One of the most important factors when considering medication and therapeutic substances is their interactions with one another. When mixed or taken together, substances can have varying effects on one another–some can cancel out each other’s effects, while others can work in a more complementary way.
The latter interaction can even enhance the efficacy of both substances, resulting in a greater overall effect. This result, in the context of terpenes and cannabinoids, is better known as the “Entourage Effect”. This article will focus on the entourage effect–what it is, how it works, and the impact of these effects on one’s overall health.
What is the Entourage Effect?
The Entourage Effect refers specifically to the interactions of cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinoids, and other organic compounds of the same variety when taken together.
There are two types of Entourage Effect:
- Intra-entourage refers to the synergistic interactions between different types of cannabinoids.
- Inter-entourage describes the interactions of cannabinoids together with terpenes.
The Entourage Effect can increase the medicinal properties of these compounds, creating a reaction that is greater than the effects of each compound on its own. These reactions can range from providing additional effects that treat certain conditions to streamlining the absorption and amplifying the overall effects of the mixture. As a result, this effect has the potential to expand how these compounds are used to treat a variety of health conditions. In contrast, some effects may not be useful to some individuals, and a doctor should always be consulted before taking any supplements or medicine.
Terpenes, Cannabinoids, and the Entourage Effect
The Entourage Effect has become a field of interest for researchers, particularly for inter-entourage, or the interaction between cannabinoids and terpenes.
Cannabinoids are compounds that occur naturally in the cannabis sativa plant, including more well-known ones like CBD. When interacting with the body, these compounds can affect and regulate several functions, such as appetite, sleep, and pain. Because of this, cannabinoids have been studied for their potential use in medicine and other types of treatment.
Terpenes are plant-based organic compounds that give plants their distinctive aromas and occasionally taste. These aromatic flavor compounds are commonly added to a variety of products to enhance their fragrance or flavor profile.
On their own, they have been observed to have certain therapeutic properties. For example, linalool–a compound found in lavender and purple basil–was found to reverse deficits in spatial memory and learning. Meanwhile, beta-caryophyllene–derived from black pepper, oregano, and other edible herbs–can be used to treat certain ulcers and protect the gastrointestinal tract.
Each terpene has its own unique chemical composition, giving it its distinctive characteristics. When combined with varying types of cannabinoids, they can offer a wide range of unique effects. There have been attempts to test the Entourage Effect between these two compounds to further explore the extent of these combined effects.
One notable paper from Dr. Ethan Russo provides a summary of studies that explored the possible applications of various cannabinoid and terpene combinations. This paper, through its review of existing studies, provided insight into some of the better-known compounds in this field of research.
Some significant findings include a mixture of THC and myrcene–a terpene derived from bay and hops–to create a strong sedative effect, colloquially known as “couchlock”. Another interesting combination is the use of limonene, which is typically found in lemons and other citrus fruits, with CBD to possibly treat acne at its root source and reduce inflammation more effectively than existing treatments.
In addition to this paper, a more recent study from 2018 investigated the use of several terpenes to further enhance the reactions of CBD in treating certain cognitive disorders. The study initially reported that CBD had beneficial effects when treating conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s disease, sepsis-induced encephalopathy, and ischemic brain injury.
Unfortunately, research into the Entourage Effect and the known interactions of cannabinoids and terpenes remains relatively small. Currently, studies on the Entourage Effect have been focused on testing with laboratory rats and mice. While these experiments are necessary for observing these chemical interactions, there are no definitive answers on how effective the resulting mixtures are in actually treating these conditions in humans.
As the body of research surrounding cannabinoids, terpenes, and the Entourage Effect grow, so will the more conclusive evidence of its overall effectiveness for medical and therapeutic applications.
Encouraging Health with The Entourage Effect
In the fields of wellness and medicine, nature has become an abundant source of material for research on improving health and treating certain conditions. With cannabinoids showing much potential for therapeutic use, researchers have discovered that combining them with various types of terpenes creates the Entourage Effect.
This Entourage Effect not only combines the individual properties of either compound but amplifies or further complements these effects when taken together. As time goes by and research on the Entourage Effect continues, the possibilities for using terpenes and cannabinoids to encourage and uplift your health continue to expand. With endless possibilities, the sky’s the limit.
Want to experience the benefits of terpenes firsthand? Make sure to visit Medical Terpenes today for a selection of top-quality terpenes.