Entourage Effect

When it comes to hemp and cannabis, 1 + 1 + 1 doesn’t equal 3. It probably equals something closer to 10!

In other words, the various “active ingredients” in hemp are greater than the sum of their parts. Just as eating an orange is more effective than taking an equivalent amount of vitamin C...just like fresh seafood is better than taking a corresponding dose of omega-3’s…

...Hemp extracts are stronger and more effective than any one of their isolated ingredients would seem to imply. This synergy is referred to as the entourage effect. 

What Is The Entourage Effect?  

The entourage effect refers to how hemp’s most active ingredients synergize with each other en route to providing the physical and mental benefits they do.  

Allowing hemp’s natural compounds to work together the way they are supposed to creates a noticeably euphoric effect...and a truly unique consumer experience. The sum total of it all is known as the entourage effect.

If you think about it, it’s amazing enough that hemp contains so many different plant compounds. There’s cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and more: 

  • Cannabinoids
    • CBD
    • THC
    • CBG
    • CBC
    • CBN
    • CBDV
  • Terpenes 
    • Pinene
    • Linalool
    • Ocimene
    • Humulene
    • Guaiol
    • 𝛃-caryophyllene
  • Flavonoids
    • Cannflavin A
    • Cannflavin B
  • Fatty Acids
    • Omega 3
    • Omega 6
    • Omega 9
  • Other Phenols
  • Chalcones
  • Pigments

Many of these compounds have been studied on their own — after all, it’s easier for science to quantify them that way. 

But leave all of them together as nature intended, and something very special happens: they synergize. This is another component of the entourage effect, and it refers to how hemp’s trace compounds form an “entourage” to help shuttle CBD to its molecular targets. 

Impressive, right? A growing number of studies have found that hemp’s compounds really do work better together. [1]

How Does The Entourage Effect Work? 

Good question! The truth is that no one fully understands exactly how the entourage effect works...all we know is that cannabinoids, terpenes, and phenols do their best work when together.

The theories behind the entourage effect can get complex — after all, they’re dealing with something as complex as the human body! One central tenant of these theories? It’s believed that THC and CBD activate each other’s best qualities by literally opening up endocannabinoid receptors. Think of THC as the metaphorical key that allows CBD through the metaphorical door. 

Certain terpenes have a similar mode of action. Limonene, a terpene native to lemons but also present in hemp, may boost cannabinoid absorption within the brain by making the blood brain barrier slightly more permeable. β-caryophyllene, on the other hand, directly activates the body’s CB2 receptors — Dr. Ethan Russo calls it “the first proven phytocannabinoid beyond the cannabis genus.” [2] Many other terpenes also seem to have impressive absorption-boosting qualities. 

The implication of all this? The entourage effect is an important reminder that nature knows best. It demonstrates the importance of maintaining hemp’s integrity with broad and full spectrum CBD products.

Because while CBD is amazing... 

...It works even better when surrounded by an entourage of like minded molecules.