What is the Entourage Effect and How Cannabis Terpenes Play a Role
Did you know that the crystalline shimmer, indulgent fragrance, and sticky texture of your favorite cannabis strains are products of terpenes? Besides helping create and amplify various rich aromas and flavors, terpenes have also played an important role in the ever-growing and dynamic field of medical and scientific research. Because of these research efforts, we now know and understand terpenes can also have potential impacts on your health and well-being.
You probably have heard of the entourage effect, especially if you consume cannabis or essential oils. The entourage effect is a fascinating and unique process that occurs when you consume or ingest marijuana.
What are Terpenes?
We can define terpenes as a large and diverse group of organic molecules found in cannabis as well as a wide variety of other plants. You should know that terpenes account for the flavors and aromas produced by the various essential oils of many kinds of plants. Terpenes are also processed into produce products, such as cleaning solvents, dyes, and pesticides. Some cannabis terpenes have therapeutic and healing properties.
Terpenes induce unique effects on the human body. These effects vary between different types. Besides offering their own excellent benefits, terpenes also work with cannabinoids in order to produce a wide array of positive outcomes and therapeutic benefits. One of the effects of terpenes is known as the entourage effect.
What Do Terpenes Do in Plants?
Terpenes, such as linalool, are responsible for the tastes, aromas, and pungent smells of various cannabis strains. However, according to research studies, terpenes also offer health benefits, such as relief from anxiety.
Keep in mind that terpenes play an essential role in plants. For example, in many plants, terpenes help attract pollinators. On the other hand, in some plants, they can cause a strong reaction that repels predators, like insects and foraging animals.
Did you know that all plants naturally produce terpenes? These compounds are important as they give the different plant species their distinct characteristics, including adding color and pigmentation to the flowers and leaves.
Some terpenes also play an essential protective role in the plant. They help the plant recover from damage. On the other hand, some terpenes act as a part of the plant’s immune system and keep away infectious bacteria and germs.
How Terpenes Interact with Our Bodies
It is encouraging to know that cannabis researchers, scientists, and consumers are increasingly looking at various terpenes to classify cannabis products as well as predict their effects on humans. It is worth noting that many terpenes are bioactive, meaning they may affect your body. And this effect of terpenes will vary based on their concentration and how you use them.
Terpenes produce vibrant and pleasant smells. As a result, they are the basic components of many essential oils and an important part of many alternative therapies, including aromatherapy. If you inhale the scents from some plants or essential oils, it may affect your mood and stress levels.
Do Terpenes Get You High?
On their own, terpenes will not get you high. However, they can work indirectly with various other compounds found in medical cannabis to increase the effectiveness and potency of cannabinoids, like THC and CBD. In contrast, in some cases, they may even diminish the psychoactive effects or properties of cannabis.
Terpenes act on the transmitters in your ECS (Endocannabinoid System) that affect mood, stress levels, and other biological processes. So, when you think of cannabis terpenes, think of beneficial essential oils! Some people feel that terpenes impact or enhance the high people get from using cannabis. And this is called the entourage effect.
The primary hypothesis is that the specific terpene profile - also called the dominant terpenes - of a strain works in tandem with the cannabinoid content in order to produce the effects you may associate with different strains.
You may wonder what bodily processes and mechanisms explain why terpenes combined with cannabinoids are much superior or better than isolated ones. Remember that one reason is that they may help increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier. It can even impact how tetrahydrocannabinol binds to CB1 receptors in your ECS.
You probably know that your ECS accepts and produces cannabinoids. Terpenes interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system and help regulate:
- Immune function
- Pain and pleasure
What is the Entourage Effect?
We can define the entourage effect as the synergistic effect in the body that occurs when different natural components in a plant interact together to produce different, usually more potent, effects compared to those caused by any one of these components used alone. And in the case of medical cannabis, these components or chemicals are terpenes and cannabinoids.
In other words, the entourage effect is a crucial theoretic principle suggesting that compounds in the trichomes, terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids of the cannabis plant work together in order to create a whole-body experience. The entourage effect was introduced by two Israeli scientists, Raphael Mechoulam and Shimon Ben-Shabat in 1998.
The entourage effect of CBD is a cannabis experience that is much more than just CBD or THC. So, you can think of it as various parts of the plant all working together synergistically in favor of the body. Terpenes play an important role in this entourage effect by altering the way CBD usually binds with CB2 receptors in your body’s ECS or producing an effect that compliments or improves that of the CBD.
While you may know that there are countless terpenes, such as Myrcene, Terpinolene, and Linalool, it is Beta-Caryophyllene (also known as BCP) that usually receives the most attention when considering the CBD entourage effect. This is because it is one of the only terpenes in the plant that binds to cannabinoid receptors.
Terpenes and Their Benefits
Did you know that there are about 400 known terpenes in cannabis? However, experts and scientists have only linked a few of them to specific effects and therapeutic benefits. The therapeutic values and benefits of terpenes differ from one terpene to another. For example, terpenes weed and terpenes CBD will have different benefits.
» Pain Management
Some terpenes have analgesic properties. If you are constantly struggling with arthritic pain or joint complications, you know that reducing inflammation is crucial; however, it is not always easy. The good news is that terpenes — such as myrcene, have strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that will target these painful areas in your body directly.
You will be pleased to know that many well-known terpenes often show clear anti-inflammatory properties that work wonders for your body. And while one terpene can be excellent for combating and relieving specific aches or pains, other terpenes may be perfect for relaxing the mind or helping you get some sleep.
Different terpenes have different benefits. For example, beta-caryophyllene is one of the major ingredients in cloves, hops, and rosemary. Beta-caryophyllene could be beneficial for managing symptoms of depression and anxiety. On the other hand, as one of the most common terpenes, limonene has unique citrus notes and may have anti-cancer properties.
» Calming Effect
When discussing the health benefits of terpenes, we simply can’t discredit the excellent calming health benefits that many terpenes bring. For example, you’ll probably come across a few strong terpene profiles in your tea blends — and teas are a wonderful way to calm yourself down.
There’s an excellent reason for this connection! You should know that terpenes are commonly linked with aromatherapy, which is the notion that certain scents or aromas can stimulate receptors in your brain, calming you down and providing a sense of relief. Humulene is a common terpene found in ginseng, which people have used for energizing effects.
How to Get the Most of the Entourage Effect
One of the best ways to make the most of the entourage effect is using cannabis products with a wide range of terpenes and cannabinoids. Remember that full-spectrum cannabis oils or tinctures could be perfect for this purpose, and various cannabis varietals in their raw form (i.e., flower) usually have unique cannabinoid and terpene profiles that you can use in a wide variety of ways.
Some other tips and tricks include:
- Utilizing various consumption methods, such as tinctures and full-spectrum oils
- Reading the label to check for concentrations
Terpenes play a vital role in the flavor and aroma of a cannabis strain. Also, they work in synergy with various cannabinoids and other cannabis compounds in order to produce psychoactive effects, and the entourage effect is one of the well-known effects of terpenes.
So, if you have not been considering terpenes and their profile when choosing cannabis products, it is high time that you start doing it. And if you would like to experience a more effective high, then a full spectrum cannabis product from a reliable dispensary is your best bet.
If you are looking to buy weed or cannabis products online from a licensed and reputable cannabis dispensary , you will not go wrong with HOTBOX. At HOTBOX, they sell products tested for potency and purity. Contact them by calling 818-686-2942 or fill out their online form.