The BasicsIf you asked one hundred random Aussies to name a cannabinoid, how do you think they would respond? Naturally, some would not know what a cannabinoid is. Others would say THC or CBD, right?
Of course, THC and CBD are the most well-known compounds found in cannabis. However, they are far from the only cannabinoids found in the plant.
Cannabis has a complicated molecular profile, one in which more than 140 cannabinoids may be present in any particular cultivar.
As a raw herbal product, it’s safe to say that cannabis contains a wide variety of cannabinoids and terpenes. These compounds all produce different effects. And it has been theorized by many—including leading cannabis researcher Dr. Ethan Russo—that these cannabinoids and terpenes work in tandem.
Simply put, the entourage effect is what occurs when the chemical compounds in cannabis work together to create unique reactions and benefits that would not be present—or not present with such potency—were the cannabinoids and terpenes to be isolated from each other.
Which Cannabis Products Offer An Entourage Effect?Full-spectrum cannabis extracts such as capsules, oils, vape cartridges, and dabs offer a rich diversity of chemical compounds. Usually, full-spectrum cannabis includes CBD, THC, CBN, CBG, and CBC. Because these full-spectrum products have different cannabinoids present, you can gain access to the richer experience brought forth by the entourage effect.
Broad-spectrum cannabis includes CBD, CBN, CBG, and CBC. Essentially, these products include many of the more popular cannabinoids except the psychoactive THC. Broad-spectrum cannabis is another good option for those looking to experience the entourage effect for themselves.
Isolates are made from a single compound—for example, simply THC or CBD. While these products can be great for certain individuals and conditions, isolates will not produce an entourage effect.
Scientific Research On The Entourage EffectCannabis has been found to be an effective tool to treat a range of ailments, including (but hardly limited to) cancer and eating disorders.
In a 2020 study titled ‘The “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders’, the authors posit that cannabis can be used to treat certain conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
Not everyone is a firm believer in the entourage effect, however. A March 2020 study suggested that no significant interaction occurs between terpenoids “such as myrcene, α- and β- pinene, β-caryophyllene, and limonene”. This study contradicts others that have said the entourage effect is visible because varying compounds and terpenoids interact with each other to create different effects.
Fortunately, most research clearly points to the fact that the entourage effect is a reality.
Despite the substantial amount of evidence brought forth by qualified researchers, for now, the entourage effect is only a theory. In the future, we can expect to see more studies on this topic and gain further clarity.
In the meantime, we promise to ensure that you’re updated with all the latest information on the entourage effect so that you can make the most informed decisions while on your cannabis journey!