The Entourage Effect

How THC, CBD and Terpenes Work Together

What is the Entourage Effect?

CBD is well-known for it’s therapeutic effects, as is THC well-known for the ‘high’ in marijuana. However, did you know that research says that taking these molecules together produces better results than taking just one at a time, in something known as the entourage effect?

And, it’s not just THC and CBD.  The cannabis plant contains terpenes (which everyone knows by the strong smell of cannabis), and over 140 identified cannabinoid molecules!  Just some of the cannabinoids getting attention at the moment, apart from CBD and THC,  are CBG, CBN, CBC, CBDa and THCa.  Terpenes also have enormous medical effects.

The Endocannabinoid System

The human body’s endocannabinoid system is responsible for keeping your body in homeostasis, or balance.  It impacts your immune system, pain and appetite (munchies!).  As a side note, we all learnt about homeostasis at school. But, we didn’t learn about it’s main component, the endocannabinoid system, because of the world-wide prohibition of cannabis.  This system is central to our well being.

Simply put, the Entourage Effect is how all the molecules in cannabis – cannabinoids and terpenes – work together, to produce a better result than either type of molecule can alone.

The Entourage Effect Explained

Simply put, the Entourage Effect is how all the molecules in cannabis – cannabinoids and terpenes – work together, to produce a better result than either type of molecule can alone.  

Researching the Entourage Effect

What is the research around the entourage effect?  Why does taking a whole plant extract produce better results than taking just one molecule at a time?  

Dr Raphael Mechoulam discovered this property of therapeutic cannabinoids in 1999.

Raphael Mechoulam
About Raphael Mechoulam, Discoverer of the Entourage Effect, CBD and THC

In the early 1960s, a young research doctor called Raphael Mechoulam made a discovery that surprised him. After reading the cannabis literature, he was surprised to learn that the active ingredient morphine had been isolated from poppies 100 years ago, and that cocaine had been isolated from the leaves of coca. At the same time, the active ingredients of marijuana were still unknown. This simple observation marked the beginning of his life’s work.

In 1963, Meshoulam identified the structure of Cannabidiol (CBD), an important component of cannabis. A year later, he became the first person to isolate delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana. Over the ensuing decades, Mechoulam and his team continued to isolate many compounds from the cannabis plant, and their research also helped to reveal the drug’s effects on the brain. 

Mechoulam’s team first identified the endogenous cannabinoid, the cannabinoid that the human body produces in the brain itself. They called it “Anandamide”. Ananda means “lucky” in Sanskrit and represents Mechoulam’s opinion of cannabinoids in general.

At the age of 83 in 1999, Mechoulam published an article in which he described the entourage effect.  Mechoulam said that, in his opinion, all the components of this cannabis plant have a therapeutic effect, not just one compound.

Science does not yet need to prove the exact role and mechanism of all these compounds, but the evidence is growing. These compounds are more effective when used together than when used separately. This is the entourage effect.  The cannabis plant contains over 480 natural ingredients. These are unique phytochemicals such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. But there are many others, such as:

  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabichromen (CBC)
  • Cannabinol (CBN) and Cannabinodial (CBDL)
  • Other cannabinoids e.g. Cannabicyclol (CBL)
  • Cannabielson (CBE), Cannabitriol (CBT) and many other types.
 

Other components of the cannabis plant include: nitrogen compounds (27), amino acids (18), proteins (3), glycoproteins (6), enzymes (2), sugars and related compounds (34), hydrocarbons (50), simple alcohols. (7), aldehydes (13), ketones (13), simple acids (21), amino acids (22), ethers (12), lactones (1), steroids (11), terpenes (120), phenols and cannabinoids ( 25), flavonoids (21), vitamins (1), pigments (2) and other trace elements (9).

Eating fruits, vegetables and other plants provides better nutrition than taking individual vitamins, nutrients and minerals. Science says the same thing about marijuana.  As Mechoulam suggested over two decades ago, full extract marijuana offers the most plant benefits.

