Cannabis Derived Terpenes: The Entourage Effect



You may know the natural benefits of the two main compounds found in cannabis (CBD and THC), but there are hundreds of other medicinal compounds in the plant. When used together, a synergistic phenomenon known as the Entourage Effect occurs. Entourage Effect is the synergy that occurs when multiple cannabis compounds work together to provide a strong effect.



Dr. Ethan Russo, a neurologist with a broad history of the effects of Cannabis compounds on the human body, has explained that each cannabis compound can improve the natural properties of other cannabis compounds. Thus, cannabis compounds will exhibit stronger and more diverse effects than a single compound alone can do.

With the hundreds of compounds produced naturally in cannabis literally, the diversity of the different synergies presented in this plant is surprising. To understand how the Entourage effect can be powerful and, more importantly, how it can be used to improve your experience, let’s take a look at two main groups of cannabis compounds: Cannabinoids and terpenes.

Cannabinoids, Terpenes and Entourage Effect


Cannabinoids are a group of active cannabis compounds that can interact with receptors in our Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and produce various effects. In addition to CBD and THC, scientists have identified more than 100 different cannabinoids in cannabis plants, many of which have not yet been identified.



When used together, the unique properties of each cannabinoid have been enhanced by the entourage effect, which provides more relaxation than would naturally be achieved individually. Terpenes are aromatic molecules found in most fruits, plants, and herbs, including cannabis. They are responsible for the delicious scent of lemon, the pungent scent of pine and the soothing aroma of lavender.

In cannabis, terpenes are produced in the plant’s adhesive resin glands and are responsible for the unique varieties of aroma secreted by different cannabis species. By stimulating the receptors in our olfactory system, terpenes can stimulate a variety of psychological and physiological effects that can be very beneficial to the body.

Comparison of Entourage Effect on Different CBD Products


When purchasing CBD, there are a variety of CBD species to choose from, such as CBD isolate, Broad Spectrum CBD, Full Spectrum CBD, and whole plant extracts. Depending on which type of CBD is used, the effect of the entourage effect may vary considerably. To understand which CBD products can maximize the entourage effect, let’s examine the different chemical profiles of each species.

  • CBD Isolate

CBD Isolate is produced by isolating the CBD and removing all other compounds and substances from the extract. This results in a pure CBD extract. CBD isolate products do not contain any other cannabinoid or terpene and therefore do not offer Entourage Effect. CBD isolate may provide therapeutic effects of CBD; However, unless the user is restricted to pure CBD for legal reasons, CBD isolates substantially limit the potential effects of cannabis.



  • Full Spectrum CBD

Full Spectrum CBD is produced by removing all cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis, including THC. Because Full Spectrum CBD contains a range of cannabinoids and terpenes, it can provide a strong entourage effect with benefits far beyond those provided by the CBD isolate. Due to the legal status of the THC, the Full spectrum CBD should unfortunately only be used by those living in states and countries that have extensive cannabis laws.

  • Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad Spectrum CBD is a mixture of both CBD isolate and Full Spectrum CBD. Similar to the Full Spectrum CBD, the Broad Spectrum CBD is produced by removing all cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant; however, it undergoes an additional process to completely remove the entire THC from the extract. Thus, it can offer many of the benefits of the Full Spectrum CBD without strict regulatory requirements.

  • Whole Plant Extracts

Whole plant or whole plant extracts are often confused with the Full Spectrum CBD but are not the same. While both extracts contain a wide variety of cannabinoids and terpenes, whole plant extracts are less processed than full spectrum extracts and may contain other naturally produced compounds, including oils, fibers, vitamins and other nutrients that are naturally produced in the plant. After all, whole plant extracts provide the most powerful entourage effect, but they are usually regulated under the same laws as THC. If you live in a state or country with broad cannabis laws, whole-plant extracts will be your best choice to enjoy maximum entourage effect.

What Are Terpenes?


