2017.

If you own a cannabis dispensary at present or plan to own one at some point in time in the future, here are a few ideas for you to build your consumer base and revenues for a successful cannabis enterprise.

Culture, Brands, and Products

The foremost thing to remember is that many of the regular cannabis users follow a unique sub-culture. You should capitalize on this fact to run a successful cannabis dispensary.

Also, you must not be restrictive when it comes to building your inventory of cannabis brands and products. Even if you feel very strongly about certain choices of brands, it is always better to diversify the product range you offer at your cannabis dispensary.

In addition, you should focus on offering strains of all varieties – sativa, indica, and hybrid. Do not limit your offerings to traditional cannabis buds, and try to include a constantly expanding range of balms, edibles, and patches in your product mix.

To address the needs of a wider consumer base, try to offer products that are high in THC as well as the ones that are high in other cannabinoids.

Strategies to Gain a Greater Market Share

Pricing is the heart and soul of cannabis retailing through dispensaries. Price is especially important if you live in an area which already has an intense competition from multiple cannabis dispensaries.

Your goal should be beat your competitors in pricing, and manage pricing smartly with occasional sales and discounts to grab the attention of new customer.

Secondly, you should have a batch of helpful “budtenders”. Make sure that the people you hire are trained to serve your customers well. You should also educate your budtenders about all the products and brands you offer, so that they can answer the customers’ questions and help them make informed choices.

Smart Business Moves

Finally, you should know that cannabis consumers are not one-time clients. They will remain loyal to your dispensary if they trust you and feel good to buy from you. Recognition is important for the repeated users. You should create small but innovative programs to reward your customers for being loyal.

You can use promotional techniques such as in-store contests, buy one get one free, referral programs, and special sales and discounts to gain the attention of new customers. A loyal client base and repeat business is vital to the long-term success of your cannabis dispensary.

You have to work hard unlike Saul Silver was doing in Pineapple Express!

Last week we wrote about Body and Mind (BAMM.C) acquiring the iconic ShowGrow dispensary.

ShowGrow currently has 3 dispensary locations: Long Beach, California, Santa Ana, California and Las Vegas, Nevada where Body & Mind is headquartered. A 4th location in San Diego, California is also currently being built out.

One of the main reasons this is a smart is the brand is already established, companies are flooding into California trying to start cannabis brands left right and centre. Building a brand in a market like California right now is what many companies are doing as cannabis culture in the state is huge. Because the brand is already established this will give BaM near term revenue growth as cash is already coming into the business.

According to BDS analytics, In California, the cannabis edibles sector had $306 million in legal retail sales from March to December 2017, representing approximately 13% of all cannabis retail sales in the state.

Disclaimer: Body & Mind is a paid client of High Energy Trading, click here to read full disclosure.

High Energy Trading is not a licensed broker-dealer, market maker, investment advisor, or underwriter. All information that we provide is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell securities.

Banking 2.0: Enter the Neo-Banks

The next generation of banking is in supercharged growth mode. Companies are seeing adoption at alarming rates and capital is flying at startups under the banner of Neo-Banks.

This movement is occurring due to a lack of innovation and customer experience from the traditional banking sector. Part of this is a result of the regulatory changes that have occurred in the last 10 years but the other seems to be either bureaucratic friction combine with a detachment from what people really want. We’re written about how impressed people are with their banking apps before.

People are getting smarter and are wanting more from their banking. Thats not just pretty interfaces and friendly local customer support. People want more features, more products, and don’t want to pay high premiums for it. Why should they spend their valuable time comparing interest rates and services offered by huge corporations with massive overheads when Silicon Valley start ups will deliver it to their phone packaged in an intuitive interface?

Enter the Neo-Banks

In its simplest form a Neo-Bank is a bank without branches; a digital bank. The movement has been led by fin-tech companies like Monzo in the UK, Simple in America, WeBank in China and Fidor in Germany. These forward thinking tech companies saw what everyone else was seeing and did something about it. Banks are stagnant, slow and expensive. Not to mention cumbersome; try sending money to someone in another country through your bank. Then try a service like TransferWise or Bitcoin and compare the efficiency, cost and experience of them. Night and day difference.

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This is just one example of the dated nature of banking in a world that is continually moving towards digital. Traditional banks charged customers $34.3 Billion in overdraft fees in 2017 alone. A 3% increase on the previous year and more than the fees from 2009 post GFC.

In contrast, Chime, a San Fransisco based company has no monthly fees, no minimum balance fees, no overdraft fees, no international transactions fees, and it has a network of nearly 40,000 free ATMs.

How is that even competition…? Thats murder.

Chime is murdering banks.

And they’re not alone

There are multiple companies who are taking to the high cost retail banks. WhatsApp has been beta testing its payments platform in Indian with roughly 1 Million people. (Biggest beta test of all time contender…?) Kakao Bank launched in Korea July of 2017 and had 2 million banking clients within 2 weeks. Revolut and Monzo have both recently been granted access to the exclusive unicorn club through successful raises at $1 Billion+ valuations.

When you start to connect the dots what this all means is that the tech companies, the venture capitalists and even the people are all jumping ship from traditional banking in exchange for the blue waters and calmer seas of Neo-Banks and fintech platforms. Giants like Black Rock (NYSE:BLK) and JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) are making moves by investing in new fin-tech platforms. Acorns got a $50 Million dollar tick of approval from Black Rock back in May and JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in Mogo by 225% during the 3rd quarter of 2018.

It’s not just about savings accounts

Banking is more than just checking and savings accounts. There’s lending, there’s credit cards, mortgages, investment, financial advise, superannuation, retirement funds; all these different products which are funnelled to the end user through the banks. So where are these companies likely to go with their product innovation?; financial services.

Mogo (NASDAQ:MOGO), a Vancouver based fin-tech company has already begun progressing from their legacy business of pay day loans and moving towards other areas of the sector. MogoCard has a new cashback feature, similar to the cash back credit card offered by most banks however Mogo offers this service on debit cards. Another new addition to their lineup is MogoWealth, is bringing best-in class services to investment and other financial products.

What the internet did to retail shopping, to video rental, to book stores; it is now doing to banking. The best and most ambitious entrepreneurs are using all the tools available in the age of technology to uproot the one of the most entrenched and stagnant industry there is; money.


Disclaimer: Mogo is a paid client of High Energy Trading, click here to read full disclosure.

High Energy Trading is not a licensed broker-dealer, market maker, investment advisor, or underwriter. All information that we provide is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell securities.