What is “the Entourage Effect” in Cannabis?

Have you ever heard of the “entourage effect?” It sounds like something that happens when a star has too many yes people surrounding them. But when it comes to cannabis, the entourage effect is something very specific and very positive that can be boiled down to one maxim: “the whole of the plant is better than the sum of its parts.”

To dig a little deeper, in previous blogs we’ve looked at the function of terpenes in cannabis and the difference between CBD and THC (which are but two of many cannabinoids found in cannabis). While each cannabinoid and each terpene has value in and of itself, it’s when they collaborate that the real efficacy of cannabis is unlocked, and that’s called the entourage effect. Wired magazine puts it this way: “THC, like a rock star, only reaches its full potential when it rolls with a crew, consisting of hundreds of other compounds in the plant that scientists know about so far.”

The entourage effect may explain why THC-only medicines (like Marinol and Cesamet) or CBD-only medicines (like Charlotte’s Web) sometimes prove to be less effective treatments than “whole plant medicine” which utilizes, well, the whole plant.

“Cannabis is inherently polypharmaceutical,” Dr. John McPartland notes, “and synergy arises from interactions between its multiple components.”

For an in-depth, scientific look at the entourage effect, check out Dr. Ethan Russo’s study, “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects.” And for anecdotal experimentation, we invite you to explore our inventory at The Green Solution. Products like NectarBee CBD Natural Tincture utilize the entourage effect to harness the benefits of the whole plant.

When it comes to all things cannabis, you can trust our experience.