Terpenes are a broad and diverse class of hydrocarbons, mainly produced by plants, especially conifers, but some insects (eg butterflies of the genus Papilionidae) also secrete terpenes in their osmeterium. They are the main component of the resin and turpentine obtained therefrom. The word terpene is derived from the word “turpentine”. When terpenes are chemically modified, for example by oxidation or regulation of the carbon skeleton, the resulting compounds are generally referred to as terpenoid. Some authors use the word terpene to include all terpenoids.



Terpenes and terpenoids are the main components of essential oils in most plants and flowers. Essential oils are used as flavoring additives in foods, in perfumery, aromatherapy, as well as in traditional and alternative medicine. Synthetic changes and derivatives of natural terpenes have greatly increased the variety of perfumery and food sweetening additives.

Structure and Biosynthesis of Terpenes


Terpenes are biosynthetically derived from isoprene units, the chemical formula of which is C5H8, and the basic molecular formulas of terpenes are multiples thereof, i.e. (C5H8) n (n is the number of joined isoprene units). This is known as the isoprene rule or the C5 rule. Isoprene units can be connected in the form of head-tail to form straight chains or rings. Isoprene unit is a widely used building block in nature.



The isoprene itself does not undergo this structural process, its activated states isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP, or isopentenyl diphosphate) and dimethylallyl pyrophosphate (DMAPP or otherwise known as dimethylallyl diphosphate) are used in this biosynthetic pathway. IPP may also consist of acetyl-CoA via mevalonic acid in the HMG-CoA reductase pathway. Another way of formation of IPP, which is completely different from this, is the MEP (2-Methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate) pathway seen in some bacteria and plant plastids, which starts with C5 sugars. In both ways, IPP isomerized to DMAPP via the isopentenyl pyrophosphate isomerase enzyme.

As the chains of isoprene units grow, the classification of terpenes formed according to their size is in the form of hemiterpenes, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, sesterterpenes, triterpenes, and tetraterpenes, respectively.

Chemical Properties of Terpenes


Terpenes are compounds that are formed by the binding of 5 C isoprene molecules to each other. There are double bonds in the molecule and these bonds are conjugated. That is, there is a single bond between two double bonds. Thus, they have high reaction ability. The association of molecules of the same substance with each other is called polymerization. Isoprene molecules must be dehydrated before polymerizing. When dehydrated 5 C isoprene molecules polymerize, compounds called terpenes are formed.

Some biologically important terpenes are Lycopene, Carotine, Vitamin A, and Squalene. The most important group of terpenes is carotenoids. They range from light yellow to red-violet. Some are acyclic, non-ring, having a chain structure, where some have hydroaromatic rings at both ends of the chain. Carotenes are hydroaromatic ring-bearing carotenoids. Carotenoids are substances that give yellow color to many natural fats. Since they carry double bonds, they are easily and rapidly oxidized by the oxygen of the air and ultraviolet rays.



Aliphatic Carotenoids:

  • Lycopene: Lycopene is a chain of 6 isoprene molecules. It is the substance that gives a tomato its red color.
  • Squalene: It is formed by polymerization of 4 isoprene molecules. It occurs as an intermediate in the synthesis of cholesterol in animals and humans. It is the precursor of cholesterol.

Alcohol-Grouped Aliphatic Carotenoids:

  • Phytol: It has a structure of 20 C formed by polymerization of four isoprene molecules. At the end of the chain carries an alcohol group. It is found in green plants due to chlorophyll.

Carboxyl-Aliphatic Carotenoids:

  • α-crocetin: It consists of 4 isoprene molecules. There are carboxyl groups at both ends of the chain. It is the substance that gives bile the yellow color.


Carotenoids with Hydroaromatic Rings:

  • Substances of this nature are called carotenes. The hydroaromatic rings are located at two ends of the four isoprene molecules. Hydroaromatic rings are called ionone rings and there are 3 units. α-ionone, β-ionone, and pseudoionone rings.
  • The α- and β-ionone rings are closed rings and carry a double bond. The place of the rings is different.
  • The pseudoionone ring is open and carries 2 double bonds.
  • There are 3 types of carotene in nature. α-, β- and γ-carotene.

