What Is The Entourage Effect & How Does It Actually Work?

What Is The Entourage Effect

60% of cannabis consumers consider THC potency the leading factor when purchasing cannabis products. But the cannabis plant contains so many more compounds with potential beneficial effects than just THC alone. 

Key Takeaways

  • THC is the most prominent cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant and possesses psychoactive effects
  • CBD is a non-intoxicating component compound of cannabis that may counteract the potentially negative side effects of THC through something called the entourage effect
  • The entourage effect purports that all compounds found in cannabis work together to enhance one another's positive effects
  • More research is needed to justify the claims of the entourage effect, but many have found through anecdotal evidence that using just THC does not offer the potential health benefits associated with full-spectrum cannabis extracts

In fact, hypotheses like the entourage effect even purport that THC may not be living up to its full potential without these component parts attached. So how exactly does the entourage effect work, and can it actually enhance or alter the way THC binds to the body's cannabinoid receptors?

All of these questions and more will be answered below. So keep reading and find out all there is to know about cannabis and the famed entourage effect.

See Related: 10 High-CBD Strains You Should Know About

What Is The Entourage Effect?

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In short, the entourage effect is a theory that purports that all cannabis compounds work best together, effectively enhancing one another's effects. And while most cannabis users are familiar with the cannabinoids THC and CBD, there are many more compounds produced by the cannabis plant that deserve some recognition. 

If you're familiar with cannabis products at all, then you know that there are different types of CBD to choose from. Here's a short refresher:

  • Full Spectrum CBD retains all different compounds found in the cannabis plant, including trace amounts of THC
  • Broad Spectrum CBD retains all other compounds found in the marijuana plant but goes through an extraction process to eliminate any trace of THC
  • CBD isolate is just pure CBD oil with no additional compounds derived from cannabis flowers
Types of cbd

Of these various types of CBD, full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD are purported to offer the entourage effect due to the flavor compounds, whole plant extracts, and trace amounts of THC that they provide.

Bonus: The 5 Best Mushrooms For Anxiety

Cannabis Compounds Working Together

To understand how the entourage effect takes place in the human body, it's important to break down full-spectrum cannabis extracts into their component parts: cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.

So let's take a look at how these component parts really work:

Cannabinoids and Terpenes

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Terpenes are a class of anti-inflammatory compounds that are produced primarily by plants and even some insects. Terpenes are the primary constituents of essential oils, which is to say that they give everything from the cannabis flower to orange peels their distinctive aroma.

Recent studies have confirmed that the cannabis plant, on its own, can contain up to 220 different terpenes. Some of these terpenes include pinene, limonene, linalool, humulene, eucalyptol, and beta-caryophyllene, also known as "the peppery terpene."

Certain terpenes mixed together can produce potentially relaxing effects and have even been studied in relation to treating anxiety disorders. But with regard to the entourage effect, terpenes are namely studied for their ability to alter the way CBD binds with the body's endocannabinoid receptors.

Binding to the body's CB2 cannabinoid receptor, terpenes are thought to produce an effect that compliments the overall effects of CBD. That being said, many scientists are still working to determine how exactly terpenes affect the endocannabinoid system, whether directly or indirectly, or not at all.

Terpenes and Flavonoids

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Flavonoids contribute to the color, flavor, and smell of the hemp plant. And they play a large role in how the plant is able to reproduce.

Studies have shown that flavonoids possess their own neuroprotective, antioxidant, and anticancer properties. So when working together with terpenes and cannabinoids, flavonoids work by acting as chemical messengers and physiological regulators.

That being said, more research is needed to truly understand the entourage effect as a whole as limited evidence has largely steered the theory thus far.

Still, it is believed that the combination of cannabinoids, even between THC and CBD, may balance out one another's potential adverse effects, making for a more pleasurable cannabis experience overall. 

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The Bottom Line

Ultimately, the entourage effect has yet to be fully proven. But research into its purported effects shows promising results.

With a variety of CBD and THC products available on the market today, more and more users are finding that blending cannabinoids effectively enhance their overall cannabis experience, making for positive anecdotal evidence in the entourage effect's favor.

At Clean Remedies, we take care to craft each of our CBD and THC products with the entourage effect in mind. From THC oils to CBD gummies, we pride ourselves on the care and attention to detail that goes into each and every batch.

Because we believe in the healing power of these wonderful plants. And we hope to provide you with the same healing experience too.  

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Clean Remedies is a woman-owned, independent family business that uses USDA Certified Organic Hemp Extract to create products that are free from harmful chemicals, cruelty-free, and made in the USA, meant to benefit your well being and meet our own high standards of efficacy. For CBD facts, product discounts, and more, follow us on InstagramFacebookYouTubeLinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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