Entourage effect has come to refer to consuming whole-plant marijuana with all of its natural compounds and essential oils. Since “entourage effect” seems vague, terms like “whole plant medicine” and “full-spectrum” are also used to communicate the value of this attribute.
A single isolated chemical has one effect when it combines with other compounds into a substance the entourage effect is the total of those unique chemicals, and then some. In cannabis, the entourage effect refers to the specific combination of cannabinoids and terpenoids.
The Cannabinoid Cocktail
When isolated, the cannabinoid CBD performs differently than when it is delivered alongside THC, Limonene, THCV, Pinene, and Myrcene. The strength of cannabis and the specific effects, from sedation to elation, depends on the ratio of the hundreds of components as an entourage.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that opposes the effects of THC; mainly it’s psychoactivity. If you take doses of CBD throughout the day and then switch to a high-THC product at night, you won’t receive the same high as you might if you took isolated THC. But you might not get the additional benefits of having the inflammatory CBD and Limonene, the lemony happy-maker terpene. In short, you won’t get the same therapeutic effect.
Or Is It the Ensemble Effect?
Harvard Professor, Dr. Lester Grinspoon, told listeners of the Planet Green Trees Radio Show that he uses the term “therapeutic ensemble.”
The word ensemble respects the fact that whole plant medicine is a mixture of cannabinoids and phytochemicals, the terpenoids working together.
Whereas entourage is “a group of people attending or surrounding an important person.” For its psychoactivity, we could presume that THC is the VIP of the clan, surrounded by various attending compounds.