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What is the Entourage Effect (and Why Should You Care)

Updated: Dec 1, 2019

The entourage effect is key to understanding how cannabis works inside your body and brain.

Confused by this term? I was too. The entourage effect actually just means the “whole-plant” effect. It’s a small detail, sure, but I think it’s important to highlight the fact that the whole plant is used to produce our CBD oil.

Like eating an actual carrot has additional benefits compared to taking beta-carotene supplements, allowing all of the powerful natural compounds in the cannabis plant to work together is critical to the success of using CBD for health. This includes fatty acids, terpenes, phenolics, and other cannabinoids. In other words, CBD needs the rest of the plant to work synergistically to optimise your pet’s wellbeing. That’s why all of our products include full-spectrum CBD oil to ensure we are doing everything possible for the happiest, calmest, healthiest pet out there.


Nope. Won’t happen, and let me tell you why: Our biscuits and oils contain naturally-occurring CBD. There’s only traces of THC (so the entourage effect can take place) in our products, and because we’re verified through rigorous testing, you won’t have any high pets on your hands (though they will feel a bit better).

A bit of history

Back in the early 1960s, a young Israeli medical student clandestinely procured a small amount of marijuana from a friend inside the police department. That one boldly illegal act turned out to be one of the greatest single cannabis transactions in modern history.

Rafael Mechoulam, the young student who is now a world-famous 87-year-old scientist who has transformed cannabis research.

What Mechoulam was trying to do, was figure out what exactly made cannabis psychoactive. His research led him to the discovery in 1963 of cannabidiol (CBD), a major component in the cannabis plant. It was a breakthrough finding, but it was not responsible for the psychoactivity. About a year later, he identified delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the now famous marijuana ingredient that provides the euphoric high. Before 1964, everybody who got high on marijuana had no idea why.

His work in the lab also led to the eventual discovery of the “entourage effect,” a term coined by Mechoulam to describe how all the compounds found in cannabis interact synergistically. Essentially, what Mechoulam and his team of researchers proved is that the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts.

How it works

The entourage effect is the collaborative result of the remarkable synergy between “entourage compounds.”

These include minor cannabinoids and terpenes, naturally occurring compounds that accompany CBD and trace levels of THC in the hemp plant.

The minor cannabinoids associated with whole-plant CBD and the entourage effect include CBG, CBN, CBC, CBDA, CBDV, THCV, and several others. These cannabinoids are classified as “minor” because they are largely inactive when administered in isolation and only manifest their benefits in the presence of cannabidiol (CBD) and/or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  

The Role of Terpenes

However, cannabinoids are not the only members of the entourage required to produce this effect. Terpenoids, commonly known as terpenes, are aromatic compounds found in all plants that have been harnessed for centuries in essential oils for their ability to ease the body and mind.

They are the aromatic molecules found in most fruits, plants, and herbs, including cannabis. They are the source responsible for the zesty odour of lemon, the pungent aroma of pine, and the relaxing flavour of lavender.

Cannabis research and the discovery of the entourage effect led scientists to discover that terpenes are also essential members of the entourage and enhance the bond between cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors.

This explains why whole-plant (full-spectrum) formulas can produce effects beyond what CBD and THC can produce alone.

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