What Is The Entourage Effect

What Is The Entourage Effect

There's a lot more to cannabis than just THC and CBD. One phenomenon specifically highlights the synergy that occurs between cannabinoids, terpenes, and compounds found in cannabis. It's called the entourage effect. Let's talk about what it is, how it works, and considerations when choosing a CBD product. 

What is it? 

In 1998, the concept of the entourage effect was first coined by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam when he and his team discovered that cannabinoids were more effective when used in combination rather than when they were isolated. The entourage effect is the idea that when different compounds in cannabis work together, they provide a more positive benefit, bringing out the best and maybe even mitigating some of the downsides of each compound. 

Here are the components involved in the entourage effect:

  • Cannabinoids: The two most well-known cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), bur really, there are many many others with their own effects and properties. 
  • Terpenes: Terpenes contribute to the distinct flavors and scents of different strains of cannabis. they also play a role in modulating cannabis' effects. 
  • Flavonoids: Despite the name, flavonoids are actually responsible for the colors found in the cannabis plant, and may have antioxidant properties. 

How does it work? 

  • Enhanced therapeutic benefits: Remember when we noted they bring out the best of each other? Here's an example: THC and CBD have been shown to have a stronger pain relieving effect when used together rather than when they are used alone. 
  • Balanced high: While this doesn't apply to CBD (as it has nearly untraceable levels of THC), the entourage effect may temper psychoactive effects of THC. 
  • Diverse Health Benefits: In combination, some compounds may offer great health benefits. For example, strains rich in myrcene and CBD may be best for relaxation and sleep. 

How to choose the best CBD product for you:

There's a wide range of CBD products, each with their own unique benefits. Some are isolated, and are therefore more pure. Some include wider arrays of cannabinoids and terpenes, giving you more of the benefits of the entourage effect we discussed today. 

Before choosing a product, consider the following: 

  • Full spectrum v. isolate: Full-spectrum CBD's will have all of the compounds in the cannabis plant, providing you the entourage effect, while CBD isolates only contain pure CBD. Which is best is totally up to you and your preferences, as they each have their own benefits. 
  • Third-party testing: Ensure the CBD you've chosen has been tested by a third party lab for purity and potency.

To sum, the entourage effect can highlight the benefits of the compounds in the cannabis plant, as well as it's full potential. Understanding it can also help you, as a consumer, make informed decisions on the products you consume and purchase to best meet your unique needs. 

Shop our lines of CBD, including full-spectrum and isolates here.