There seems to be a new buzzword every so often that hits the cannabis industry and has people curious about its meaning. This time, the “entourage effect” is the latest phrase to be thrown around all over the cannabis community.
Since cannabis has only recently been more widely legalized across the United States, we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of cannabis science and all of the complexities that exist within it. Every single day we’re finding out more unexpected behaviors, reactions, and scientific phenomena of the cannabis plant; and the best part is that there’s still so much more to be explored!
Some people in the cannabis industry may talk about the entourage effect like they’ve known about it forever, but if you’re one of the many people scratching their head about what the heck the entourage effect is, don’t feel bad. The term ‘entourage effect’ may not be brand new, but it is brand new to being a household name among stoners, so we’re here to break down precisely what the entourage effect is, how the entourage effect works, and why it matters.
Entourage Effect Meaning
The entourage effect is a natural phenomenon that occurs when multiple cannabinoid compounds exist in the same singular substance. The presence of numerous cannabinoids encourages them to work with each other, resulting in an amplification of the overall feelings and effects of the cannabis plant.
Most often, you’ll encounter the entourage effect with full-spectrum or broad-spectrum cannabis products. A cannabis product that’s full spectrum means that the maximum amount of natural cannabinoids have been extracted during the harvesting and cultivation process and in turn exist within one single product. Broad spectrum cannabis products are similar, with the main difference being that they don’t contain THC. For example, you’ll most commonly find broad-spectrum CBD. So, this means that full-spectrum products and broad-spectrum products are your best chance at experiencing the entourage effect.
The goal of a full spectrum product is to encourage the entourage effect, which uses the presence of the large number of phytocannabinoids, cannabinoids, and terpenes to work together to highlight the strengths of each individual cannabinoid.
There are unique properties to every cannabinoid, and each one has its own individual strengths and characteristics. In layman’s terms, think of cannabinoids as members of an orchestra. On their own, they can each create beautiful solo music; one cannabinoid may play a beautiful violin solo, while another cannabinoid masters the clarinet, and another cannabinoid is leading the percussion section. But when you put them together, they can create a truly magnificent, blended symphony.
Cannabinoids love teamwork, which means they actually work better in groups. Basically, the entourage effect is what happens when cannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, and terpenes exist in optimal working conditions with each other.
What are Cannabinoids and Terpenes?
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found inside the cannabis and hemp plants. These chemical compounds are released into the human body when cannabis is ingested via smoking weed, vaping oil, or eating cannabinoid-infused edibles. These cannabinoids are then absorbed into the endocannabinoid system, which is specifically designed to produce endocannabinoids of its own as well as interact with these natural cannabinoids (or phytocannabinoids).
The human body contains a naturally-occurring system called the endocannabinoid system (or ECS). The endocannabinoid system includes two different cannabinoid receptors, CB1 (or cannabinoid receptor type 1) and CB2 (or cannabinoid receptor type 2). These cannabinoid receptors can be found in the nervous systems and immune systems, respectively.
When we smoke weed, hit vapes, take dabs, consume tinctures, or eat cannabinoid-infused edibles, these cannabinoids enter our system and make their way to our bloodstream, where they’re carried around the body to find these different cannabinoid receptors to produce the feelings and effects we’ve come to know from using marijuana.
Terpenes are also naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the cannabis and hemp plants, but they’re responsible for the aroma, flavor, and color associated with the strains. While alone they’re not psychoactive, cannabis researchers have found that the heavy presence of terpenes in cannabis products helped to enhance the performance of the cannabinoids. Think about it this way: if the other cannabinoids are the entourage, the terpenes are the cheering section.
What are Phytocannabinoids?
Technically, there are two types of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids, and the difference is simple; endocannabinoids are produced by the human body, and phytocannabinoids are produced by plants.
Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids that come from the trichomes of the cannabis plant. The trichomes of the cannabis plant are the crystal-like growths on the leaves of the plant. Many times, the presence of a lot of trichomes is an indication of quality weed.
So, phytocannabinoid is a blanket term for all of the cannabinoids that we naturally find in the cannabis plant, such as THC and CBD. Since the human body can also naturally produce cannabinoids, it’s essential to differentiate the two of them.
Is the Entourage Effect Real?
Yes, the entourage effect is real! Even though it has a name that may seem unserious, the entourage effect is actually a scientific phenomenon. The stoner community likes to come up with some pretty great names for the effects of marijuana. For example, the way we named the appetite stimulation that comes from smoking weed “the munchies.” Even though the munchies is also a somewhat unserious term, there’s real scientific evidence to back it up.
What Does the Entourage Effect Feel Like?
This depends on whether or not you’re using a full-spectrum or broad spectrum CBD or THC. You may experience the entourage effect with either one, but they will feel a bit different.
