Cannabinoids and Terpenes: The Entourage Effect

Cannabinoids and Terpenes: The Entourage Effect

Written by Katherine Halle, B.S. Biology

What’s your favorite strain? Do you know why? Let’s talk about it!

Cannabis is complex, but when you get to know its many varieties there is a bountiful reward. The blend of terpenes and cannabinoids which produces a certain feeling is commonly referred to as the “entourage effect”.

Cannabinoids and Terpenes

Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found in high concentrations in the trichomes of a cannabis plant. THC and CBD are the most common but there are hundreds of cannabinoids with different benefits. Three main types of cannabis can be categorized based on cannabinoid content: Type I is THC-predominant, Type II is both THC and CBD, and Type III is CBD-predominant. THC causes the psychoactive effect in cannabis and can be used for pain relief, relaxation, and nausea. CBD is non-toxic and does not produce a high feeling since it interacts with completely different receptors than THC does. It has a rich medicinal history that goes back thousands of years and is known to aid in chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, depression, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease and much more.

Image 1: Trichomes (iStock)
*Anatomy Fact: Trichomes grow on the flower and leaves surrounding them and usually ripen in 6-9 weeks!

Terpenes are also secreted from the same place as cannabinoids, but these compounds are aromatic oils that can actually help modulate the intake of cannabinoids. There are about 400 known terpenes and each have an array of potential therapeutic uses

Terpene List

TerpeneTherapeutic Effect
EucalyptolAnalgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, inhibits cancer cell growth, immunostimulant, uplifting
α-PinineAntibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, analgesic, eases asthma, alertness, memory retention
β-MyrceneAnalgesic, sedative, ant-stress, anti-inflammatory, antipsychotic, antispasmodic, modulates THC intake with CB1 receptor, immunostimulant, antioxidant, enhances effects of sedatives
LinaloolAnalgesic, relieves anxiety, sedative, antibacterial, anti-epileptic, anti-fungal, inhibits cancer cell growth, antipsychotic, anti-acne
TerpinoleneSedative, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-tumor
HumuleneEases asthma, suppresses appetite, analgesic
LimoneneAntibacterial, anti-depressant, mood elevator, anti-inflammatory, inhibits cancer cell growth, relieves anxiety, immunostimulant, reduces acid reflux, appetite suppressant, anti-tumor, aids in gastrointestinal issues
OcimeneDecongestant, antiseptic, anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-viral
β-CaryophylleneActivates CB2 receptors, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal, eases anxiety

Why It Matters

In recent years, there has been a prevalent shift in the medical and recreational market as the therapeutic properties of CBD are being increasingly accepted. The preference of the consumer is ultimately the result of their genetics and lifestyle. This is why the argument of “sativa” versus “indica” is often deemed invalid, since each individual’s endocannabinoid system is unique. Terpenes and cannabinoids work best together, and becoming familiar with them will create a cultivated cannabis experience. Whatever your desired entourage effect, the Leaf Haus staff promises to provide educated and personal recommendations depending on your needs.

PhytoFacts of Caryodiol
Image 2: PhytoFacts of Caryodiol (PhytoFacts)

PhytoFacts displays the complete chemical analysis of cannabinoids and terpenes within a cannabis plant sample. “Kashmir Blue ” or Caryodiol in the image above is in the Type III category. The ratio of the top two cannabinoids are 1 THC to 39.4 CBD, which explains why the entourage effect consists of predominantly comfortable and calm feelings. The terpene content plays into the aroma and taste of the flower. The citrusy,sweet scent and flavor profile comes from limonene and the spicy earthiness, β-caryophyllene. This strain is ideal for someone looking to relax without the psychoactive effect of a product high in THC.