The Importance of the Entourage Effect


The commonly discussed THC and CBD are just two of over a hundred compounds present in hemp and cannabis plants. Although these two are the main stories and are the ones who are always in the spotlight, there are still other compounds that significantly contribute to the overall mechanism of action.

CBD, similar to THC, is also being widely used to address and manage health-related concerns and issues such as pain, inflammation, stress, and anxiety disorders. CBD does not treat the disease or illness itself but rather take action on the symptoms while working to achieve homeostasis in the human body.

Although not commonly discussed, the other compounds that go together with THC and CBD, such as terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabidiols, help achieve the entourage effect.

History of the Entourage Effect

In the year 1998, two scientists from Israel, namely Dr. Shimon Ben-Shabat and Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, opened the doors for the “Entourage Effect” to be known. They created a theory that the fatty acids naturally present in the cannabis plants can significantly enhance the cannabinoid activity inside the human body. The research was also done to support that cannabinoids can work and bind better to the cannabinoid receptors in the body with fatty acids.

The discovery was then improved and deeply studied in 2009 by scientists G. Ulrich-Merzenich and H. Wagner. Their study was able to define the Entourage Effect as “the ability to affect many targets and areas of the body; the ability to improve absorption of active ingredients; the abililty to overcome bacterial defense mechanisms; and the ability to minimize side effects.”

The contribution of the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds that are present in cannabis plants are not yet fully and expressly understood; however, they have proven their actions when it comes to achieving the Entourage Effect.

The Endocannabinoid System

The human body houses a system that regulates sleep, appetite, sexual pleasure, mood, and emotions. This system is referred to as the endocannabinoid system and is also present in other mammals. The endocannabinoid system is composed of receptors and endocannabinoid compounds, which are naturally present inside the human body.

Cannabinoids, such as those found in cannabis plants, interact with the cannabinoid receptors or the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptors are commonly found in the central nervous system, while the CB2 receptors are found throughout the immune system and other body organs. The other compounds found in cannabis plants can also interact with endocannabinoid receptors and work to produce synergistic effects with CBD and THC.

Facts about the Entourage Effect

The entourage effects are able to present themselves in a natural manner within any cannabis plant. This effect comes in effect with CBD or THC’s combination with the other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, such as terpenes. Therefore, the entourage effect is a synergistic phenomenon that comes up when the chemical compounds in the cannabis plants can create an outcome that emphasizes each other’s effects.

Basically, the entourage effect refers to a synergistic process brought about by various cannabinoids, fatty acids, and terpenes while interacting with the cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. When those many compounds and elements of the cannabis plants interact with the cannabinoid receptors, more magnified and intense effects are being put together.

Nowadays, there have been many kinds and types of CBD products out in the market. Some are referred to as isolates, and there are the broad-spectrum ones. The isolates are products that contain only one or two cannabinoids at maximum, commonly THC and CBD. The full-spectrum products contain other cannabinoids such as terpenes and other cannabidiolic acids.

If you want to achieve the entourage effect, you may want to turn to get the full spectrum ones since those full-spectrum CBD products will help you achieve maximum results. If you are looking for something to be combined with other medication or looking for a result that can be mainly focused on just the benefits that can be acquired from the effects of CBD isolates only.

Isolates and broad-spectrum formulations

Generally, there are certain types of cannabis formulations, and the most common ones are the isolates and full-spectrum formulations. The isolates are in the strained or more refined form, which means that they contain either CBD or THC. Isolates are commonly known as the purest forms and are generally labeled 99% pure and typically contains no other forms of cannabinoids.

The full-spectrum formulations, on the other hand, can contain many phytochemicals or compounds. This formulation contains many types of cannabinoids that can simultaneously work together to achieve the entourage effect. Full-spectrums are also referred to as “whole plant,” which means that the whole plant extract is included in the formula.

Many studies have shown that the other cannabinoids and terpenes in full-spectrum products can significantly influence each other’s therapeutic effects and health benefits. Therefore, they make the full spectrum ones a lot more potent, making it a good enough choice for people who use cannabis for medical reasons. Both isolates and full-spectrums are extracted from cannabis plants and can be differentiated by which compound they contain. Both of these products are able to offer medical benefits, and there will be no basis to say that one can be exceptionally better than the other, as it can be based on a matter of preference.

THC, CBD, and terpenes

Naturally, terpenes are responsible for the cannabis plant’s aromatic compounds as well as being an effective insect repellant. Terpenes can enhance cannabis users’ experience not only through the flavors and aroma but also by boosting the effects of the cannabis itself.

THC and CBD have been frequently discussed, are the most common and abundant compounds in cannabis plants. CBD does an excellent job when it comes to bringing relaxing effects and in the management of physical and mental issues minus the psychoactive effects that THC has. On the other hand, THC also got tons of health benefits in store, and both THC and CBD can essentially work very well together, much more with the other cannabinoids.

Read more: A Comprehensive Guide to Terpenes, Cannabinoids & Endocannabinoid.

Here are additional insights and considerations:

  1. Diverse Range of Cannabinoids:
    • Cannabis contains over 100 different cannabinoids, each with unique effects.
    • The entourage effect theorizes that these cannabinoids work better together than in isolation, potentially leading to more effective treatments for various conditions.
  2. Role of Terpenes Beyond Aroma:
    • Terpenes, responsible for the aroma and flavor of cannabis, are believed to play a significant role in the entourage effect.
    • They may affect how cannabinoids bind to receptors in the brain, altering the psychoactive effects of THC and the therapeutic effects of CBD.
  3. Synergy for Medical Use:
    • The entourage effect is particularly significant in the context of medical cannabis.
    • By combining different cannabinoids and terpenes, medical cannabis products can be tailored for specific therapeutic outcomes, such as pain relief, anxiety reduction, or appetite stimulation.
  4. Variations in Cannabis Strains:
    • Different strains of cannabis have varying combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes, which can lead to different effects.
    • Users often report distinct experiences from different strains, supporting the idea of the entourage effect.
  5. Challenges in Research:
    • Research on the entourage effect is challenging due to the legal status of cannabis in many regions.
    • The variability in cannabis strains and individual responses to cannabinoids makes controlled studies difficult.
  6. Potential for Side Effects:
    • While the entourage effect may enhance therapeutic benefits, it can also lead to unpredictable side effects.
    • Users may experience different effects based on the specific cannabinoid and terpene profiles of the cannabis they consume.
  7. Importance of Dosage and Composition:
    • The ratio of THC to CBD and the presence of specific terpenes are crucial in determining the overall effect of a cannabis product.
    • Proper dosing is essential to maximize benefits and minimize adverse effects.
  8. Continued Exploration and Discovery:
    • As research continues, more is being learned about how specific cannabinoids and terpenes interact.
    • This ongoing discovery could lead to more effective and personalized cannabis-based therapies in the future.
  9. Regulatory and Legal Considerations:
    • The legal status of cannabis affects the availability of products and the ability to conduct research.
    • In regions where cannabis is legal, there is greater potential for studying and understanding the entourage effect.
  10. Consumer Education and Awareness:
    • Consumers should be educated about the entourage effect to make informed decisions about cannabis use.
    • Understanding the potential synergies and interactions between cannabinoids and terpenes can help users choose products that best suit their needs and preferences.


Final thoughts

When taken together and in the right manner, cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds in the cannabis plant will be able to provide you a more full and holistic experience, which we call the entourage effect. A combination of these very potent substances has produced encouraging results for the users. The entourage effect amplifies the already magnificent effect that cannabis can bring and diminishes the possible adverse effects.