The Entourage Effect—What Are the Benefits of Taking CBD and THC Together?

Many of our edibles, such as our THC gummies with CBD, combine for the so-called “entourage effect.” But, what is this effect, exactly? Let’s examine the benefits of taking CBD vs THC—and how they interact together:

entourage effect - CBD and THC

What Is the Entourage Effect?

The entourage effect is a theory that CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids multiply one another’s benefits.

The term describes a cannabis synergy in which benefits exceed that predicted by merely adding the separate benefits of each individual cannabinoid. Via mechanisms that are still being researched, compounds derived from cannabis plants appear to act synergistically with one other.

Essentially, according to the entourage effect, the beneficial effect of cannabidiol (CBD) becomes more pronounced when you take CBD and THC together, and vice versa.

Entourage Effect Study

Cannabis research has only recently started looking into the entourage effect. Recent studies on cannabis and cannabis compounds started examining the benefits of THC and CBD when taken together. One such study, titled ‘The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No Strain, No Gain’ has particularly promising results.

This study examined cannabis genomics and the occurrence of the entourage effect, regardless of the cannabis strain. Results suggest that the instances of the entourage effect are sufficiently common to grant further research into how exactly cannabinoids interact with one another.

Entourage Effect Feeling

You won’t be able to feel the entourage effect. This term describes the longer-term benefits you get from taking multiple cannabinoids together, rather than any immediate psychological effect you might notice.

Upon taking cannabis products for a while (about a month or so), you may start to notice the benefits of the entourage effect, such as decreased anxiety levels, improved sleep patterns, and an overall better mood.

What Is the Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a brain-body signaling network consisting of neurotransmitters and receptors.

The ECS helps regulate and control many bodily functions, including:

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Immune response
  • Eating
  • Sleep
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Emotions
  • Temperature control

The human body produces endocannabinoid neurotransmitters that dock with two types of receptors: CB1 and CB2 receptors.

CB1 Receptor

The CB1 cannabinoid receptor is involved in the well-known psychoactive effects of THC. It serves to modulate brain function and can trigger analgesic (pain relieving) effects). CB1 receptors are predominantly found in the following:

  • Brain tissue
  • Musculoskeletal tissue
  • Adipocytes (fat cells)
  • Hepatocytes (liver cells)

CB2 Receptor

The “peripheral” receptor, CB2, is not implicated in psychoactive effects, but rather serves to modulate inflammation and the immune system, and may also play a role in controlling the central nervous system.

They are concentrated predominantly in the gastrointestinal tract and throughout the immune system. Though there are some CB2 receptors in the brain, they are far less dense than the brain’s population of CB1 receptors.

Plant cannabinoids affect the body by interacting with the same receptors (CB1 and CB2) that our own endocannabinoids do.

How Does CBD Affect the Body?

Cannabidiol does not seem to bind significantly to either CB1 or CB2 receptors, but appears to impact the endocannabinoid system more indirectly.

The literature agrees that CBD does not bind to CB1, but there is some disagreement surrounding the level of its affinity for CB2, with some sources suggesting it binds weakly to CB2, and other sources indicating it does not bind with CB2 at all.

Instead of directly binding with CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD seems to downregulate them in the presence of THC. In other words, when CBD and THC are taken together, CBD regulates how THC interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors (Vuckovic, et all, “Cannabinoids and Pain”).

Some scientists hypothesize that CBD affects a yet-to-be-discovered endocannabinoid receptor, which could explain its effects on the endocannabinoid system.

CBD also improves the safety and tolerability of Delta 9 THC “by reducing the likelihood of psychoactive effects” and other adverse effects of THC such as tachycardia (increased heart rate), sedation, and anxiety.

How Does THC Affect the Body?

Unlike CBD, THC binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors. As reported in the British Journal of Pharmacology by Pertree, et al, it is a partial agonist of CB1 and CB2 receptors, meaning that it activates them.

Delta 9 THC Effects on CB1

When Delta 9 THC binds with CB1 receptors, it inhibits adenylate cyclase. This inhibition is responsible for the psychotropic effects of THC. These effects include:

  • changes in mood
  • changes in consciousness
  • memory processing changes
  • motor control changes
  • changes in appetite

Delta 9’s partial agonism of CB1 receptors also has broader therapeutic implications that warrant further research. Effects can include:

  • Analgesic
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Antiemetic

Delta 9 THC Effects on CB2

The effects of Delta 9 THC on CB2 receptors is less-understood than those of CB1. One study suggests a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system during stressful conditions via CB2 activation.

Benefits of the Entourage Effect

Medical cannabis has a slew of therapeutic effects, and many of them become more pronounced when CBD and Delta 9 THC are consumed together. Some of the benefits of the entourage effect include:

  • Symptom-relief of mood disorders (such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders)
  • Antiinflammatory effects
  • Insomnia relief and sleep improvement
  • Pain alleviation

Entourage Effect for Anxiety

Medicinal cannabis is incredibly beneficial for treating anxiety, especially when you combine CBD and trace amounts of THC.

A 2017 study examined the effects of THC and CBD on anxiety. Results show that people with anxiety disorder react well to all dosages of CBD. THC, on the other hand, is more nuanced in its effects on anxiety. Microdoses of THC appear to alleviate anxiety, while high doses seem to exacerbate it.

For maximum anti-anxiety relief, it seems that low doses of Delta 9 THC combined with CBD perform best.

Our vegan gummies infused with CBD have the ideal ratio of THC to CBD to reduce anxiety, especially if you stick to the recommended dosage (one gummy).

Entourage Effect for Sleep

The beneficial effects of THC and CBD on sleep are the most pronounced when you take these compounds together. THC is incredibly beneficial for sleep at low doses, while CBD aids sleep at any dosage.