Detailed Information About Terpenes


Terpenes, or terpenoids, constitute the largest class of secondary products. Various compounds of this class are generally insoluble in water. Biosynthesis occurs via acetyl-CoA or glycolytic intermediates. After discussing the biosynthesis of terpenes, it will be examined how these chemicals repel the herbivores and, in turn, how some herbivores avoid the toxic effect of the terpenes.



All terpenes are composed of carbonyl units having a branched carbon skeleton of isopentane. Since terpenes can decompose at high temperatures to form isoprene, their basic structural units are sometimes called isoprene units. Therefore, terpenes are sometimes called isoprenoids.

Although extensive metabolic changes sometimes make it difficult to distinguish the original five-carbon units, terpenes are classified based on the number of these units they carry. Terpenes with two C units, ie ten carbons, are called monoterpenes, fifteen carbons (three C. units) are sesquiterpenes, and twenty carbons (four C5 units) are called diterpenes. The triterpenes (30 carbons or six C-units), tetraterpenes (40 carbons or eight C5 units) or polyterpenoids [(C.) n, n> 8] are larger terpenes.

Two Metabolic Pathways in the Biosynthesis of Terpenes


There are at least two separate pathways in the biosynthesis of terpenes from primary metabolites. The best known of these pathways, mevalonic acid, combines three acetyl-CoA molecules in the metabolic pathway to form mevalonic acid. This six-carbon key intermediate then forms phosphorylated, decarboxylated and isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP22) as dehydrate.

IPP is an activated five-carbon building block of terpenes. In recent years, it has been understood that IPP may be formed by intermediates of the glycolysis or photosynthetic carbon reduction cycle by means of methyleritrol phosphate (MEP), a series of different reactions that work on chloroplasts and other plastids. Although not all details are fully elucidated, an intermediate product is formed which is formed by the combination of two carbon atoms from glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate and pyruvate.



Isopentenyl diphosphate and its isomer, dimethylallyl diphosphate (DPP) are activated five-carbon building blocks of terpene biosynthesis. With the merger of IPP and DPP, larger molecules are formed. Primarily, IPP and DPP react and form the ten-carbon precursor geranyl diphosphate (GPP) of almost all terpenes. GPP can then bind to another IPP molecule, thereby forming a fifteen-carbon farnesyl diphosphate (FDP), the precursor of almost all sesquiterpenes. The addition of another IPP molecule to this structure (FPP) produces the twenty-carbon geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP), the precursor of diterpenes. Finally, two FPP molecules combine or dimerize to form triterpenes (C30) and two GGPP molecules combine to form tetraterpenes (C40).

Some Terpenes Play a Role in Growth and Development


Certain terpenes have well-known functions in plant growth and development and are therefore considered as primary metabolites rather than secondary metabolites. For example, gibberellins, an important group of plant hormones (growth regulators), are diterpene. Sterols, the essential components of cell membranes, are triterpene derivatives and interact with phospholipids to ensure membrane integrity. Red, orange and yellow carotenoids are tetraterpene, which acts as an auxiliary pigment in photosynthesis and protect photosynthetic tissues from photooxidation. Another plant hormone, abscisic acid, is sesquiterpene (C15), which is formed by the breakdown of a carotenoid precursor.



Long-chain polyterpene alcohols, known as dolicols, function in the transport of sugars in cell walls and glycoprotein synthesis. As in the example of the chlorophyll phytol side chain, terpene-derived side chains help to bind some molecules to the membrane. As a result, various terpenes have primary roles in plants. However, the majority of different terpene structures produced by plants are secondary metabolites and are assumed to serve as defenses.

Terpenes Defend Against Herbivores in Many Plants


Since terpenes are toxic, they have a deterrent effect on many plant-fed mammals and insects. Therefore, they play important roles in plant defense. For example, monoterpene esters, which are formed in the leaves and flowers of chrysanthemum species, known as pyrethroids, exhibit a very insecticidal activity. Both natural and synthetic pyrethroids are popular components of commercial insecticides since they are less stable in nature and exhibit negligible toxicity to mammals.

