Ethan Russo is one of the leading academics of cannabis throughout the world. It’s to him we owe the first studies, amongst many others, on the entourage effect of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Researcher in psychopharmacology and director of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI).
Russo completed a psychology degree at the University of Pennsylvania and at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
His research studies focalized on the links between the use of cannabis and the modern pharmacological mechanisms, like the phytopharmaceutical treatment of migraine and chronic pain, or the interactions between phytocannabinoids and serotonergic and vanilloid receptors.
In 1974 Ethan Russo was amongst the first to study and define the entourage effect, the combination of terpenes and cannabinoids capable of modifying, in a significant manner, the action of THC and CBD.
Russo’s research demonstrated how the Terpenes, when consumed, interact with the endocannabinoid system, acting in combination with cannabinoids.
For example, myrcene is a terpene which gives a scent similar to that of cloves, and has the capability to increase cell permeability, hence supporting a fast absorption of cannabinoids.
Some terpenes, instead, bind with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, impacting some of the functions of our organism, other terpenes, acting on cell permeability, control, for example, the absorption of THC.
This combination between terpenes and cannabinoids is called the entourage effect, and, as numerous scientific studies demonstrate, amongst which those conducted by Russo, this combination can modify in a significant manner the action of the main active principles, like THC and CBD.
CBD according to Ethan Russo
Ethan Russo during the Balkannabis Expo, three days dedicated to the world of cannabis and to the scientific research on its extracts, held in Athens, said:
“Cannabidiol is a very effective drug for many pathologies , it has very strong anti-inflammatory effects, hence reducing inflammations and pain, but it also protects the brain against problems like head traumas and strokes”.
“Moreover, there are different signals indicating how CBD could protect the brain from degenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s and other pathologies causing dementia. Furthermore, CBD demonstrated a strong effectiveness in treating severe convulsions. At the moment, in the United States we are awaiting the approval of a medical drug containing cannabidiol, which should be due next month.”
The Study on CBD and irritable bowel
In 2008 Ethan Russo demonstrated how the irritable bowel syndrome, a disorder characterized by pain in the lower belly and alterations in defecation, could be caused by a lack in endocannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid system, in fact, has an important role in the management of some functions of the organism, amongst which digestion and appetite.
Russo’s research brings to the conclusion that the use of cannabinoid products could reveal effective in treating the irritable bowel.
According to the professor, in fact, cannabinoids have demonstrated their capability of blocking the spinal, peripheric and gastrointestinal mechanisms responsible for pain in headaches, in fibromyalgia and related disorders.