Synergy: The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.
The definition above sums up the Entourage Effect. It is the combination of multiple biomolecules produced by the cannabis plant, being metabolized at the same time. Some of these molecules oppose each other’s effects to diminish a certain symptom, such is the case in CBD taming the psychoactivity of THC. While other interactions complement one another, increasing those effects to create a broader range of therapeutic use. In basic terms the entourage effect is an interaction between cannabinoids, of which we can test for over 100 in the cannabis plant and terpenoids, with numbers around 200 found in chemovars of the plant.
Terpenoids have many known therapeutic uses outside of cannabis such as beta-caryophyllene, also found in black pepper and cloves which produces anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Or the terpenoid linalool which produces lavender’s infamous ability to work against anxiety and uplift our mood. Or the antibiotic properties of myrcene found in mangoes. The list goes on and on and when these terpenoids and cannabinoids work in concert together, the ending result is a synergistic relationship that really defines cannabis as a botanical drug with so many potential uses.
The only way to harness the full potential of cannabis is to allow Mother Nature’s grand design to remain intact. When parts of a full spectrum extract are removed, it begins to take away from that design and the end product begins to decline in therapeutic potential. More importantly, a skilled Herbalist can hone in on what minor cannabinoids and terpenoid profiles best treat a specific condition and really push the boundaries of what a full spectrum hemp extract can achieve.