Monoterpenes accumulate in resin channels in the leaves, branches, and stems of conifer plants such as pine and fir. These compounds have a toxic effect on a large number of insects, including bark beetles, which cause serious damage to conifers worldwide. Most coniferous plants counteract the attack of the bark beetle by increasing monoterpene production. Most plant species contain a mixture of volatile mono and sesquiterpenes, known as volatile or etheric oils, which give their own odors.



The insect repellent effects of essential oils are well known. They are often found in secretory hairs with outward protrusions of the epidermis and, in a sense, are a “warning sign” for toxicity, as they remove potential herbivores without even allowing them to taste the plant. In secretory hairs, terpenes are stored in specialized extracellular spaces on the cell wall. Essential oils that can be extracted by steam distillation from plants are commercially important as they are used as flavors in foods and in the production of perfumes.

A recent study shows an interesting turning point about the role of volatile terpenes in plant protection. Major mono- and sesquiterpenes in corn, cotton, wild tobacco, and other species are produced and released after feeding insects. These chemicals not only expel the herbivorous insects that lay their eggs on the plant but also minimize predators and parasitic insects that kill these pests. Thus, the defense functions of volatile terpenes are not limited, but they also help plants to avoid harm coming from other organisms. The ability of plants to attract the natural enemies of insects feeding on them raises a new ecological approach that can make a sound in the control and prevention of pests.

Among the compounds that are developed against insects but which are not volatile terpene, limonoids are the first ones that come to mind. These chemicals are a group of triterpene (C30) known as bitter substances in lemon. Azadiractin, perhaps the most powerful known remedy against insect nutrition, is complex limonite from the “Neem” tree (Azadirachta indica) grown in Africa and Asia. Even a very low dose of azadiractin as low as 50 (50 ppb) is sufficient to expel some insects and their toxic effects are variable. Due to its low toxicity in mammals, it has significant potential as a commercial insect control agent, and various commercial preparations containing azadirachtin are currently sold in North America and India.



Phytoecydons, isolated for the first time from the bite (Polypodium vulgare), are a group of plant steroids that have the same basic structure as insect skinning hormones. Triterpenes active against vertebrate herbivores also include cardenolides and saponins. Cardenolites are glycosides (glycosides are sugar or sugar-bound compounds), the taste is bitter and highly toxic to highly organized animals. They have a dramatic effect on the heart muscle in humans by means of Na + / K + activated ATPases.

Carefully adjusted doses slow down and strengthen the heartbeat. Cardenolites (or cardiac glycosides) from the foxglove (Digitalis) species are indispensable components of drugs used in the treatment of millions of heart patients. Saponins are steroid and triterpene glycosides named for their soap-like properties. The presence of both oil-soluble (ie steroid or triterpene structure) and water-soluble (sugar) elements in the molecule gives the saponins detergent properties and, when rinsed with water, foams like soap. The toxicity seen in saponins is thought to be the result of their ability to form complexes with sterols. Saponins may also affect sterol uptake in the digestive tract or cause hemolysis after ingestion into the circulatory blood.

Medical Effects of Terpenes: The Cannabis Miracle


The use of cannabis as a medicine is not new. Cannabis was used for medical purposes for thousands of years before Jesus. The oldest evidence comes from a medicinal plant solution from China (Shennong pên Ts’ao ching) from 2737 BC onwards. The Chinese emperor Shennong used the resin of the cannabis plant which includes terpenes as a cure. Examples include constipation, gynecological diseases, gout, rheumatism, malaria, beriberi, and mental retardation. More evidence about medical hemp dates back to about 3,500 years. One of the oldest texts in Egypt, the old papyrus, Ebers, appears to have been proposed for the toenail of the cannabis plant.



In his writings, Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) mentioned hemp as a medicine. Later, it was known that in the time of Napoleon, cannabis was used to relieve pain, soothe, and relieve contractions. Even then, hemp was used as a medicine. As a remedy for cough syrup, indigestion, painkiller or cornbread. It was one of the most widely used plant extracts in the world.

