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What is the Entourage Effect?

what is the entourage effect cbd

Learn about the entourage effect, CBD full spectrum oils and why it matters

You might have heard of broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD oils, but why does it matter whether your CBD is broad or full spectrum? It comes down to something called the ‘entourage effect’.

The “entourage effect” is a concept in cannabis science suggesting that the combined effect of all the compounds in the cannabis plant (cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) is greater than the sum of the individual effects of each compound when consumed alone.

Full spectrum cannabis oils like EndoFlo contain as many of the naturally occurring compounds found in the hemp plant as possible, in order to promote the entourage effect. Thus in full spectrum oils, these compounds can synergise and modulate each other’s effects, potentially leading to a more comprehensive therapeutic benefit than any single compound taken in isolation.

Learn the entourage effect cbd and cannabis

How the entourage effect works

1. Interactions between cannabinoids:

The cannabis plant contains over 100 cannabinoids, with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) being the most researched. The interaction between these cannabinoids is a fundamental component of the entourage effect. For example, CBD is believed to modulate some of the potential negative side effects of THC, such as anxiety or paranoia.

2. Natural terpenes:

Terpenes are aromatic compounds responsible for the distinct aromas of different cannabis strains, as well as more generally producing scents associated with most other plants and fruits. Beyond providing delightful aromas, they also have potential therapeutic properties. For instance, the terpene myrcene might have sedative properties, while limonene (also found in lemons, hence the name) could be uplifting. The presence of specific terpenes can, therefore, influence the overall effects of a cannabis strain.

3. Therapeutic synergy:

The entourage effect suggests that there’s a synergistic relationship between the various compounds in cannabis. This means that, in combination, they might produce a therapeutic effect that’s different or more potent than what you’d expect from looking at the effects of each compound in isolation.

4. Implications of the entourage effect:

The entourage effect may have implications for medical cannabis use. If the full benefits of cannabis arise from a synergistic interaction between its compounds, then whole-plant extracts might offer more substantial benefits than isolated compounds. This idea challenges the more traditional pharmaceutical approach of using pure, single compounds for treatment.

pie chart graph of the entourage effect from cbd and cannabis


What does the entourage effect feel like?

There is no specific feeling for the entourage effect, as it does not describe a bodily sensation but instead describes the interaction between the different compounds of the cannabis plant. You will not be able to feel any entourage effect per se, rather that you may experience enhanced effects on mood, apetite, sleep and other effects.

It’s worth noting that while the entourage effect is supported by some preliminary studies and anecdotal evidence, more research is needed to fully understand its implications and to determine how to best utilise cannabis for therapeutic applications.


Learn more about the entourage effect

If you want to learn more about the entourage effect or enjoy getting into the technical and chemical sides of things, there are lots of studies available online. Here are are few to get you started, including a more recent study from 2011 by E. B. Russo, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, and an older study from 1998 by R. Mechoulam published in the European Journal of Pharmacology which has been credited with introducing the idea of the “entourage effect.”

In this paper, Dr. Ethan Russo, a neurologist and cannabis researcher, delves into the interactions between cannabinoids and terpenes, explaining how they might produce synergistic effects. He provides evidence suggesting that the combination of these compounds can provide enhanced therapeutic outcomes in comparison to isolated THC or CBD.

This paper, often credited with introducing the idea of the “entourage effect,” discusses how certain compounds in the body can enhance the activity of naturally occurring cannabinoids, lending the basis to the concept that cannabis compounds might work similarly together.

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