Terpene Chart for the entourage effect
About Terpenes 

Cannabis plants make volatile unsaturated hydrocarbon molecules called terpenes, and each type of terpene has a specific effect and smell.

These are some of the most common terpenes found in our cannabis oil:

Linalool: Believed to encourage relaxation and mood enhancement,
Smell: Floral aroma, 
Also found in: lavender.
Treats: Anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, inflammation and neurodegenerative disease

Myrcene: The most common terpene found in cannabis.  Believed to promote calming and sleep,
Smell: Cardamom, cloves, musky, earthy, herbal, 
Also found in: Thyme, Mango, Lemongrass
Treats:  Antioxidant; insomnia, pain, and inflammation

Limonene: Believed to promote an elevated mood and stress relief
Smell: Citrus 
Also found in: Lemon and Orange rind, Juniper, Rosemary, Peppermint
Treats:  Anxiety, depression, inflammation, pain, and cancer

Caryophyllene: The only known terpene to act as a cannabinoid,  Anti-inflammatory.
Smell: Pepper, spicy, woody, cloves
Also found in: Black pepper, cloves, cinnamon
Treats:  Pain, anxiety and depression, ulcers

Terpinolene: Believed to have uplifting effects
Smell: Pepper, spicy, woody, cloves
Also found in: lilacs, nutmeg, cumin
Treats:  Antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer

Pinene: The most common terpene found in the world.  Believed to have effects on pain, inflammation and anxiety.
Smell: Pine
Also found in: Pine needles, Rosemary, Basil
Treats:  Asthma, pain, inflammation, ulcers, anxiety, cancer

Humulene: May provide anti-inflammatory benefits
Smell: Hops, woody, herbal
Also found in: Hops, coriander, cloves, basil
Treats:  inflammation

Ocimene: May provide anti-inflammatory benefits
Smell: A sweet earthy citrusy aroma commonly used in perfume
Also found in: Mint, parsley, pepper, basil, mangoes, orchids, and kumquats
Treats:   Antiviral, anti-fungal, antiseptic, decongestant, antibacterial

The Entourage Effect in Cannabis Oil

The Entourage Effect in Cannabis Oil

Hi everyone.

Today I’m going to be explaining what the Entourage Effect is and why not all hemp extracts’ quality is the same.

The truth is that hemp contains hundreds of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other active compounds.

To give a basic definition, the Entourage effect is the synergistic relationship between all of the active compounds naturally present in hemp.

THC and CBD are more beneficial when combined

Similarly, while single compounds CBD and THC products are beneficial, they’re much more effective when combined with hundreds of other active ingredients.

Think of a basketball game. One team has all five players working together to defend, shoot, feel, and rebound versus the other team that has only one player doing it all alone. Who do you think would win?

Obviously, the team with five players has a much higher chance.

The main contributors to the Entourage effect or Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): the main active compounds in hemp.

Don’t forget about the other 111 cannabinoids found to date such as CBG, CBN, CBC, CBDa, among many others that have shown positive effects with the minimal studies conducted.

Given the major impact of Cannabinoids, it can be easy to overlook another type of beneficial hemp compounds: terpenes.

Much like the case with phytochemicals, there are well over 100 different terpenes in hemp plants, including Linalool, Limonene, Mercene, Caryophyllene, and Pinene.

Terpenes have health benefits

These terpenes not only hold many health benefits, but they cross the blood brain barrier.

When terpenes are present with cannabinoids they allow Cannabinoids to move freely in our bloodstream.

If you have any questions at all, feel free to drop a comment below or visit our website and ask us to our live chat.

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About Cannabis Oil South Africa

Cannabis Oil South Africa supplies Phoenix Tears Cannabis Oil, a full extract cannabis oil.  Based in Johannesburg, we sell cannabis oil with delivery to the whole of South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.  Click here for our shop.

Cannabis Oil is also known as THC Oil, Hemp Oil, Dagga Oil, Weed Oil, Fully Extracted Cannabis Oil (Feco), Hash Oil, Phoenix Tears Oil, commonly misspelt as Fenix Tears.