When you’re using a full-spectrum THC product, the presence of the other cannabinoids can strengthen the feeling of the THC. Delta 9 THC is psychoactive, which means that it provides a “high” when used. Users have reported that full-spectrum delta 9 can feel more potent than delta 9 isolate, depending on tolerance and method of consumption.
Ways to Experience the Entourage Effect
There are a few ways to experience the entourage effect. If you’re wondering, “can I get the entourage effect without THC?” you’re in luck; the most plentiful full-spectrum products on the market are full-spectrum CBD products.
But since legal hemp-derived products are beginning to become more popular, there have been more opportunities for cannabis users to experience the entourage effect with delta 9 THC as well.
Whole Plant CBD
Whole plant CBD should not be confused with CBD isolate, since they produce completely different effects. Whole plant CBD is often referred to as full-spectrum CBD as it contains all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytocannabinoids, but it also includes the essential oils, fatty acids, and all other molecular byproducts of the hemp or cannabis plant from which it was derived from. This means that it will provide the entourage effect, while CBD isolate will not, since CBD isolate is just that; CBD all by itself.
Full Spectrum CBD
Full-spectrum CBD is a CBD product that contains a number of different cannabinoids and terpenes alongside CBD, such as CBG, CBC, CBN, CBDa, and/or CBDv, among others. Each and every full-spectrum CBD product will be different, which means that one full-spectrum CBD product may have a different combination of cannabinoids and terpenes in it than other full-spectrum CBD products. So if you’re looking for a specific cocktail of cannabinoids in particular, make sure to check the ingredients of your full-spectrum CBD product.
Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad spectrum CBD is extremely similar to full-spectrum CBD as it contains a myriad of other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBC, CBN, CBDa, and/or CBDv, among others as well, but the main difference is that there is a complete absence of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). For some people, it’s important to consume cannabis products and experience the entourage effect without THC, whether they don’t want it to show up on a drug test or they just aren’t interested in a psychoactive experience. If that’s the case for you, broad-spectrum CBD can be the perfect cannabis product to provide that “goldilocks zone” experience you’re looking for.
Full-Spectrum Delta 9
A full-spectrum delta 9 product is similar to full-spectrum CBD as it’s a cannabis product that features all the cannabinoids necessary to consider it full-spectrum (such as CBG, CBC, CBN, CBDa, and/or CBDv, etc.), but with delta 9 as the main highlight instead of CBD. In fact, many full-spectrum delta 9 products also contain CBD as well. Delta 9 THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid and does provide its users a “high” when ingested, so this will make full-spectrum delta 9 a completely different experience than other non-psychoactive cannabis products like full-spectrum CBD.
Delta Munchies Full-Spectrum Delta 9 Gummies
In our (not so) humble opinion, we’ve got the best full-spectrum delta 9 gummies on the market. Our industry-breaking, full-spectrum, hemp-derived delta 9 gummies come in three delicious flavors:
- Strawberry Shortcake. An irresistible combination of tart strawberries and sweet cake batter, our Strawberry Shortcake full-spectrum delta 9 gummies taste just like the ice cream treat from the ice cream trucks of our youths.
- Blue Dream. A nod to the infamous Blue Dream weed strain, our Blue Dream full-spectrum delta 9 gummies are a ‘mixed berries’ flavor, featuring sophisticated notes of elderberry, blackberry, blueberry, and strawberry.
- Mango Crush. A fruity and refreshing treat, our Mango Crush full-spectrum delta 9 gummies are the perfect sweet and sour snack for an uplifting, summertime high.
If you’re looking to dip your toes into the beautiful waters of full-spectrum delta 9, we suggest you start here. Our hemp-derived gummies are packed with 11 unique cannabinoids, making them the most robust and comprehensive full-spectrum delta 9 gummies on the market. We’ve been in the cannabis space for over 15 years, and we packed each and every single one of those 15 years into these gummies. We’re super proud of them, so we hope you decide to try them and join the Delta Munchies family!
Disclaimer: Delta Munchies is NOT providing any medical or legal cannabis advice. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the legality of cannabis or its potential effects of cannabis or any of its components, please reach out to a trusted medical or legal professional.
All statements made by Delta Munchies regarding delta 8, delta 9 THC, delta 10, HHC, CBD, and other cannabinoids have not been evaluated by the FDA. No entity at Delta Munchies is a medical professional, nor is Delta Munchies giving any medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the potential effects of cannabis, please reach out to a trusted medical professional.
Delta Munchies fully adheres to the federal legal standards of hemp cultivation and distribution in the United States. For more information, visit our full disclaimer page.
For a quick breakdown on what the entourage effect is, watch the following video: