What is the Entourage Effect?

Taylor Engle
Jan 4, 2021

The cannabis plant contains a wide variety of compounds that individually contribute to the overall levels of dankness. From cannabinoids like THC or CBD to terpenes like pinene or linalool, the high you experience can vary greatly from strain to strain–a phenomenon known by seasoned smokers as the “entourage effect.”

The entourage effect is the cannabis community’s theory that, depending on what type of cannabis you’re consuming, the different components of the plant work together to uniquely affect the type of high you will experience and the type of benefits your body will receive.

Since many terpenes are found in nature outside of the cannabis plant, many claim that the entourage effect improves your high for that reason exactly: because it mimics nature itself and how these compounds work with one another in the world. There are hundreds of compounds that have been detected in the cannabis plant, and therefore an endless list of ways you can be affected by each strain.

In a study done by neurologist Dr. Ethan Russo, he discusses the benefits of some of the most widely-recognized cannabis compounds and describes the possibility of an entourage effect within them. One example was garnered from one of the most popular strains, the heavy indica Granddaddy Purple, which contains high levels of THC, myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene.

With the high of THC, the sedative effects of myrcene, the anti-inflammatory properties of caryophyllene and pinene, this strain may be recommended for someone who is looking to get a good night’s sleep, while also reducing pain and inflammation they may be suffering from. Because of the entourage effect, strain suggestions can be adequately tailored to the consumer’s needs.

The idea of the entourage effect in itself is simple, but really only effective once you have a strong grasp of the different components of cannabis and what they do. Here is a breakdown of some of the most commonly-found cannabinoids and terpenes within the cannabis plant, and how they may affect you:


Today, it’s almost impossible to go through life without hearing the acronym “CBD.” This cannabinoid is one of the most popular among cannabis consumers, especially those who are looking for the benefits of the plant without the heavy psychoactive effects of THC. CBD is known for alleviating depression and anxiety, boosting heart health, relieving chronic pain, regulating seizures, and more.


One of the most favored cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, THC is responsible for the “high” you feel when you spark up. It’s also known to enhance the body’s immune system.


Another widely-recognized cannabinoid is CBN, which is similar to CBD in that it is non-psychoactive but highly beneficial. CBN appears to aid in a good night’s sleep, as well as regulating the immune system and relieving inflammation.


Terpenes are not only found in the cannabis plant–they are recognized throughout nature in plants, vegetables, fruits, spices, teas, and more. They are responsible for the plant’s taste, smell, consistency, and effect. Depending on the terpene, the effects may be energizing, sedative, calming, anti-inflammatory, or pain-relieving, to name a few. Some of the most commonly-found terpenes within the cannabis plant are pinene, limonene, myrcene, caryophyllene, linalool, or terpinene.

Beyond the cannabis plant itself, there are many other recognized levels to the entourage effect that have been explored in recent years. Brands like STIIIZY have put out products that claim to center around the idea of the entourage effect, bringing consumers a full-spectrum, full-body-and-mind high.

In particular, the concentrate sect of the cannabis industry has zeroed in on the idea of the entourage effect. Cannabis concentrates are products derived from the cannabis plant. They are unique in that they’ve been specifically processed to keep the most desirable compounds, like cannabinoids and terpenes, and discard the parts of the plant that are impure or unuseful.

Since concentrates contain the highest amount of cannabinoids and terpenes and tend to affect the consumer more potently than regular flower, it makes sense that the entourage effect would also be more powerful in these forms of cannabis.

There still needs to be more research done on the topic, but based on anecdotal evidence, it’s safe to say there is a strong possibility that the entourage effect is quite real–but it’s up to you to figure out what combination works best for what you want.

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