Later, medicinal cannabis suddenly disappeared from the market in the first half of the 20th century. Laws prohibiting cannabis as medicines were passed. Allegedly because there are better and more effective solutions and hemp is very dangerous. However, these were not the real reasons. The main reasons for prohibition should not be the subject of this article. However, if you are wondering, there is enough information to search the Internet.

Modern Cannabis Research


In 1964, modern cannabis research began with the isolation of the main psychoactive cannabinoid delta-9-THC. In 1980, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) was discovered to be present in every mammal. The discovery and investigation of ECS with its receptors and ligands has led to a better understanding of the effects of cannabinoids. To date, two cannabinoid receptors have been found, the CB1 and CB2 receptors. In 1992, an endogenous substance called anandamide, which was particularly common in the central nervous system and was attached to the CB1 receptor, was discovered. Since 1998, the main active ingredient THC can be administered in the form of synthetic preparations. Since 2011, plant parts such as cannabis leaves can be used for the production of medicinal cannabis.

But there is still much to do in cannabis research, and the more it develops, the more exciting it will be. One thing is clear and clear, it is no longer possible to think of the world without the use of medical cannabis. For this reason, there are research results and studies on many positive effects of the cannabis plant.



The cannabis plant contains more than 480 components, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Cannabinoids and terpenes are responsible for the positive effects of the cannabis plant. So far, 113 of them have already been isolated. The most well-known and most studied cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which have a counter-effect on THC, which are known for their intoxicating effects. For more information on the most important cannabinoids and terpenes derived from cannabis plants and their possible effects, keep reading.

Cannabinoids affect and interact with specific receptors of ECS in the body (brain, nervous system, organs, tissues, digestive system, etc.). They occupy the CB1 and CB2 receptors and thus activate signal transduction in the cell of interest. Thus, various cannabinoids act as a neurotransmitter or hormone in the body. The difference between the body’s own cannabinoids is that cannabinoids from the cannabis plant mimic the body as it affects a particular messenger substance. Cannabinoids tend to affect the limbic system in the brain. This is the part of the brain that interacts with memory, perception and psychomotor. In addition, they affect the areas of pain as well as the mesolimbic system, which plays a critical role in the development of joy.

Cannabis Medications


Plants cannot be patented, so the pharmaceutical industry is trying to artificially produce or synthesize chemical compounds and substances of plants. Thus, many chemical compounds of the cannabis plant were successfully synthesized. These artificial cannabinoids are used in drug making. These drugs are usually made not only from the synthetic components of the cannabis plant but also from other chemical compounds with strong side effects. However, there are drugs (derived from the plant) containing natural cannabinoids, but also artificially produced substances are added to match the drug to the specific disease. Medical marijuana can be prescribed only by doctors and legally available over the counter. Also, for example, only trace amounts of medicinal cannabis are usually found in CBD oil.

Although plant compounds are available, why are plant natural substances synthesized? The reason is very simple actually; profitable greed of pharmaceutical companies. Naturally occurring plant substances cannot be standardized as artificially produced. Consumers prefer an artificial drug in which they are confident of the components and the effects of the components, rather than taking a purely herbal remedy (the concentration of active ingredients may vary slightly).



Thus, hemp as a drug is different from medicinal cannabis. The difference is that only the cannabis plant’s natural active constituents are used, and neither the added chemicals nor cannabis that is produced from toxic substances in planting (herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers). Generally, medicinal plant substances (cannabinoids) are slowly extracted. The extract may then be added, for example, to a tincture or an oil (mostly cannabis seed oil). This ensures that all components of the plant are preserved and that the medicine remains as natural as possible.

Although there is already research and study confirming the potential effects of too many cannabinoids on medical cannabis, detailed and long-term clinical studies are still lacking in most diseases. As mentioned earlier, modern research is still in its infancy. Therefore, the heading of this paragraph also mentions “potentially” positive effects. The following information is from Wikipedia.

