Cannabinoids, Terpenes, & the Entourage Effect

CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the two main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, although there are many more. Both hemp and marijuana come from the cannabis plant; the main difference is that marijuana contains a high amount of THC, while hemp contains very little. This is why the former gets you high, but the latter doesn’t.

Our bodies contain cannabinoid receptors, which is known as our endocannabinoid system; that is, it’s endogenous to the human body. When you ingest cannabinoids, they bind with these receptors to create the mental and physical effects of cannabis. But there’s more to the story; terpenes play a big part as well, because they affect how cannabinoids bind with receptors. Terpenes, the essential oils that give a strain its unique flavor and scent, work synergistically to create something called the “entourage effect.”  This is why whole-plant medicine is the best way to customize your CBD experience.

 A few examples: the terpene myrcene, also found in eucalyptus, mango, and lemongrass, can help treat inflammation. The terpene limonene, which gives citrus strains their flavor, can provide a mood boost and help ease stress. Pinene smells like a forest of pine trees, and can help with pain relief.  Cannabis plants contain over 200 terpenes in all.

Here at The Leaf, we add terpenes to some of our tinctures to customize their effects. The terpenes added to Formula 1 give it a mild pomegranate/citrus taste, while the terpene in Formula 3 has a sedative effect. We customize our products to take advantage of the powerful entourage effect, and are happy to help you find the best formula for your needs.