Marijuana and the Entourage Effect

Marijuana and marijuana products are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The entourage effect is a theory that proposes various compounds found in marijuana work together to create distinctive and effective benefits.

The marijuana plant contains delta-9 THC, and it is a cannabinoid (a chemical compound) that is associated with producing the effect that causes consumers to feel “high”. However, there are many cannabinoids found in marijuana; not just delta-9 THC.

Recently, there has been increased focus on the additional cannabinoids (chemical compounds) contained in the marijuana plant as well as the marijuana’s terpenes (or essential oils) and how they may produce the effects and benefits that a consumer experiences when using marijuana and marijuana products.

The theory that the whole plant is greater than its parts is referred to as the “entourage effect.” This theory proposes that various compounds found in marijuana work together to create distinctive and effective benefits.

Over 100 cannabinoids have been identified.

Common Cannabinoids – Not A Complete List

CBA or Cannabidiolic Acid
CBC or Cannabichromene
CBD or Cannabidiol
CBG or Cannabigerol
CBN or Cannabinol
CBDV or Cannabidivarin
THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol
THCA or Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid

Cannabinoids & Reported Therapeutic Effects:

Digestive & Eating Disorders
Anti-nauseaCBD, THC
AntioxidantCBN, THC
Appetite StimulantTHC

Neurological & Psychiatric Ailments
AntidepressantCBD, THC
AntispasmodicCBD, CBN, THC, THC-A

Pain & Sleep Issues
Anti-inflammatoryCBC, CBD, CBG, CBN, THC-A
Pain reliefCBC, CBD, CBN, THC
Sleep AidCBN
To Combat Sleep ApneaTHC

Other Ailments & Issues
Allograft Stimulant (to reduce organ transplant rejection)CBD
Psoriasis AidCBD
To Impede Tumor Cell GrowthCBD

*This is not an inclusive list.

When it comes to marijuana, cannabinoids are not the only compounds that can determine the effects of a particular strain of marijuana. Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds that are found in plants (and even some animals).

Terpenes are the essential oils that are responsible for the fragrance and flavor of that plant, including marijuana.

Approximately 200 terpenes have been found in marijuana. However, terpenes are found in many non- marijuana products, like perfumes and cleaning products.

Terpenes in marijuana make certain strains smell and/or taste differently than other strains.

In addition, they also work in conjunction with cannabinoids in marijuana to boost the therapeutic benefits of one another, thus enhancing the effects or benefits for the consumer.

Terpenes are the primary components of essential oils.

They are responsible for the aromas in many consumer products,
including strains of marijuana.

Terpene NameReported Therapeutic EffectsAromas & Flavors
Caryophyllene Neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory
Cedar, oregano, black pepper
Limonene Anti-anxiety, antidepressant, gastro-protective
Citrus, juniper, peppermint
Linalool Sedative, anticonvulsantCitrus, flowers
PineneAntibacterial, antiinflammatoryPine, rosemary
NerolidolAntifungal, sedativeBerries, flowers, pine
HumuleneAppetite suppressant, pain relief, anti-inflammatoryEarth, wood
Myrcene Antidepressant, sedative, muscle relaxant, pain reliefCloves, musk, tropical fruit

Marijuana is much more than its delta-9 THC potency.

It is recommended that consumers should focus on the cannabinoid and terpene profiles found in marijuana; not just its delta-9 THC potency.

If you are considering consuming a marijuana product, remember the “entourage effect” and ask yourself these two (2) questions:

1. What ailments/issues do I wish to treat, and what cannabinoids and terpenes that can best assist with these ailments/issues?

2. What are the desired effects that I wish to experience from a marijuana product?

Don’t forget: when you visit a local Montana marijuana dispensary, you may always inquire with the staff.