The Entourage Effect: How Cannabidiol Works With Terpenes


The entourage effect helps to explain how the different components of CBD oil work together to provide health and wellness benefits.

Full spectrum CBD oil is comprised of various compounds, of which cannabidiol is only one. Terpenes are also compounds found in CBD oil. When terpenes are combined with a cannabinoid, in this case cannabidiol, they can actually increase its effects.

Therefore, in CBD oil, the terpenes, cannabidiol and other cannabindoids such as CBG and CBN  work together to benefit the human body. How? This happens due to what is known as ‘the entourage effect’.

What is the entourage effect?

The phrase ‘entourage effect’ describes the synergistic way that cannabinoids and terpenes work together in order to provide health benefits. There are more than 100 terpenes found within the cannabis plant, all with different qualities.

The term was first introduced in 1998 by Israeli scientists Shimon Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam. The scientists discovered that the cannabinoids found in hemp affect the body in a very similar way to the body’s own endocannabinoid system.

The entourage effect & the cannabis plant

On a molecular level, there’s a whole lot going on in the cannabis plant. It is actually a very complex crop. Most people have probably heard of two of the compounds: THC and CBD. However, there are actually a lot of other active compounds which are found in cannabis.

These compounds play key roles in the entourage effect. Aromatic terpenes such linalool, pinene, and myrcene for example are crucial cannabis components, as are flavonoids and other phytocannabinoids like THCA, CBC, CBG, and CBGA, just to name a few.

When the entourage effect takes place, different compounds combine and multiply, and something new is produced. In the case of Hawaiian Choice products, a full spectrum CBD oil is combined with additional plant terpenes to create additional health and wellness benefits.

The entourage effect: how CBD & terpenes work together

So, the entourage effect is all about the interactive synergy between cannabis compounds. In other words, different compounds are working together to produce specific, often complementary effects.

Terpenes are the components that give CBD oil its scent and taste. They also change the way in which cannabinoids bind to their respective receptors, therefore changing the way in which CBD oil takes effect internally.

Terpenes have many healing properties. These include:

However, when these terpenes are paired up with CBD oil, they are even more effective because they alter the way in which the already-beneficial cannabidiol functions.

There is still only limited research on this topic, but one noteworthy study was conducted by Dr Russo, a neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher and CBD research pioneer, in 2011. Dr. Russo’s article reports that cannabinoid-terpenoid interactions “could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections.”

When the entourage effect takes places and different cannabis compounds are working together, this is also known as ‘whole plant medicine’. A full spectrum CBD oil is one example of this kind of whole plant medicine because it contains the full variety of compounds found in the plant, including CBD and various terpenes, working together harmoniously.

The entourage effect & Hawaiian Choice products

All Hawaiian Choice CBD oils use full spectrum oil, enabling the entourage effect to take place. This is combined with unique terpene profiles, each designed to achieve a specific health and wellness goal. There are several different tinctures which are designed to help with different symptoms.

For example, the Hawaiian Choice Relax CBD oil has a unique combination of full spectrum CBD oil and the following terpenes:

  • Terpinolene, which helps to calm and sooth the mind and is sleep inducing.
  • Mycrene, which is also calming, helps to ease inflammation and offers pain relief, helps to promote sleep and provides an uplifting feeling.
  • Linalool, another calming terpene, which eases inflammation, assists with pain relief, aids sleep and is uplifting.

These three terpenes work together with the CBD oil to promote rest, relaxation and sleep.

There’s a lot more information about the benefits of CBD oil on our website, if you are interested in learning more about our CBD products.