Entourage Effect: How Different Cannabis Elements Work Together

Cannabis has been stigmatized for decades by the public’s perception that it’s a plant useful only for “getting high.” These psychoactive effects of cannabis come largely from just one cannabinoid — THC.

Because consumers have consistently sought after psychoactive experiences, this has led to greater demand for cannabis strains bred to contain as much THC as possible. But that leaves little room in the plant for other chemicals.

More recently, THC and CBD — cannabis’s other main cannabinoid — have earned a reputation for their therapeutic benefits. A steady increase in scientific research into both THC and CBD hasn’t hurt. Yet there are countless other compounds in the plant that in the right quantities and combinations will produce a wide range of effects.

What is the Entourage Effect?

The “entourage effect” is the theory that when different compounds in the cannabis plant are combined, their effects can be altered, enhanced, or even dramatically increased.

This not only refers to a compounds’ medicinal capacities but also to a strain’s overall flavors and how its euphoric effects may change.

Why do Other Cannabinoids Matter?

THC and CBD are the two dominant cannabinoids in most cannabis strains. But producers are paying more attention to other cannabinoids as well, given that some appear to have unique therapeutic profiles.

Delta-8-THC, for instance, is widely reported to produce a lighter and mellower high than delta-9-THC — the cannabinoid we commonly refer to as “THC.” 

CBG is a promising example for treating glaucoma and Huntington’s disease, as preliminary research suggests it’s highly neuroprotective. The drowsiness another cannabinoid called CBN causes may intensify when combined with THC.

What About Terpenes?

The interactions between different cannabinoid combinations don’t fully explain the diverse effects users experience from various strains. Luckily, widespread cannabis legalization is expanding discussions on just how powerful terpenes may be.

Terpenes are the molecules responsible for the aromas and characteristics of the cannabis plant (along with virtually all other plants). Each cannabis strain has its own unique combination of terpenes, and they can vary widely. 

Popular terpenes such as myrcene, limonene, and pinene have their own pharmacological properties. These also carry over when they’re present in essential oils and other plant-based products.

How Does the Entourage Effect Work?

The entourage effect is thought to take place during the interactions between certain cannabinoids and terpenes. But this is still just a theory due to a lack of substantial scientific evidence — particularly when it comes to investigating the role terpenes play.

Consumers describe so many anecdotal experiences of the entourage effect that numerous experts in the cannabis industry simply assume it’s real.

What are Full-Spectrum Products?

Manufacturers use full-spectrum cannabis extracts to create products that contain a rich variety of cannabinoids and terpenes. These can come in many forms, including concentrates, capsules, and oils. This enables the user to benefit from a long list of effective compounds.

Other products are bred specifically to remove THC and its euphoric effects. These are known as broad-spectrum cannabis extracts. Some are even specially engineered to contain a single compound (usually THC or CBD). These are called isolates.

Experiencing the Entourage Effect at Campfire Cannabis

Campfire Cannabis has a West Boylston dispensary and a new location in Salisbury. Whether you’re looking for a recreational experience or a medical cannabis dispensary, we’re sure to have the product that’s right for you.

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