A Beginner’s Guide to the Entourage Effect

*This article is purely informational and does not constitute medical advice. Consult your healthcare provider.

The Entourage Effect
The Entourage Effect

The Entourage Effect

The Entourage Effect, popularized by Dr. Ethan Russo, refers to all components within the cannabis matrix combined synergistically.

Although still a theory, the entourage effect assumes that cannabis components are more potent when consumed together rather than isolating specific compounds. 

By preserving the variety of compounds found in the plant, such as terpenes and other cannabinoids like THC, CBC, CBG, or CBN, the efficacy of the plant can be increased. 

What Does the Entourage Effect Feel Like?

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not meant as a substitute or alternative to information from healthcare professionals. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Consult your healthcare provider before use.

While much about how cannabis affects the body is still unknown, there has been considerable research dedicated to it. 

A review of studies from 2011 indicated that phytocannabinoids and terpenes have some synergistic effects.

In the same study, CBD (cannabidiol) was found to help lessen some of the adverse effects induced by THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), implying that the components have a way of balancing each other out and boosting overall effectiveness when used together.

The entourage effect is not exactly a “feeling.” Rather, it’s a phrase for how cannabis components interact. 

How Does the Entourage Effect Work?

Let’s look at two of the most well-known cannabis chemicals, CBD and THC, to demonstrate the entourage effect in action.

“Without THC, CBD is unable to bind to the CB1 receptor. THC must attach to the CB1 receptor’s major binding site in order for CBD to bind to a secondary binding site on the same receptor,” Emma Chasen, cannabis educator and industry consultant at Eminent Consulting, explains

Cannabinoids aren’t the only chemicals involved in the entourage effect. When coupled with other compounds in the cannabis plant, terpenes can provide advantages as well. 

What Is the Best Type of CBD Consumption for the “Entourage Effect?”

Smoking, vaping, or taking a full-spectrum CBD oil are the most convenient ways to get the most out of your cannabis.

Is the Entourage Effect Real?

The entourage effect, however, remains a theory despite its growing sense of truth. 

The actual clinical work of how the cannabis plant and its components affect the human body is still far from being “open.”

Many of the studies conducted are either anecdotal or have yet to be thoroughly validated, leaving little factual data to support the presence of such an effect.

Evidence on the Entourage Effect/What Does Science Tell Us About the Entourage Effect?

Professors Raphael Mechoulam and Shimon Ben-Shabat revealed in 1998 that plant compounds significantly increased the activity of human receptors, demonstrating the Endocannabinoid System’s “entourage impact.”

These receptors linked with our Endocannabinoid System, govern and balance a variety of body processes.

Professors Mechoulam and Ben-Shabat claim that cannabinoids interact with secondary compounds like terpenes and flavonoids.

Their findings revealed that extracts strong in cannabinoids and terpenes had better pharmacological activity, augmenting and broadening clinical applications while also enhancing therapeutic index.

How Did the Concept of the Entourage Effect Changed:

Industry – The entourage effect concept has gained a hold over the cannabis industry and its users. 

Dispensaries have started listing and advertising different cannabinoid ratios and specific terpene profiles in some strains and products. 

In addition, companies have been experimenting with producing cannabis strain and extract types with precise quantities of popular terpenes like limonene, pinene, and myrcene, which some feel enhances THC’s effects.

RELATED: How is CBD Extracted from Hemp? Which is the best method?

Cultivation and production – Cannabis breeders have been crossing cannabis varieties for decades, always in alignment with the changing demand of consumers. 

Genetics is used more to make the process more exact and efficient. 

They might eventually be able to identify genetic markers linked to chemical results and specific patient outcomes using a large set of cannabis genomic data. 

Criticisms Garnered by the Entourage Effect Concept

The entourage effect has been criticized, albeit not so much, for its presence. The main issues concern how it is marketed and abused as a purely helpful occurrence

Even if chemicals interact to produce heightened or specialized effects, there is no reason to believe that the outcome will always be favorable. 

On the contrary, certain combinations are likely to have negative consequences. Consumers, on the other hand, are frequently simply informed of the advantages.

Cannabis contains around 400 compounds, many of which interact with our endocannabinoid system in distinct ways. 

The advantages and negative side effects of cannabis chemicals have only scraped the surface of available research. 

When you consider that cannabinoids and terpenes are likely to have varied effects at different quantities, it’s evident that assuming that more chemicals always means better outcomes is premature.

The Wrap

While there have been few studies into the concept of the entourage effect, more research is needed to fully understand how the various compounds in the cannabis plant interact.

However, the entourage effect theory highlights the cannabis plant’s potential and why customers should consider goods and companies that promote the complete spectrum or whole plant. 

“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

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