Cannabis as medicine has many possible beneficial effects on the human and animal body. Chronic pain and muscle cramps (including epilepsy) are perhaps two of the most commonly treated diseases with medicinal cannabis. It can even help to relieve symptoms of serious diseases (such as chemotherapy / HIV / AIDS), as well as nausea, anorexia, and tics (eg Tourette syndrome) and is already recommended in diseases such as insomnia, anorexia (anorexia), arthritis, migraine, and glaucoma.

Possible Side Effects of Medicinal Cannabis


Medicinal cannabis typically has no strong side effects. The main side effects of cannabis drugs are fatigue, dizziness, vomiting, and cardiovascular and psychoactive effects. However, you can get used to these effects after a few days/weeks. After using cannabis as a medicine, never use a car or machine.



Side effects are also dose-dependent. The lower the dose, the weaker the side effects. In adults, long-term cognitive impairment caused by medical cannabis use is unlikely because normal dosages are inadequate. However, in the case of adolescents and children, the dosage should be weighed carefully because they are more prone to long-term treatment.

Although medical hemp can help with nausea and vomiting, prolonged use can cause these effects. Other side effects that may occur very rarely are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle twitching
  • Itching
  • Orthostatic disorder

Medical Cannabis Oils


  • CBD Oil

CBD oils do not contain THC (residues below max. 0.2% legal limit). CBD oil can be called cannabis oil because the CBD substance is derived from the cannabis plant, not from cannabis seeds or cannabis nuts. To produce CBD oil, the body of the plant, which contains almost no THC, is used. Industrial hemp is used for CBD extraction. Fiber-rich hemp generally contains less THC than other cannabis species.

CBD oil is usually based on cannabis seed oil or olive oil. It may sound confusing, but it means that many manufacturers have added hemp extract to hemp oil or olive oil at various levels of CBD (eg, present at concentrations of 2% / 5% / 10%). As a result, the main component is not marijuana oil, but rather hemp seed oil. Other manufacturers also add coconut oil or other vegetable oils to the CBD active ingredient. Therefore, it is not correct to call CBD oil a marijuana oil. In some countries, only non-THC-containing CBD oils can be sold and imported.



  • Hemp Oil, Poppy Oil, or THC Oil

First of all, these names mean the same thing. In this sense, it is not called a real oil, but also called oleoresin, which is a semi-solid extract composed of the resin of the cannabis plant containing essential oils. Poppy oil, hemp oil or THC oil can be made from hemp/marijuana or cannabis (dried hemp flower). It is obtained by solvent extraction or by pressing the leaf buds between the baking paper with a plant press.

Before the solvent extraction, the plant material should be dried and heated (decarboxylated). Decarboxylation is important because it makes cannabinoids THC and CBD more soluble. After the solvent has been filtered and evaporated, a viscous, resinous liquid with a strong plant odor is obtained. In the bud pressing method, you can see that the sticky resin essence leaks directly (on baking paper). This adhesive resinous end product is hemp oil/poppy oil, also called THC oil due to its high THC content. The THC content is generally between 10 and 30%. Since 2010, however, there have been THC oils with THC up to 90%.

Best Medical Cannabis Books That You Can Buy Online


  • Cannabis – A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography, and Annotated Research Guide to Internet References Paperback – October 6, 2003 (Price: $577.99)


  • Cannabis: Medical Aspects (Health and Human Development) 1st Edition (Price: $160.00)


  • The Cannabis Grow Bible: The Definitive Guide to Growing Marijuana for Recreational and Medical Use (Ultimate Series) 2nd Edition (Price: $249.95)


  • Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana — Revised and Updated (Price: $18.99)


  • Ultimate Medical Marijuana Resource 2017 CBD Strain Guide 2nd Edition: The 2017 Medical Marijuana & Cannabis CBD / THC Strain Guide 2nd Edition with +100 Strains Kindle Edition (Price: $99.99)


Savaş Ateş

I like cannabis. I read a lot about cannabis usage in the medical field. I researched a lot about planting it. I have started a cannabis business and i want to share my experiences with you.

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