The Entourage Effect: What It Is and Why You Should Care

It was 1999 when Israeli researcher, Raphael Mechoulam, best known for being the first person to isolate cannabis’ most active compounds, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydocannabinol (THC), first coined the phrase, “Entourage Effect.”

Mechoulam believes that cannabis compounds work best together. Just as a single note combines with other notes to make music, Mechoulam has shown that a single cannabis compound combines with other cannabis compounds to affect the endocannabinoid system. This is what he called the “Entourage Effect.”

The sheer number of chemical compounds in the cannabis plant is astounding. Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported on CNN, “There are more than 480 natural components found within the cannabis plant, of which 66 have been classified as ‘cannabinoids.’” In addition to cannabinoids, the cannabis plant contains other constituents including proteins, amino acids, steroids, terpenes, flavonoids and more.

Since based on their condition, medical cannabis patients seek different therapeutic outcomes, the chemical composition and resulting Entourage Effect of the medicine matters. This brings us to the question: Which chemical profile, or strain, will best treat a particular condition?

At this point, the only way to know which strain best treats a particular condition is to rely on experience. If you’re new to the medical cannabis dispensary world, you can rely on your Patient Advisor to tell you which strain or strains have been successfully used to treat patients with your condition. Once you start taking the medicine, consider keeping a Patient Journal to document the strain, amount, frequency and effects of the medicine you’ve taken. If you’ve found the relief you’re seeking, you’re all set. If not, let your Patient Advisor know; he or she will advise you and offer alternative medicines that may improve the result.

As Mechoulam suggests, more research is needed to learn about this incredible medicine. Rather than isolating one compound as is customary in the pharmaceutical industry, Mechoulam and many other esteemed researchers believe that cannabis’ highest and most profound benefit comes from each strain’s Entourage Effect—the whole plant—in all its glory.


Image source: Leafly

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