The entourage effect relates to the concept that cannabis compounds act to create potential synergy. This causes psychoactive effects on the plants. As a result, consumers to feel side effects such as fatigue, creativity or altered senses. This helps individuals as it enhances the therapeutic experience when more cannabis compounds are consumed by the plant.
Some of the compounds that work together to create the entourage effect include plant terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals. There are over 400 compounds found in cannabis, which work together to create therapeutic benefits for people. Through all these compounds creating potential synergy, they are able to increase the benefits. This is a direct result of each of the ingredients, causing the psychoactive effects to multiply. Another powerful feature of the entourage effect is that through mixing compounds, ingredients that may be inactive on their own, become active. This then has an effect on the body of the consumer.
To help better explain the entourage effect, let’s take a look at an analogy. Carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and vinaigrette taste fine on their own. However, when they are mixed together into a salad, it is taken to a whole new level and makes the food more appetizing. This is the same with the entourage effect; where all the compounds are fine on their own but when they create synergy, they are able to create better effects.
Science behind the entourage effect
There are many studies that have proven the entourage effect using this simple example: when CBD is consumed on its own, it has little to no effects on the consumer. It will not cause a high or an individual to feel many pain-relieving benefits. However, when taken in combination with THC, the consumer will begin to feel anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and neuroprotective effects. Further, THC and CBD work together to reduce the negative side effects caused by the other. For example, one adverse effect of CBD could be reducing a person’s appetite. However, THC is known to improve appetite, thus when someone takes it in combination with CBD, they can cancel out the unwanted side effects.
Many users will feel pain relief, a decrease in anxiety and inflammation as a result of the entourage effect. Pain relief is achievable through the terpenes mimicking the effects of cannabinoids. This amplifies pain relieving effects without encountering undesirable side effects. Studies have found that full-spectrum CBD (whereby the entourage effect takes place in), works better to relieve pain and inflammation than CBD not mixed with any compounds. This is because the sum of all the compounds working together, creates better therapeutic effects than one compound on its own.