We’re not talking about the TV show or the group of guys that follows every famous rapper around, we’re talking about The Entourage Effect found in cannabis. If this term is brand new to you, you’re not alone.
This is where weed starts to get super nerdy. In the most basic terms, The Entourage Effect is a fairly new discovery that essentially describes how cannabinoids interact together and with each of our bodies to produce certain effects.
Want to learn more and impress your smoke circle with your expansive cannabis knowledge? Keep reading to uncover everything you need to know about The Entourage Effect.
What Is The Entourage Effect?
To paint a clearer picture as to what this complex theory means, let’s look at a basketball team—and not just the team.
The guys who clean the sweat off the court, the concession stand workers, the coaches—everyone has an important role to play to make sure everything runs smoothly. The game would look and feel different without everyone working together, whether they’re behind the scenes or dribbling on the court. The same can be said about the cannabinoids and terpenes found in the cannabis plant.
Although THC and CBD are often the stars of the show, we now know that the plant functions best when other natural terpenes and cannabinoids are present to support them. This phenomenon is what we like to call The Entourage Effect. From terpenes to CBN, CBG, and other minor cannabinoids (we know of at least 100 different kinds), they all need to work together in order to produce the best results.
When they’re isolated from each other, like in a concentrate, for example, they may still have an effect but it will pale in comparison to what it’s like when the whole gang is there. It’s like Lebron James playing on the court by himself. It’s still cool because it’s Lebron freaking James, but without the team, it’s probably going to be a pretty boring game.
How Does The Entourage Effect Work?
You’re probably not even aware of it, but Inside each of us is a complex system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This intricate system goes throughout our entire body and is partly responsible for keeping our bodies stable, otherwise known as a state of homeostasis. Research also shows that the ECS affects your:
- Inflammatory System
Terpenes and cannabinoids are able to affect the ECS by binding with certain receptors throughout the body for targeted results. CBD and THC are able to bind with receptors on their own for a smaller scope of results, as compared to when whole plant medicine is applied.
For instance: when CBD is paired with the citrus-forward terpene limonene, it has the potential to relieve anxiety. When combined with the spicy caryophyllene, the two together may be beneficial in the treatment of addiction, as detailed in “Taming THC” by Dr. Ethan Russo. Separate CBD from its full cannabinoid profile, and it may have similar effects but the results could be far less potent than you had hoped.
Starting to get the picture? Good. Let’s keep digging in.
Benefits of The Entourage Effect
As we briefly mentioned, CBD and THC get a lot of attention. While they are important, cannabis is made up of so much more than one or two simple molecules. It has dozens of other cannabinoids that we are only just beginning to understand. In order to harness the full potential of the cannabis plant, other natural terpenes and cannabinoids have got to be in attendance.
In fact, a 2011 review of studies in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that taking terpenes and phytocannabinoids together may be beneficial for:
- Fungal Infections
We need more research like this fully prove The Entourage Effect, but the initial findings are indeed positive.
What Does This Mean For You?
When you use the whole flower in whatever method of consumption suits you best, you’re already taking advantage of The Entourage Effect and don’t have much to worry about. It’s when you start looking at cannabis-infused products, like beverages, edibles, tinctures, and topicals, that you need to have your wits about you.
Depending on the brand, these types of products will typically use either one of three different types of cannabis extractions.
- An Isolate: This is the most limited kind of extract. To deliver targeted results, this extraction process isolates one singular cannabinoid, like THC or CBD.
- A Broad-spectrum Extract: Often found in CBD products, this type of extract usually maintains the cannabis plant’s full cannabinoid and terpene profile, without THC. It’s great for anyone that wants to consume zero THC.
- Or A Full-spectrum Extract: You’ve probably guessed but its name, but this type of extract is the full monty. It’s got everything still intact, including the THC, and is the closest thing to whole plant medicine.
While each of these extractions have their own individual uses, if you want to experience The Entourage Effect, ask our budtenders or look for anything infused with either a broad-spectrum or full-spectrum cannabis extraction.
Unlock the treasure trove that is cannabis when you harness The Entourage Effect. To find products infused with naturally-derived terpenes or just some well-balanced flower, you know where to come—our budtenders are always here to help!