Entourage Effect

Medically reviewed by Bryan Doner, MD, and Cannabidiol Life’s Medical Review Team.

This is a vital topic to know and understand if you’re interested in taking the most effective CBD products on the market. In this article, I’ll be discussing the following topics:

  • The 1998 Discovery & Proposal
  • What is the Entourage Effect?
  • The Multiplying Effect Theory
  • The Impact & Beneficial Effects
  • Latest Scientific Studies
  • Summary & Final Thoughts

The 1998 Discovery & Proposal

In 1998, Dr. Shimone Ben-shabat and a Hebrew chemist by the name of Dr. Raphael Mechoulam found and proposed the entourage effect to the world. Dr. Mechuloum has been accredited by many industry professionals as the “Godfather of Cannabis Research.”

What Is The Entourage Effect?

The entourage effect can be described as the effect that could occur when you consume a full-spectrum hemp/cannabis plant extract product. This effect is the result of the collegial symbiotic relationship and synergy of all chemical compounds (phytocannabinoids, terpenoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids) found within the hemp whole plant extracts.

It’s a fairly simple concept suggesting that when you consume more cannabis compounds together, it will yield better results and a stronger influence on your Endocannabinoid System in comparison if only one isolated compound is consumed.

While pure CBD products seem to work great on their own but imagine the effect you would receive if you took the same concentration of CBD plus hundreds of more naturally-occurring compounds, all working together harmoniously as nature intended it to.

This is the entourage effect.

Cannabinoid-Synergy-Flower-Of-Life

A Hypothetical Example

For educational purposes only, I’m going to use five of the most common cannabinoids and four of the most prevalent terpenes found in full spectrum CBD products. For educational purposes only, let’s say that cannabinoids offer a Beneficial Value (BV) of 1, and terpenes offer a BV of 0.5.

  • Cannabidiol (CBD) = 1
  • Cannabigerol (CBG) = 1
  • Cannabinol (CBN) = 1
  • Cannabichromene (CBC) = 1
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) = 1
  • Myrcene = 0.5
  • Limonene = 0.5
  • Pinene = 0.5
  • Caryophyllene = 0.5

Total Beneficial Value = 7

As you can see, the overall concept of the entourage effect is basically, “the more cannabinoids & terpenoids, the merrier.”

Now, I could’ve included other common phytochemicals such as CBDA, THCA, Linalool, etc.

The Multiplying Effect Theory

This is a theory based on preliminary research findings, and although this is not a medical fact, it’s been theorized and talked about by scientists and must be discussed to fully comprehend the potential power of cannabinoids and terpenes working together synergistically.

What is the Multiplying Effect in Regards to the Entourage Effect?

As expressed in the chart above, the entourage effect works like basic math; 1+1+1+1+1+0.5+0.5+0.5+0.5=7

However, this wouldn’t be the case in regards to the multiplying effect because the total BV value will be higher since with each new compound added to the formula, there is an implied “multiplying effect.”

Theoretically meaning, 1+1 isn’t 2; it’s more like 1+1= 3.

And if all of this is true, that means the true BV of this hypothetical full spectrum CBD product will be higher than 7 BV because the multiplying effect increases the overall benefits on an individual compound basis rather than an overall basis.

Exciting, right? 

The Impact & Beneficial Effects

As stated above, the entourage effect occurs when CBD and other cannabinoids like THC play off each other while improving the desirable traits of each other.

For instance, when CBD and THC are used together, CBD slows down the rate at which the liver breaks down THC. This enables THC’s therapeutic effects to last longer.

While the most noticeable entourage effect illustration is the effect that CBD has on THC, research shows that terpenes and cannabinoids can also combine to produce more therapeutic benefits. Studies show that terpenes can impact the blood-brain barrier. This may explain the greater efficacy of cannabinoids like CBD and THC when used together.

With all of the above shared, it’s important to note that scientists have yet to comprehend the CBD entourage effect fully.

Some argue that multiple individual cannabinoids play a role in creating this effect, while others suggest that the effect could be due to the interaction of cannabinoids in the body or a combination of both.

Initial & Latest Scientific Studies

Summary & Final Thoughts

Full spectrum CBD oils and full spectrum CBD soft gels are found to be one of the best and most popular CBD products bought by consumers looking to achieve the entourage effect.

For you to have the best chance at experiencing the multiplying effect of the entourage of cannabis compounds, you MUST do the following two things:

  1. Verify that the product is a full spectrum CBD product. To verify this, view the product’s COA (Certificate Of Analysis) and make sure the product lab results show an array of different cannabinoids, including <0.3% THC.
  2. It is physically impossible to achieve full spectrum CBD status if the CBD manufacturer is using a supercritical CO2 hemp extraction method. You should always confirm this with the CBD brand if it is not blatantly described. Check out our supporting article, “Best Ways To Extract CBD From Hemp.”

Lastly, each phytocannabinoid, terpenoid, flavonoid, and fatty acid on its own, serve a purpose. The exact purpose is still being researched to secure concrete evidence. Nonetheless, when all components are available, it amplifies the effects of each other, making them, and the final true full spectrum CBD oil, much more effective.

In other words, when cannabinoids are used together, 1 BV + 1 BV doesn’t necessarily equal 2 BVs. Instead, it could equal 3 BVs or more!

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