Breaking Down the Entourage Effect

Whether you’re new to the CBD world or a die-hard fan, you’ll probably encounter the term “entourage effect” at some point in your wellness journey. But what exactly is this effect – and how can it apply to your life?

Defining the Entourage Effect and its Potential

The first person to ask is Dr. Ethan Russo, a board-certified neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher and former medical advisor. He used the term “entourage effect” in a 2011 study revealing the potential synergistic benefits between cannabinoids and terpenes. If you’re confused, you’re not alone. A little background information on plant chemistry: There are a multitude of chemical compounds found within the Cannabis sativa plant (which includes hemp). These compounds include:
  • Cannabinoids – Naturally occurring chemicals that affect our bodies in various ways. The two most well-understood are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD (cannabidiol), but there are dozens more, such as cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG), that also deserve mention. A quick note: THC is psychoactive. Bōdee Organics products do not contain any THC.
  • Terpenes – These compounds give plants their distinctive aroma and taste. For example, linalool is the reason lavender has its unique floral, spicy smell. Myrcene is why mangoes are so sweet. A-Pinene conjures memories of walking through a pine forest after a rainstorm. There’s research indicating terpenes may offer their own health benefits, too.
Russo coined the term “entourage effect” to describe the amplified benefits of these compounds working together rather than in isolation. Products made with full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD extract can elicit the entourage effect. This blog offers more information on these types of extractions – full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate – and the differences among them. As an example to describe the entourage effect, Russo discusses the various antiseptic benefits of cannabinoid CBG and the terpene pinene to combat infections, such as that caused by MRSA. He writes, “Given that CBG can be produced in selected cannabis chemotypes with no residual THC as a possible drug abuse liability risk, a whole plant extract of a CBG-chemotype also expressing pinene would seem to offer an excellent, safe new antiseptic agent.”

So, How Can I Explore the Entourage Effect?

Although more research is needed to confirm Russo’s findings, the entourage effect seems to be gaining traction, even if only anecdotally. Many people turning to plant medicine for relief or support have chosen full- or broad-spectrum options to take advantage of the entourage effect. To explore the potential benefits of Russo’s theorized effect, try products made with broad-spectrum CBD. Bōdee Organics products, including our tinctures, capsules and softgels, are specifically formulated with broad-spectrum CBD (and other therapeutic ingredients, like vitamin B6, curcumin or melatonin) to deliver targeted, fast-acting results.