Understanding the Entourage Effect

The entourage effect has really gained quite a fair amount of attention in recent years. It describes how the total combination of cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis, work together to produce a greater therapeutic effect than if each compound were consumed alone.

In this post, you will learn some insights into the entourage effect and have a better understanding of why it matters, as well as how it can impact the future of cannabis-based therapy. Before we head into that, let’s take a look at what Cannabinoids and Terpenes are  and how they fit into the picture of the entourage effect. 

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are a group of chemical compounds that are found in the cannabis plant. They interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). There are over 100 cannabinoids that have been identified in the cannabis plant – but the two most well-known are Tetrahydrocannbinol (THC) and Cannbidiol (CBD). 

THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid and is responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana usage. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and does not produce the same intoxicating effects. It has been found to have a wide range of potential therapeutic benefits. 

Other cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant include Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabinol (CBN), and Cannabichromene (CBC), among others. Cannabinoids have significant potential for treating a variety of ailments, from chronic pain to anxiety and depression. 

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are a group of aromatic compounds found in the many plants, including the cannabis plant. They are responsible for the distinctive scent and flavor of cannabis. There are over 200 terpenes that have been found in the cannabis plant, each one with their own set of potential benefits. Some of the most common ones include Myrcene, Limonene, Pinene, Linalool, and Caryophyllene. Terpenes hold a wide range of benefits including anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant effects.

The Entourage Effect Explained

The entourage effect is what happens when the various compounds found in the cannabis plant, including cannabinoids and terpenes, work together to produce a more advanced therapeutic effect than if it were consumed alone. 

It can be compared to the way an orchestra works. An orchestra is made up of different instruments, each with a unique sound, the cannabis plant is also made up of many different compounds, each with its own unique properties. When an orchestra starts playing, the different instruments work together to create a beautiful, harmonious sound. Similarly, the compounds in cannabis work together to create a more complex and beneficial effect. 

Cannabinoids and terpenes work together in a number of ways, for example, terpenes help improve the absorption of cannabinoids, and they can also module the effect of cannabinoids by interacting with the receptors in the body. THC and CBD are known to have different effects on the body,with THC giving more of an intoxicating effect, and CBD being non-psychoactive and giving more therapeutic benefits. When these two compounds are joined together, they work together to provide a more balanced and beneficial therapeutic effect. 

Here are some benefits of the entourage effect:

  • Greater therapeutic benefits. The entourage effect has greater potential for increasing the effectiveness of each individual compound in the cannabis plant. For those who suffer with anxiety or pain, this will be of great benefit. 
  • Reduced side effects. The negative side effects of cannabis use are reduced. A great example of this would be found in the terpene beta-caryophyllene which is believed to reduce anxiety/depression symptoms while also protecting against negative effects of THC, such as paranoia and memory impairment. 
  • Diversity of effects. Each strain of cannabis contains a combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, which result in a wide range of effects such as pain relief, relaxation, or stimulation
  • Improved taste and smell. The entourage effect can also improve the taste and smell of cannabis products, such as with terpenes which are responsible for the distinct flavors and aromas of the different strains of cannabis.

The benefits of the entourage effect is just incredible, and really proves that the therapeutic benefits of cannabis are a whole lot more significant than we think. The entourage effect is the result of the combination of different cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds working together to enhance its medicinal properties. It allows for a more effective treatment of conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, and inflammation. 

The Differences Between Full-Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate

Full-spectrum CBD products stem from the entire hemp plant and contain all the natural compounds such as cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other plant compounds. Full-spectrum CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC, CBG, CBN, and CBC. 

CBD isolate is a pure, crystalline form of CBD that has been isolated from other compounds in the hemp plant. They may contain 99% pure CBD and have no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or plant compounds. 

The main difference between full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate, is that full-spectrum contains all the compounds found in the hemp plant, and CBD isolate contains only CBD. Full-spectrum CBD is known to have greater potential for producing the entourage effect. 

Each one to their own when making the choice between full-spectrum and CBD isolate. Both have equally great benefits for your body as a whole, while isolated products may be more suited to those who are concerned with consuming traces of THC or need higher doses of CBD.

Final Thoughts

The entourage effect is what occurs when various compounds of the cannabis plant work together and produce a greater therapeutic effect than any compound could have created on its own. Research suggests that full-spectrum CBD products may be more effective at producing the entourage effect, although the choice would depend on personal preference and individual needs. Chat to the team at Cannacopia on products that can help you achieve the entourage effect and take full advantage of its accelerated benefits.

The Writer's Cabin
The Writer's Cabin
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