The “entourage effect” is a proposed mechanism by which cannabis compounds other than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) act synergistically with it to modulate the overall psychoactive effects of the plant.
That’s Wikipedia’s very technical definition, but let’s break it down and gain a better understanding of this concept. For many, THC alone does not achieve the desired effects they are seeking in a high - whether it’s recreational or medicinal. Having a higher THC level is a goal growers pursue, especially with the California framework, but it’s not all that matters.
When you combine multiple cannabis compounds, the effects of a strain can be greatly enhanced and/or altered. For a truly therapeutic experience, we look for more than just a heavy hitter: We want the taste and aroma to be there as well. Having a full spectrum of components will result in a rounded, meaningful high, something THC alone can not do. You see, love of cannabis isn’t completely random, it comes from the fact that it has the natural capacity to bind with receptors in our brain and nervous system in order to produce its desired effects. Again, whether it’s for recreational or medicinal use, greater benefits generally result from higher-quality, full spectrum flowers.
While many scientists think the “entourage effect” is a reach, any regular cannabis consumer knows it isn’t. We all personally have experienced the different effects from one strain to another. Anecdotal evidence is still evidence. All in all, isolating compounds has its benefits. However, as far as the end consumer is concerned, there is more involved than mere THC. The interaction between cannabis and the brain and body is a complex system we have just barely begun to understand.