With the legalization of CBD products in more states across the U.S., more and more people are reaching out to try hemp-derived CBD items like balms, oils, and creams. With the increase in users comes an increased buzz in CBD topics, including “the entourage effect.” For many, the entourage effect is one of the multiple benefits of marijuana- and hemp-based products.* Others are skeptical of its presence and doubtful of its impact.
Let’s look at what the entourage effect is, the potential benefits, and its detractors.
What Is the Entourage Effect?
In regards to cannabis products, the entourage effect is a term first used in 1998 by a group of scientist that refers to the enhanced effects a person may experience when “multiple cannabinoids, terpenes, and botanical compounds”1 are consumed together, producing an entirely different effect than when only one compound, such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), is consumed. The compounds within the product interact together, causing any number of side effects that may be beneficial, or harmful, to the user.
Benefits of the Entourage Effect
In the field of studying cannabis, many experts offer conflicting opinions about the validity of the entourage effect. Ethan B. Russo, M.D., a leading psychopharmacology researcher, board-certified neurologist, and Medical Director of PHYTECS, is a supporter of the entourage effect. In multiple published studies, Dr. Russo discusses the benefits of full-spectrum cannabis extracts as these products provide additional compound benefits over single THC products.1,2 His research looks at the ways in which multiple compounds produce enhanced effects that may improve overall health.
For example, in his article, “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects,”Dr. Russo discusses the potential synergistic effects of phytocannabinoid-terpenoid interactions that could help in the treatment of certain conditions. He states that if proven, the benefits of multi-compound products could lead to huge potential for therapeutic products.
Others are more skeptical of the entourage effect3, stating that pushing the benefits of multiple botanical compounds is a marketing tactic rather than proven fact. To these skeptics, the idea has become pervasive in the dominant culture when such claims are not fully substantiated. More research is needed, especially with the growth of hemp-derived CBD products that meet the 2018 Farm Bill requirements.
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1SatiMedUSA. “What Is the Entourage Effect?” SatiMedUSA, satimedusa.com/pages/what-is-the-entourage-effect.
2 Russo, Ethan B. “Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-Terpenoid Entourage Effects.” British Journal of Pharmacology, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Aug. 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/.
3 Chen, Angus. “Some of the Parts: Is Marijuana’s ‘Entourage Effect’ Scientifically Valid?” Scientific American, Scientific American, 20 Apr. 2017, www.scientificamerican.com/article/some-of-the-parts-is-marijuana-rsquo-s-ldquo-entourage-effect-rdquo-scientifically-valid/.
*These products and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. These products are not recommended for children, pregnant or nursing women. All MeyerDC products contain under .3% THC or in accordance with federal and state laws.