The Entourage Effect

by shaun jarvis

February 12, 2021 - 2 min read

The entourage effect is a description popularized by Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam. The hypothesis of the entourage effect is that many different cannabinoids, when all or many are present, have a synergistic effect greater than that of any individual cannabinoid. This effect has not been proven to exist. An unmeasured amount of unknown broad spectrum of chemical compounds may have an effect greater than a single compound. However it is impossible to know without identifying the chemical constituents and being able to repeat the same ingredients profile. Hemp is cannabis and it has been growing and mutating for thousands of years and as such contains inconsistent and varying amounts of cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes, in many cases, little or none. The resulting product is inconsistent and unreliable. The question is, what combination of these chemical compounds could be having effect if the ratio of hundreds of chemical compounds are not only different from plant to plant but from crop to crop? In the most controlled cannabis cultivations cannabinoid profile varies by 20-40%, and in many instances, many of the less common cannabinoids are not present, and certainly not measured, making any standardization impossible. There is research to support the health benefits and synergistic effect of cannabinoids and other compounds. Until there is a way to document and standardize the chemical composition of a drug or supplement the entourage effect will still be hypothetical. There are many plants and naturally derived products that are made up of both medicinal and lethal chemicals. Just because it's natural doesn't mean it's safe. You should know what’s in what goes in and on your body. A  recent study from the University of Sydney found no evidence for the Entourage Effect. When scientists could not demonstrate whether or not the six most common terpenes found in Cannabis have any effect on the CB1 or CB2 receptors directly, or have the ability to modulate the action of THC on those receptors. 

Hopefully we will see more research exploring the hypothesis of the entourage effect. For the moment, it remains a “buzz” phrase that doesn't have solid scientific backing. Research does however show that adding THC to CBD can make CBD have a stronger effect on pain which is promising.


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