Terpenes and the Entourage Effect

Article by the uWeed CBD Shop. Cannabis and hemp plant extracts typically containing a combination of over 400 different Cannabinoids and Terpenes. However, most research on the topic uses either synthetic and/or single-molecule Cannabinoids. We do know that many of these compounds work together synergistically. This synergy (Entourage Effect) creates an end result in which the individual effects and benefits of each molecule enhance the effects and benefits of the other compound’s Terpenes. This is what scientists are calling the “Entourage Effect”.

Terpenes and the Entourage Effect in CBD
Cannabis Plant - Terpenes & the Entourage Effect
The question then arises, what conclusions can we really draw regarding the data obtained from typical cannabinoid research. Research, that uses single-molecule isolates? In other words, what impact does the entourage effect have on the efficacy of medical cannabis-based medicines?

The Entourage Effect: Cannabinoids and Terpenes

Before delving into the entourage effect, let’s first take a look at the players involved in creating this synergistic effect. Namely there are Cannabinoids and Terpenes.


The Cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant each have their own set of potential benefits. As they also have their therapeutic effects. The effects of each are primarily due to the way in which they interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). But also, how they modulate, bind to, and affect the cannabinoid receptors. Those are located throughout our brain and body.

For instance, THC’s effects mainly arise because it acts as a partial agonist for CB1 and CB2 receptors. This is the underlying cause of many of its properties, as well as benefits. These include psychoactive analgesic, muscle relaxant, antispasmodic, neuroprotective, and antioxidant, as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

On the other hand, CBD has no binding affinity with either CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptors. This, as a matter of fact, accounts for its unusual pharmacological versatility. It furthermore, has the ability to modulate the behavior of a variety of other, non-ECS receptors, genes, as well as enzymes.

There is a perfect CBD oil for everyone

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), is an Analog and Modulator of THC

It is a powerful anticonvulsant, as well as an anti-inflammatory agent. In addition, it aids weight loss, decreases body fat, as well as reducing serum leptin concentrations. CBD’s analog, cannabidivarin (CBDV), is also a powerful anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, as well as analgesic. Cannabigerovarin (CBGV), CBG’s analog is thought to have analgesic, as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

Cannabichromene (CBC) is, as a matter of fact, an anandamide uptake inhibitor. It shows pronounced antidepressant effects. Cannabigerol (CBG) inhibits gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) uptake. This  suggests,that it has muscle relaxant, analgesic, and anti-erythemic effects.

Last, but not least, CBN, a by-product of THC deterioration, is a powerful anticonvulsant agent. However, it is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, as well as antiviral agent. Furthermore, it can help promote bone formation and inhibit breast cancer growth.


Terpenes are volatile, odiferous, as well as oily compounds. They are responsible for repelling insects. However, they also prevent fungal and bacterial infections as well as attract pollinators. There are around 200 Terpenes found in the cannabis plant. Those give different cannabis strains their unique smell characteristics.

The most notable of these Terpenes is beta-caryophyllene. It binds directly to the CB2 cannabinoid receptor in the same way Cannabinoids do. Furthermore, it is considered a promising therapeutic compound for inflammatory and auto-immune conditions. However, it is also a great help in fighting neuropathic pain. 

CBD Tropfen Terpene and the Entourage effect on your the Endocannabinoid System
Terpene and the Entourage effect on your the Endocannabinoid System

Largest collection of high quality Swiss hemp

Below is a list of some other common Terpenes found in cannabis and a summary of their positive properties:
Terpenes Properties
Limonene Immunostimulant, anxiolytic, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer
a-Pinene Anti-inflammatory, bronchodilator, aids memory
b-Myrcene Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, hypnotic, muscle relaxant, sedative
Linalool Anxiolytic, sedative, anesthetic, analgesic, anti-convulsant
Nerolidol Sedative, antimalarial, antimicrobial
Terpinolene Anti-fungal, antibacterial, antioxidant

What are Terpenes and what is the Entourage Effect?

Cannabinoid researcher Ethan Russo was the first to speak of a potential synergistic effect between THC and CBD. He published in the British Journal of Pharmacology. Russo recognized an entourage effect between Cannabinoids. He also recognized the same with the various Terpenes found in the cannabis plant. He wrote his review of the potential benefits of using CBD with THC, Russo makes the case that CBD has the ability to tame many of the unwanted side effects of THC. Those would be acute intoxication, anxiety, as well as feelings of panic of THC by modulating its psych activity. 

There was further support for the Cannabinoid-Cannabinoid entourage effect. It was realized when scientists investigated the effect of full-spectrum extracts vs CBD isolates on dose-responses. They found that when a CBD isolate was given to rats for the treatment of pain, dosages needed to steadily be increased in order to remain effective. Eventually reaching a ceiling of effectiveness. However, when a full-spectrum CBD oil was administered, the analgesic effect remained constant. It did so, without required dosage increases or ceiling effects.

A study on the effects of medical cannabis on human breast cancer cells showed that full-spectrum extracts were more effective. They were more effective in reducing tumor size than THC alone. The researchers theorized that this was due to the entourage effect. As well as the presence of small amounts of other Cannabinoids, such as CBG and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA).

Scientific studiy on the effects of CBD

Scientists Compared the Effects of Five Types of Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Extracts. This was done In a Study Investigating the Anticonvulsant Effects of CBD,

Each of them contained the same amount of CBD but had different Cannabinoid and Terpene profiles. Their results mirrored those of previously mentioned research. They found significant differences between the effectiveness of each extract with regard to seizure development.

Similar to synergies between Cannabinoids, there is also evidence of potential synergy between Cannabinoids and Terpenes. Research shows that a Cannabinoid-Terpene entourage effect can increase blood flow. By doing so, enhances the cortical activity and kills antibiotic-resistant pathogens like MRSA. Similarly, it also has the potential for the treatment of pain, inflammation, as well as anxiety. Furthermore, it has the potential against depression, seizure disorders, fungal and bacterial infections. It can also buffer THC’s psych activity in combination with CBD.

Scientists theorize that the cause of an entourage effect lies in the ability of each cannabis plant compound to act on different parts of the body in different ways and therefore to produce varying effects. However, at the same time, they also work together to enhance the benefits of each. It is the case, especially with cannabinoid-terpene interactions. This is because some Terpenes can assist Cannabinoids in penetrating the blood-brain barrier that influences the amount of each cannabinoid that passes through that barrier.

Beautiful skin, thanks to CBD skin care products

Final Thoughts on Terpenes and the Entourage Effect

The entourage effect of the many Cannabinoid Terpenes is very real. Thereby making this a case for research scientists to investigate cannabis compounds holistically as well as in different combinations. It’s the only way to fully understand the pharmacological effects of medical cannabis on different conditions. It is also a crucial step in developing truly, as well as consistently effective phytopharmaceutical cannabinoid medications.

Want to know more about CBD and its effects & benefits – our CBD shop has all the information