Cannabis itself contains hundreds of molecules interacting with our minds and bodies — most of which many don’t even know exist. Turns out, while cannabis compounds interact with our body systems, they also interact with each other. Different combinations will affect users differently. Because of the synergistic effect of multi-cannabinoid products, the whole is greater than the sum of all its parts.
The Entourage Effect is the name given to the increased effect that certain cannabis molecules have when they are consumed together, as opposed to when they’re consumed alone. Cannabis-derived molecules like cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids work together, potentially enhancing the effects you’re most looking for from your experience. They call this the entourage effect. In this article, we will discuss the properties and facets of cannabinoids to better understand how our scientists are using the information to optimize the entourage effect and super charge multi-cannabinoid blends.
Entourage Effect Meaning
The Entourage Effect is the theory that cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and other compounds in cannabis work together synergistically to produce a greater effect than any of these components would achieve on their own. Essentially, each cannabinoid has a unique effect on the body, and when they are combined, their effects are amplified. For example, CBD is strengthened by THC. The entourage effect is best achieved when THC is added into the cannabinoid formula. This is because THC activates the CB1 receptor in the brain, while the CBD and many other cannabinoids bind or interact with the CB2 receptor. Hummingbird Extracts Therapeutic Blends and Euphoric Blends harness the power of each cannabinoid in combination to produce an unforgettable experience.
What Does the Entourage Effect Feel Like?
There is no particular feeling produced by the entourage effect since the combinations are all different. Essentially, the entourage effect will encompass an infinitude of different effects, where the goal is to produce unique enhanced feelings or purposes for each different product. The entourage effect can be thought of as the enhancement of your experience through the use of different cannabinoids working together. The Entourage Effect is primarily influenced by the combination and synergies of cannabinoids. Terpenes add their twist. Followed by a lesser influence from flavonoids. The best way to visualize it is to think of the cannabinoids as the engine and the terpenes as the steering wheel that help steer the experience.
The Science of Synergy: Is the Entourage Effect Real?
It’s one thing to talk about the entourage effect, but we all know that nothing in the medical/scientific realm is “true” until it has been validated by peer reviewed research. Although there have not been many reputable studies done on the subject, the few that have been conducted provide compelling evidence to support the validity of the “entourage effect.”
If you want to know the expert opinion of our team: Yes! The entourage effect is a real and powerful phenomenon that has been used for centuries to enhance the therapeutic potential of cannabis. By using different combinations of cannabinoids, you can fine-tune your experience to target specific areas or purposes. We have used this information to develop strategic cannabinoid blends you can find here.
Evidence That The Entourage Effect Is Real
There is evidence to support the entourage effect holds water. A study back in 1976 “Influence of cannabidiol on delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol effects” by Dr. W S Dalton. This study found that when individuals were given considerable dosages of THC and CBD, over 73% reported that the strength of their high was greater when THC was administered alone rather than in combination. Even if this evidence doesn’t provide a totally definitive answer, it does help to further support CBD’s balancing abilities and, ultimately, the entourage effect’s broader purpose.
Five years later (1981), Dr. J. Fairbairn and Dr. J. Pickens, concluded their study with some of the first evidence that the entourage effect exists. According to the study, whole plant extracts from cannabis plants generated 330 percent more activity than THC alone.
In the next few years, other researchers published findings that further explored and supported the entourage effect. In 1983, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam – who’s known as “the grandfather of cannabis” in Israel — discovered CBD and THC-A (a non-psychoactive form of THC). After his discovery, he learned there are numerous additional active components in marijuana other than THC and CBD that contribute to the entourage effect. Aromatic terpenes (such as linalool), pinene, and myrcene are important cannabis ingredients, as are flavonoids and other phytocannabinoids like THC-A, CBC, THCV and more.
These discoveries and many more have contributed to the curiosity and excitement behind the entourage effect.
Entourage Effect CBD Oil?
Scientists have discovered that CBD works better when it’s combined with THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana) , and CBD oil is more effective when it contains a variety of other cannabinoids and terpenes. This is why full-spectrum CBD oil is generally considered to be more effective than CBD isolate.
Who Discovered the Entourage Effect?
The term “entourage effect” was coined by Israeli researcher Dr. Raphael Mechoulam and Dr. Shimon Ben-Shabat in 1998 to explain how a combination of cannabis compounds is more effective than one isolated compound. More recently, the term ensemble effect has been used to describe how phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and other cannabis compounds work together, rather than one cannabinoid taking charge.
The entourage effect has lately been gaining interest, thanks to the development of new extraction processes, semi-synthetic and synthetic cannabinoids, as well as their distinctive effects and medicinal qualities. This paved the way for cannabis molecules to be rearranged and mixed together.
How Does It Work: Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids
Cannabinoids are the main active compounds in cannabis. There are over 100 cannabinoids, including THC and CBD. But Cannabinoids aren’t the only ones that contribute to the entourage effect. Cannabinoid molecules are unique to the cannabis plant, while other hemp plant-derived components such as flavonoids and terpenes are also found in other plants. All three of these compounds play a role in the entourage effect. Like cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids also bind to our receptors and influence our experiences. This also means that both terpenes and flavonoids, along with cannabinoids, play a role in the entourage effect. Essentially the more natural plant compounds present, the greater the entourage effect can be. This is why we utilize the science of terpenes along with various cannabinoids in the development of our products.
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are the chemicals in marijuana that give it its distinct smell. Terpenes are a large and diverse class of organic compounds, produced by a variety of plants. Terpene is derived from the word “turpentine” as they have an aroma similar to that liquid made from coniferous tree sap.
Terpenes are an essential piece of the cannabis puzzle. They support, if not directly enhance, the therapeutic strength of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.
What are flavonoids?
Flavonoids are a class of plant metabolites that are known for their wide range of biological activities. Flavonoids play a role in coloring and are abundant in darker fruits. Flavonoids also give butterflies the color in their wings. What most people don’t know about flavonoids is that they can act as antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and neuroprotectants. There have even been claims that flavonoids fight cancer!
Some of the most common flavonoids found in cannabis are:
- Cannaflavin A, B, and C
Experience the Entourage Effect: Buy Full Spectrum Products
Hummingbird Extracts cannabinoid products contain an abundance of phytochemicals naturally found in the plant, including formulas with major cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, terpenes, and essential oils. We pack all of our products full of naturally occurring plant materials in order to support the entourage effect. The entourage effect is real, and it’s one of the reasons why our products are so effective. When all of the cannabinoids and other compounds found in cannabis work together, they have a synergistic effect that is more powerful than any one of them working alone. Want to experience the entourage effect? Want to experience the synergistic benefit of the hundreds of natural compounds found in cannabis working together? Check out our products here.