Is th Cannabis Entourage Effect Real?
Whether you’re a seasoned cannasseur or a newbie to the herb, you’ve probably heard about the entourage effect. This phenomenon refers to the synergy that takes place when THC, CBD, minor cannabinoids, and terpenes work together to provide health benefits.
This is also frequently referred to as “whole-plant medicine” or “whole-plant synergy,” and it rests on the premise that cannabis products with many diverse compounds can deliver health benefits that isolated cannabinoids and compounds on their own cannot.
Professors Raphael Mechoulam and Shimon Ben-Shabat first made a case for whole-plant synergy in 1998. Their research argued that the body’s endocannabinoid system responds more favorably to whole-plant cannabis extracts by increasing the activity of the two primary endocannabinoids. This potent synergy also hints at why botanical whole-plant drugs are often more effective than drugs containing an isolated plant molecule.
These days, the entourage effect has become absorbed into the cannabis lexicon and is regularly splashed across products with abandon. But what does the entourage effect really entail, and how should we understand it now, in light of emerging research?
A flurry of studies published within the last year have started digging deeper into the understanding of the phenomenon. Researchers are investigating the distinctive compounds believed to provoke the entourage effect, with one study even questioning whether the entourage effect has been over-pitched.