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Entourage effect

Alana Rossi
August 19, 2023

The entourage effect theory posits that the wide array of active compounds within cannabis, including cannabinoids, terpenoids, flavonoids and others, work synergistically together once consumed, combining to produce significant ensemble effects greater than merely the sum total of each individual component in isolation, suggesting that ingesting whole plant natural medicine is most therapeutically beneficial compared to only isolated components.

According to this school of thought, the diverse array of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and other bioactive compounds present in the cannabis plant all closely complement and harmoniously enhance one another in intricate ways, creating modulating interactions and dependencies between molecules. For example, evidence suggests certain terpenes likely alter how individual cannabinoids exactly bind to and interact with cell receptors in the body. As a result, excessively isolating or filtering out compounds disrupts these critical synergies that appear so fundamental to natural cannabis therapies.

Given the nearly impossible challenges with designing scientific studies able to directly investigate such highly complex botanical interactions, this theory currently remains largely based on extensive anecdotal evidence. However, that collective body of qualitative human experiences strongly favors whole plant full-spectrum cannabis oil products aimed at maximally retaining these apparent synergistic entourage effect benefits over isolated individual cannabinoid formulations or concentrates.

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