What is the Entourage Effect?
You may have heard of the “Entourage Effect” in cannabis, and while it may sound super complicated and scientific, it’s quite simple! This concept theorizes that the “entourage” of terpenes and cannabinoids actually increase each other’s benefits. This means that while each unique cannabinoid has a different effect, combinations of these can be even more powerful.
What is the Entourage Effect?
THC or CBD on their own aren’t everything—in fact, the Entourage Effect theorizes that components of the cannabis plant work better together than apart. There’s a lot more to this magical plant than just getting you high! Interaction between important cannabinoids and terpenes within cannabis enhances effects and promotes beneficial experiences.
For example, CBD has anti-psychoactive effects while THC obviously has psychoactive effects. When a strain has the same amount of THC as CBD, it will be less psychoactive than if the strain had just that amount of THC. In this case, the different cannabinoids affect each other. THC also does not carry certain properties alone, like pain relief, relaxation, or focus—it’s the terpenes and cannabinoids that are responsible for these effects.
Although there are still lots of ongoing studies on this theory, there is hope in the cannabis research space that different combinations could be used for so many more medicinal purposes than we currently have.
How does the Entourage Effect work?
When we talk about the Entourage Effect, we’re focusing on “full spectrum” and “broad spectrum” cannabis products. The raw cannabis flower on its own is full spectrum because it includes an entourage of cannabinoids and terpenes naturally. Full spectrum oils will also include THC, CBD and other cannabinoids. Broad spectrum refers to products that have CBD and a combination of other cannabinoids, but no (or a very small percentage of) THC. If not full spectrum or broad spectrum, the product is considered an “isolate,” meaning it’s just CBD or THC separated from the other cannabinoids. Isolates will not achieve the Entourage Effect in any way since there’s obviously no entourage!
When full spectrum products, such as flower, live resin, or rosin, are consumed, terpenes and cannabinoids work together to complement each other. This increases their effects compared to being consumed separately in a process known as synergy. These synergistic effects can range from hyper focus to extreme relaxation and everything in between.
Who are the main players in the Entourage Effect?
Think of CBD and THC as the celebrities and cannabinoids and terpenes as their entourage, lifting them up and making them even better. The main terpenes we see in cannabis are myrcene, linalool, limonene, pinene and caryophyllene. Each of these terpenes has its own unique effect on the body and mind, aroma, flavor and look.
Terpenes are present in all cannabis flower as well as full-spectrum cannabis waxes and oils. These compounds offer a lot of the healing benefits involved with medicating with cannabis. THC oil itself may have no terpenes, or a very small percentage of them, so it may not offer as many healing benefits or a complex high as an oil with THC, CBD and a myriad of terpenes.
Then, we have our cannabinoids. There are hundreds of these compounds that interact with our endocannabinoid receptors in a different way. The most common ones other than THC and CBD are CBN that invokes sedative effects, CBG, an anti-inflammatory cannabinoid, and CBC, which has antibiotic properties. As you can imagine, the combination of these cannabinoids with THC and yummy terpenes makes for a much better experience than just smoking THC isolate.
Benefits of the Entourage Effects
If it’s just THC or CBD you’re smoking or vaping, the effects may not be as strong or you may not be receiving the all the benefits possible. By experimenting with a combination of cannabinoids and terpenes, you’ll be more aware of the concoction you’re smoking, you can choose your own unique experience based on what you need, and can have fun finding new flavors and effects!
How to achieve the Entourage Effect
To get the most out of your smoking experience, go for a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum strain, oil, resin or wax to achieve the Entourage Effect.
OozeX cartridges use a distillate, where our concentrates are full spectrum live resin, which will get you the full entourage effects. The distillate is a great budget option and the perfect fix for anyone looking for that potent THC-only high, but if you’re looking for additional health benefits, go for the live resin.
Next time you hit the dispensary, check out the percentages of cannabinoids and terpenes in your favorite product. Or, you might try something new based on the effects of different combinations of chemical compounds. Have fun experimenting and finding the perfect fit for you with the Entourage Effect!