The Entourage Effect: Mixing CBD and THC Together

Written by: Quanna Experts



Time to read 6 min

When it comes to the world of cannabis, two of the most popular compounds are CBD and THC. Generally, if a person uses CBD or THC they usually don’t mix the two cannabinoids, however recently an intriguing concept has taken center stage. Known as the "Entourage Effect," this principle suggests that the various compounds found in cannabis work synergistically to enhance the plant’s overall therapeutic benefits.

This article will delve into the intricacies of the entourage effect, its potential benefits, and the implications of mixing CBD and THC together. 

Understanding the Entourage Effect

The term "entourage effect" was coined in 1998 to describe the synergistic interaction between the various elements in the cannabis plant [1]. It was proposed that the combination of these components could regulate the plant's psychoactive effects, thereby maximizing its therapeutic potential.

In the context of cannabis and the different cannabinoids, the entourage effect refers to the hypothesis that all compounds in the plant work optimally when consumed together, rather than in isolation. This includes cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids.

The interaction and interplay between these compounds are believed to amplify the health benefits of cannabis, resulting in a more robust and comprehensive effect on the body [2]

Key Cannabinoids in the Entourage Effect

Cannabinoids are the primary compounds in cannabis, with over 100 different types identified to date. The two most well-known are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).

THC is renowned for its psychoactive effects, providing the euphoric high associated with marijuana use. On the other hand, CBD is non-psychoactive and is known for its potential therapeutic health benefits, including anxiety, pain relief, and sexual enhancement.

However, these two prominent cannabinoids are not the only players in the entourage effect. Other important cannabinoids include Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabichromene (CBC), Cannabidivarin (CBDV), and Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).

Each of these compounds has unique properties and potential health benefits, contributing to the overall entourage effect. 

The Role of Terpenes in the Entourage Effect

Terpenes are another crucial element in the entourage effect. These are organic compounds found in a variety of plants, including cannabis. They are primarily responsible for the distinctive aroma and flavor of different cannabis strains.

Over 100 types of terpenes have been identified in cannabis plants. They interact with cannabinoids, contributing to the entourage effect. Some of the most prevalent terpenes in cannabis include caryophyllene, linalool, and limonene. These compounds have been studied for their potential therapeutic qualities, such as anti-inflammatory and sedative effects.

When used with CBD these health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, increase and have a greater effect because of the terpenes. 

Flavonoids: The Unsung Heroes of the Entourage Effect

Flavonoids are compounds that contribute to the color, smell, and flavor of the cannabis plant. They are crucial for the plant's reproduction, attracting pollinators with their vibrant colors and unique fragrances.

Cannabis plants contain about 20 different flavonoids, some unique to cannabis. These flavonoids have their own potential health benefits, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties [3].

They are a vital part of the entourage effect, interacting with cannabinoids and terpenes to enhance the overall therapeutic effects of cannabis. 

The Synergy of CBD and THC: A Power Duo

While all cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids play a role in the entourage effect, the interaction between CBD and THC deserves special attention and has the greatest effect. Research has shown that CBD can regulate and reduce the psychoactive effects of THC [4].

This means that when consumed together, CBD can help reduce some of the less enjoyable effects of THC, such as anxiety or short-term memory loss.

This synergistic exchange between CBD and THC is a good example of the entourage effect in action. The combination of these two cannabinoids can enhance the therapeutic benefits of each, leading to a more effective and balanced cannabis experience. 

The Entourage Effect in Practice: CBD Products

The entourage effect is not just a theory but has practical implications for CBD products. There are three main types of CBD products – full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate.

Full-Spectrum CBD: These products contain all compounds found in the cannabis plant, including THC. They offer the full entourage effect experience, as they contain a diverse range of cannabinoids and terpenes.

Broad-Spectrum CBD: Broad-spectrum products contain a range of cannabinoids and terpenes but are THC-free. These products also offer the entourage effect but without the psychoactive impact of THC.

CBD Isolate: This form of CBD is the purest, containing only CBD and no other cannabinoids or terpenes. As such, CBD isolate products do not provide the entourage effect.

CBD and THC Ratio: The Balancing Act

The ratio of CBD to THC plays a crucial role in the entourage effect. While there's no one-size-fits-all ratio, some general guidelines suggest that a balanced ratio of CBD to THC can lead to optimal effects.

For instance, a high CBD to low THC ratio can mitigate the psychoactive effects of THC, making it a good option for those seeking therapeutic benefits without the high.

On the other hand, a high THC to low CBD ratio will be more psychoactive, but the presence of CBD can help temper some of the potential side effects of THC.

When a person uses products that contain both CBD and THC, including flavonoid sand terpenes, the user will experience greater, longer-lasting health benefits. 

What Does The Entourage Effect Feel Like

People who have experienced the entourage effect report different things based on the ratio of cannabinoids being mixed together. However, the common result is a more intense enjoyment related to the positive things about cannabis.

For example, when using CBD for pain and anxiety management, the entourage effect can help the health benefits of CBD last longer.

If a person is using cannabis recreationally and enjoys the “high”, the entourage effect intensifies this feeling.

It’s basically more of the best things you love about CBD or THC! 

The Entourage Effect and Personalized Medicine

The entourage effect highlights the potential for personalized medicine within the realm of CBD and THC therapy. Given the diversity of compounds in the cannabis plant and their intricate interactions, individuals could potentially tailor their cannabis consumption to address specific health needs.

For example, a person seeking relief from inflammation may benefit from a CBD product enriched with the terpene caryophyllene, known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Similarly, someone looking to alleviate anxiety might opt for a CBD product with a high concentration of the terpene linalool, recognized for its calming effects. 

The Entourage Effect: Ongoing Research

While the entourage effect is a compelling concept, it's important to note that it's still a subject of ongoing research. Current evidence supporting the entourage effect is largely based on preclinical studies, and more research is needed to fully understand this phenomenon and its therapeutic implications.

The Future of the Entourage Effect

The future of the entourage effect holds immense potential. As research continues to explore the complexities of the cannabis plant and its compounds, our understanding of the entourage effect will likely deepen. This could pave the way for more targeted and effective cannabis-based therapies, enhancing the way we approach health and wellness.

In conclusion, the entourage effect is an intriguing concept that offers a holistic perspective on cannabis therapy. By acknowledging the combined power of CBD and THC, along with other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, we can harness the full potential of the cannabis plant for therapeutic purposes.

While more research is needed to fully understand the entourage effect, the current evidence suggests a promising future for this fascinating phenomenon.