What is the Entourage Effect?


The marijuana entourage effect is one of the more interesting effects of marijuana. However, not many people even know about the entourage effect. Those that do know about the entourage effect may not even know how it really works.

This article will explain the entourage effect, and then it will explain as it relates to different types of marijuana. The explanation will give you a better understanding of the entourage effect and also show you how the marijuana you consume interacts with your body.

Entourage Effect Explained

In short, the entourage effect is when different cannabinoids and terpenoids found in cannabis work together for stronger efficacy, the ability to treat more conditions, and the combination of different effects. In other words, you can think of the entourage effect as when 1+1 = 3.

Cannabinoids are the 113 different compounds found in marijuana plants that cause different effects on the human body. The most well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as it has psychoactive effects and the percentage found in marijuana determines the legality of the product. However, other cannabinoids exist that have no psychoactive effects and have many positive effects. The most famous cannabinoid other than THC is cannabidiol (CBD), which has been found to help with pain and potentially treat seizures.

Terpenoids are a little different as they actually give different marijuana strains a distinct smell. However, terpenoids also have some effects on the human body, but not nearly as effective as cannabinoids. Not much research has been conducted on terpenoids, so not much is known about the exact effects of them.

Entourage Effect: THC-only Medicine

THC-only medicine refers to synthetically created THC used in pharmaceutical grade medication. As the name suggests, this THC-only medicine contains no other cannabinoids or terpenoids and therefore has no entourage effect. It is strictly THC, which means that this medication does have psychoactive side-effects.

The primary purpose of this medicine is to treat nausea caused by cancer and chemotherapy, but whether the medication actually can treat nausea appears questionable at best. The vast majority of patients, 98%, prefer traditional medical marijuana to treat their nausea citing the increased efficacy.

The reason for the increased efficacy of consuming whole plants is the entourage effect. The opposite of the entourage effect also explains why this THC-only medication has less psychoactive effects than recreational marijuana. Remember 1+1=3? THC-only medicine is an example of 1+1=0.5.

Entourage Effect: CBD-“only” Medicine

CBD-“only” medicine is a little different than THC-only medicine. It has only become popular in the past few years, so many people might not have much familiarity with it. However, it has a much wider variety of effects and conditions that it can treat than THC-only medicine. This type of medicine also contains more than just CBD, as the quotes surrounding the word “only” suggest, and falls under the entourage effect.

Typically, CBD- “only” medicine is produced from hemp that has a high concentration of CBD and low concentration of THC. What you may not know is that hemp has concentrations of other cannabinoids and terpenoids, which creates its own entourage effect. Admittedly, the concentration of other cannabinoids and terpenoids in CBD oil is relatively low, but enough still exists to cause the entourage effect.

CBD oil is currently the most popular form of medication for treating seizures and a wide range of other issues. This is because it contains under 0.3% THC, which means it does not meet the legal definition of marijuana in all 50 states.

Entourage Effect: Whole Plant Medicine

The entourage effect is a term used to describe the effects of consuming regular marijuana. Cannabis contains more than just THC and CBD. It has over 100 different cannabinoids and terpenoids, which can treat a wide range of different conditions. Unfortunately, marijuana plant breeders focus on breeding plants with the largest concentration of THC. THC is nothing more than a cannabinoid that causes a large amount of psychoactive effects.

Other cannabinoids and terpenoids exist that have a wide range of different effects. Some of these effects include treating anxiety, nausea, and improving mood. Marijuana botanists have been working on creating new strains of marijuana with higher concentrations of other types of cannabinoids and terpenoids. These new strains can then be used to treat other conditions. Due to the entourage effect, the different cannabinoids and terpenoids might combine to create compounds that have different types of compounds, and that can treat other types of conditions.

However, the legality of whole plant medicine is extremely limited as most of it contains over 0.3% THC. Currently, whole plant medicine is legal in 8 states, which are the same eight states that legalize recreational marijuana. CBD-only medicine is legal in all 50 states and can easily be purchased online. This makes it extremely simple and less risky for the majority of the country to purchase CBD-only medicine.

Final Thoughts on the Entourage Effect

Hopefully, this article answered some of the confusion caused by the newness of the entourage effect. The simplest way to remember how the entourage effect works is just to think 1 + 1 = 3. The individual compounds found in marijuana consumed alone will have less effect than when consumed together. In fact, combining the different compounds will often lead to more efficacy and a variety of different effects on the body.

You should also keep the entourage effect in my mind when purchasing CBD products. Many CBD products will not list the other cannabinoids, but they do have a large effect on the potential effects. Every CBD product will have a slightly different cannabinoid profile, which means that the effects of the CBD will vary.

The gummies available from Sunday Scaries have received lab testing and have the different cannabinoids found during testing with the amount per milligram listed on the label. This tells you exactly what you are putting into your body and can even be used to determine the entourage effect for future use.

This article by Madeleine Taylor is originally published at SundayScaries.