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The term “entourage effect” has become an important term to describe the relationship between terpenes and cannabinoids, the key components of marijuana. Most people have heard about cannabinoids such as THC and CBD but have not heard about terpenes, the compounds that create the smell and specific effects of each strain. The “entourage effect” describes the synergies between terpenes and cannabinoids and how they work together to make cannabis’ effects so effective and diverse.
Both cannabinoids and terpenes affect receptors in the endocannabinoid system which, is what give the “high” users experience when they use it. Not only do different combinations of terpenes make up the aroma of the cannabis plant but they also impact the effect the strain has. For example, if you have 2 different types of cannabis but both have 15% THC, but one gives you energetic effects and one gives you sedative effects, this is largely due to the different terpene profiles. Terpenes such as Myrcene, Nerolidol, and Terpinolene, have sedative qualities and Alpha Pinene can be energizing. Cannabinoids and terpenes each have effects independently but together, they can serve many functions.
You can read the whole version of Ethan Russo’s Entourage effect here.