The Entourage Effect: An Update in our Understanding
The last time I wrote about the entourage effect was in an article about the differences between distillate versus full spectrum concentrates. In this article, it was discussed that full spectrum concentrates are generally considered superior as a medication because they are more likely to produce the entourage effect discussed by researchers in the industry.
What is the entourage effect? The entourage effect can be described as the compounding medical benefit received from the interaction produced when ingesting the individual cannabinoids (THC and CBD) and terpenes found in the cannabis plant. Supporters of the use of full spectrum products would suggest that people should seek out full spectrum products exclusively.
However, I recently read and article on Leafly’s website that provides an update on the science on the entourage effect. Researchers believed that terpenes had a lot to do with the benefits received from the entourage effect, however, the study referred in the article suggests that it’s the combinations of THC and CBD in the plant in general, and THCa and CBG in particular that appear to be producing the most significant medical benefits.
Scientists are now breaking down the entourage effect in to two different categories, the intra-entourage effect, which looks at the impact of CBD/THC & Terpenes, and the inter-entourage effect, which describes the impact that THC has on the benefit of CBD in the body and vice versa. There is far less evidence for the former. In fact, researchers aren’t sure that terpenes have any impact on the entourage effect, or if they have their own impact when combined with each other.
Although the research isn’t definitive, medical professionals still recommend full spectrum products when assisting patients with their whole plant medical journey.