What Is The Entourage Effect?

A doctor examines lab test results of medical marijuana

Trending in marijuana circles these days are ongoing discussions about The Entourage Effect.

The concept refers to what happens when the natural cannabinoids, terpenes, fatty acids and flavonoids found in cannabis plants interact in ways we respond to -- and can potentially benefit from.

According to some cannabis researchers, cannabis gets its different “personalities” from the synergistic relationships between these chemical compounds and dozens of others contained in natural cannabis plants.

A new breed of cannabis product designers believe that they can create THC vaping concentrates precisely crafted with different amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes for targeted effects. Creative science will no doubt lead the way to extraordinary methods for capturing the goodness of cannabis in all its glory!

Cannabinoids In Marijuana

The medical marijuana plant creates a variety of compounds called cannabinoids. Most are only present in cannabis, though some can be found in other plant species. Black pepper, flax, and echinacea are examples of non-cannabis plants that have cannabinoids.

So far, there have been 113 cannabinoids discovered. The most popular medical marijuana cannabinoids are THC and CBD, but there are many more including:

  • CBGA - Though not a large component of marijuana, CBGA would be considered the “Granddaddy” of the cannabinoids. It’s at the top of the chain that later develops other cannabinoids.
  • THCA - Unlike THC, THCA is a cannabinoid that is non-psychoactive. It converts to THC after harvest as it dries. A few studies have found that there may be anti-inflammatory benefits to THCA.
  • CBDA - Found in live cannabis plants, CBDA converts to CBD through heat or sunlight.

Terpenoids In Cannabis

Terpenoids are chemicals in medical marijuana that come from terpenes. They contribute to the scent of flowers and the color of vegetables. Terpenes also play a role in differentiating medical marijuana strains and their effect on your body.

One terpene, pinene, has been shown to help counteract compromised memory and cognition caused by THC. There is still research to be done, but pinene could also help patients suffering from inflammation, anxiety, and pain.

Myrcene can be found in non-medical marijuana plants, like mangoes, lemongrass, and thyme. In fact, some people like to eat mangoes to complement the effects of medical marijuana strains that are heavy in myrcene. Studies on myrcene show it could be beneficial as a sedative, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory.

Another abundant terpene in medical marijuana is limonene. As the name suggests, this is a citrus-smelling terpene that’s also found in citrus fruits. If you’ve ever grated a lemon or orange rind for a recipe, you’ve smelled limonene. It’s been shown to help relieve anxiety and stress.