Studies show that terpenes play an important part in The Entourage Effect by enhancing the action of the cannabinoids within marijuana. The entourage effect is the term given to the synergistic way that the individual compounds found within cannabis work together to increase effectiveness of the entire plant.
The saying, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, is true for the entourage effect exhibited within the cannabis plant. As frequently seen in nature, when all compounds in a plant or substance are naturally combined, their bio-availability, absorption, and effectiveness is magnified. For example, the wide variety of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables work together to create their beneficial effects. That natural combination is more easily absorbed by the body than a lab synthesized vitamin in isolation. Within marijuana, each individual component imparts a specific benefit, and when combined the effects are enhanced.
Terpenes are a diverse class of natural compounds in plants which provide fragrance, flavor, color, and holistic health benefits. Terpenes are present in trees, fruits, flowers, herbs, and other plants. Extracts are used for holistic benefits in many topicals, and aromatherapy. In addition, the terpenes themselves have health benefits. There are over 200 terpenes found in various marijuana strains. Some important terpenes in cannabis are:
Terpenes give marijuana its aromatic diversity. Terpenes are also important compounds which contribute to the overall medicinal effects of marijuana. Studies suggest that terpenes can impart pain and anti-inflammatory benefits and boost cannabinoid activity, making them valuable tools for disease symptom management. Extracts of terpenes can be purchased as tinctures for use in topical applications, skin care products, or aromatherapy. They can also be added to marijuana products to boost medicinal benefits of medical marijuana products.
LaVigne, J. E., Hecksel, R., Keresztes, A., & Streicher, J. M. (2021). Cannabis sativa terpenes are cannabimimetic and selectively enhance cannabinoid activity. Scientific reports, 11(1), 8232. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-87740-8
Russo E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1344–1364. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x
University of Arizona Health Sciences. (2021, July 14). Study shows Cannabis terpenes provide pain relief, contribute to ‘entourage effect’. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 27, 2022 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/07/210714110455.htm