Our gummies for sleep come in a THC-free variety, as well as one with Delta 9 THC. These gummies also contain melatonin, which was also shown to promote healthy sleep patterns.

Entourage Effect for Pain

Medical marijuana is most commonly used for pain relief, as both CBD and THC have pain-relieving properties. If you’re dealing with chronic pain, it’s best to combine a low dose of THC with CBD.

With this in mind, we have created Delta 9 THC gummies that also contain CBD. These gummies contain low doses of THC, just enough to produce an entourage effect without getting you high.

Do Terpenes Produce an Entourage Effect?

Yes, terpenes can produce an entourage effect when you consume them with THC or CBD. A 2020 study found that minor cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds found in cannabis produce this effect.

Results show that the entourage effect related to consuming terpenes is particularly beneficial for mood disorders and anxiety disorders. Further research is needed to examine exactly which terpene profiles are responsible for these benefits.

How to Get the Entourage Effect

You can get the entourage effect by taking a cannabis product that contains more than one cannabis compound, such as our popular Delta 9 edibles. A CBD isolate product won’t produce this effect, as it only contains CBD.

Broad spectrum CBD products contain minor cannabinoids and terpenes and flavonoids, in addition to CBD, but they don’t contain THC. Therefore, broad-spectrum products, such as our broad-spectrum CBD gummies, will produce an entourage effect.

Full-spectrum CBD products, such as our full-spectrum gummies with CBD, will also produce an entourage effect. These products contain all major and minor compounds found in cannabis, including THC.

To learn more about the differences between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD, check out our detailed comparison of these two forms of cannabidiol.

Entourage Effect Edibles

The most common cannabis products that produce an entourage effect are edibles. They are easy to dose, simple to take, and delicious. nama CBD offers an array of vegan gummies that contain THC, CBD, and other helpful cannabinoids.

Check out our edibles with Delta 9 THC, or go with our CBN-infused gummies if you want to get the benefits of the entourage effect without consuming THC.

Entourage Effect Capsules

Capsules with cannabis extracts that contain more than one cannabinoid can also produce an entourage effect. However, it can be difficult to dose cannabis capsules.

Plus, cannabis edibles are much easier to take and better tasting, which is why they remain more popular than capsules. However, if you are interested in trying cannabis capsules, we offer high-quality extra strength sleep drops, which contain hemp-derived CBD and THC.

Entourage Effect Tinctures

CBD tinctures and CBD oils with THC and other cannabinoids are a common way to get the entourage effect. However, it can be difficult to dose a tincture or oil, especially for beginners. Moreover, taking a tincture in a social setting can be awkward.

For these reasons, many opt for cannabis drinks as socially-acceptable alternatives. Our drink mix with THC also contains CBD, CBG, and CBC, which all participate in the entourage effect.

Buy Entourage Effect Edibles Online

The recent boom of the cannabis industry has made it easy to find cannabis products, but harder to find high-quality ones.

If you want to experience the entourage effect by taking edibles, nama CBD is the right place for you. We offer an array of edibles made from premium hemp extract derived from the finest American hemp.

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All our products, including our CBD sleep gummies and our gummies infused with melatonin and hemp-derived cannabinoids, are tested in third-party labs with the certificate of analysis for each batch available on our website.

FAQ on the Entourage Effect

Who discovered the entourage effect?

The entourage effect is a fairly new discovery. Raphael Mechoulam, a chemist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, first proposed this effect in 1998.

What to expect after getting high for the first time?

If you’re new to cannabis, we suggest starting with a fairly low dose, even if you want to get high. Some of the effects your can expect when taking THC, a cannabis plant compound responsible for its psychoactive effects, are*:

  • relaxation
  • mild feelings of euphoria
  • increased appetite
  • pain relief
  • perception changes (at high doses)

*according to cannabis studies and reports by medicinal and recreational users

How long does 25 mg of CBD stay in your system?

It takes about 85 hours (or 3.5 days) for 25 mg of CBD to clear from your system. If you are a regular recreational user of CBD, this compound will accumulate in your body and take longer to clear out than if you were to just take it once. Therefore, if you often take CBD, it can stay in your system for up to a month.

Does CBD make you feel higher?

No, CBD won’t make you higher. CBD does not have psychoactive effects and won’t produce a high, even if you take it at high doses. If you take CBD with THC, it is likely to make your high feel more manageable and help you experience fewer side effects of THC.

What’s better for pain: CBD or THC?

CBD has been known to lower inflammation, a key cause of many aches and pains. It works to relieve pain at the source. THC, however, is known to alter the mind’s perception of pain. So, it depends on the type of relief you’re seeking. Combining the two with a THC-to-CBD ratio that works together may be the most effective use of the two compounds.

How can you tell THC from CBD?

CBD and THC have a different chemical structure from one another, but the average person won’t have the ability to analyze the individual molecules of each compound. Most people will rely on manufacturers to tell them how much CBD or THC is in a product. Post-consumption, users will feel a difference between the two cannabinoids because THC will cause more euphoria—and, at higher doses, psychoactive effects.  

Do terpenes make you happy?

Terpenes won’t make you feel high, but the relaxing properties of these compounds can make you feel happier. Taking terpenes can alleviate anxiety and ease pain, which will certainly aid in your happiness if these conditions impact your day-to-day experiences.

What is tetrahydrocannabinolic acid?

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA-A) is a non-psychoactive acidic cannabinoid found in cannabis plants (Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and hemp plants). This cannabidiolic acid appears to exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and neuroprotective effects.

What’s the difference between THC and CBD edibles?

THC has psychoactive properties, but CBD does not. Many users report that using CBD feels less intrusive than consuming THC because it has milder effects.

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