You’ve probably heard the term ‘entourage effect’ and wondering, “what is the entourage effect all about?”
The pharmacological impacts of cannabis seem to be far-reaching and never-ending.
Each cannabinoid alone is being researched for a broad range of ailments, from epilepsy and seizures to tumor reduction and the relief of PTSD symptoms.
But what’s most interesting in the research findings, is that cannabinoids work better together than alone. Or to be more precise, all the cannabinoids in cannabis work better together, in combination with the other bioactive components found in cannabis: terpenes and flavonoids.
This is something called the ‘entourage effect’.
What is ‘entourage effect’?
In 2011, neurologist and psychopharmacology researcher Dr. Ethan Russo, MD, wrote a now-famous paper titled, “Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-Terpenoid Entourage Effects.” In it, he describes what was at the time a mind-blowing concept: the synergistic effects of cannabinoids and terpenes.
As Russo puts it, “Terpenoids are quite potent and affect animal and even human behavior when inhaled from ambient air at serum levels in the single digits. They display unique therapeutic effects that may contribute meaningfully to the entourage effects of cannabis-based medicinal extracts.”
The term ‘entourage effect’ describes the synergistic effects of using the whole plant as medicine, whereby utilizing the full spectrum of therapeutic compounds cannabis has to offer.
Full-spectrum cannabis and the entourage effect
Full-spectrum cannabis (also called the whole plant) therapy, put simply, describes how all the compounds found within the plant, which include cannabinoids, terpenes, and phenolics (including flavonoids), synergistically work together to produce specific overall health and wellbeing effects.
Science is now understanding the innate wisdom found within the cannabis plant: the wide variety of natural compounds all work together to strengthen the pharmacological abilities of cannabinoids.
Essentially, the sum of all its parts is much more powerful than specifically isolating a single compound, and removing any single molecule from its full spectrum of molecules can significantly limit the therapeutic effects of the cannabinoids.
Recent studies, like this one, show how full-spectrum cannabis – the whole plant “entourage effect” – works for the treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections (including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
This is why full-spectrum cannabis products – products containing all the compounds found naturally occurring in the cannabis plant – including all the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and phenolics (including flavonoids) are generally thought of as superior.
When looking for cannabis products to support your endocannabinoid system, full-spectrum cannabis products, adding full-spectrum cannabis products into your daily regime is a great start.