If you have had any interest in the world of marijuana, you may have come across the terms CBD and THC. The weed plant has hundreds of cannabinoids, according to recent research. Each of these cannabinoids acts differently when ingested into the body. While some people choose THC, others are strictly CBD-only users. 

On their own, they are pretty effective, but what about when used together? Are there any benefits to combining both CBD and THC? Everybody has their notion of how this is helpful or harmful. The contents below will discuss the entourage effect and what that could mean for cannabis users. 

What Makes CBD and THC Different?

As mentioned, the marijuana plant has hundreds of cannabinoids. While THC and CBD are the most popular, there are others, such as CBG and CBN. Each of these cannabinoids is different. An article on https://askgrowers.com/blog/the-differences-between-CBD-and-THC goes into in-depth descriptions of how THC and CBD are remarkably different. It goes ahead to explain the main differences and how each of the cannabinoids gets used. 

Both THC and CBD are psychoactive elements within the weed plant. Their chemical composition is almost similar, with only slightly different. They are also similar to the body’s endocannabinoid system, which makes it easier for them to bind to receptors. The slight difference in the two compounds results in pronounced effects. While the cannabinoid is a psychoactive element, it lacks the potency that delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol possesses. 

When ingested into the body separately, THC results in a psychoactive high. CBD, on the other hand, results in feelings of relaxation. This disparity is attributable to the receptors with which both cannabinoids interact within the body. Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol binds more strongly to CB1 receptors as compared to cannabidiol. 

Cannabidiol binds more strongly to CB2 receptors. The entire Central Nervous and Peripheral Nervous Systems contain CB1 and CB2 receptors at various points. The mind high users report after taking full spectrum products is attributable to the CNS having high CB1 receptors. Muscle and joint relaxation are due to CBD’s interaction with CB2 receptors. 

It is also helpful to note that the potency levels of the cannabinoids also play a part in the effects the person feels. In small amounts, cannabidiol can go untraced within the system. The user may feel some slight relaxation but not to a pronounced level. Due to THC’s powerful psychoactive elements, it is possible to feel a slight high even when you use a small amount. 

Modern Theories of the Entourage Effect

In looking at the modern theories of the entourage effect, it is better to take a step back and examine its history. The phrase “entourage effect” was used by chemists by Raphael Mechoulam and Shimon Ben-Shabat. The two held experiments described the effect people get from smoking cannabis as a therapeutic effect. They went on to offer that all the compounds within the marijuana plant interact, leading to the said therapeutic feeling. 

The novelty of their proposition was in contrast to the available claims at the time. In 1999, the year they coined the entourage effect, the common belief was that THC alone was responsible for the therapeutic feeling people got from weed. Shabat and Mechoulam list over 120 cannabinoids, 150 terpenes and terpenoids, and fatty acids. They argued that all these compounds interacted to make the entourage effect of smoking or ingesting cannabis. 

There have been modern studies and theories that have further expanded the idea of the entourage effect. In a research paper titled Taming THC, Ethan Russo looks at the contribution of terpenes in effecting any change within the human body. He offers that since terpenes have resulted in specific changes in animals’ bodies, they do contribute to the therapeutic sensations people get after using marijuana. 

Studies have found that full-spectrum cannabis, containing the full range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and fatty acids, all play a part in weed’s therapeutic result. 

How do CBD and THC Bring on an Entourage Effect?

As stated on their own, both tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol are potent compounds. What happens when they get used together? In a 2009 research study, Ulrich Merzenich and Wagner looked at the synergy of compounds within the cannabis plant. They took to analyzing the effect of each compound and their contribution to the final feeling. 

The results of their study led to a conclusion on how the entourage effect works in promoting the potency of cannabis. Using the two cannabinoids together alongside other terpenes promotes their ability to target and affect many different areas within the body.

 Secondly, the entourage effect allows them to conquer bacterial defense mechanisms. Thirdly, using a full spectrum product improves the absorption rate of all the active ingredients. Lastly, they help in the minimization of possible adverse side effects. 

Ultimately, it becomes more beneficial for the human body when using full-spectrum products instead of broad-spectrum ones. Using THC and CBD on their limits the chance to experience the other range of compounds and their effectiveness.

Benefits of Using Both THC and CBD

The information above briefly touches on how full-spectrum cannabis can evoke more benefits for the user. Reports from weed smokers are consistent with modern-day research. There is proof that one gets more valuable benefits from full-spectrum edibles, joints, oils, and tinctures. The following are the top ones. 

Additional Therapeutic Effect

As mentioned earlier, using THC and CBD combined improves the absorption rate of the compounds’ active ingredients. A combined full-spectrum product contains all the compounds in a marijuana plant. As a result of their combined effect, people are more likely to experience a wholesome therapeutic feeling. All of the cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes have individual properties. For instance, limonene, a terpene found in weed plants, has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer, antioxidant, and anti-diabetic features. 

Terpenes and Terpenoids Improve Brain Health

Research in 2018 revealed that terpenes and flavonoids have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. This research advocated using cannabidiol products with terpenes and flavonoids in them. The effectiveness of these products is higher than that of using CBD alone. Comprehensively, terpenes in cannabinoid products increase the therapeutic result leading to heightened relaxation and body protection. 

Negation of Side Effects

We all know of someone that avoids THC due to its characteristic high. All cannabinoids have the potential to result in adverse side effects. For instance, high amounts of CBD can end in fatigue, headaches, drowsiness, and more. Researchers argue that using full-spectrum commodities negates side effects that may result from using too many of the compounds. This discovery translates to THC’s psycho-activeness in that CBD reduces the intensity of the mind high. 

Appropriate CBD and THC Ratios for the Entourage Effect

In analyzing the information on the entourage effect, one of the common aspects we came across is the THC and CBD ratios. The question was how much of each compound one should use to get the most positive benefits. 

Before delving into appropriate dosages, it is essential to note that everyone is different. What works for one person may not work for another. Also, manufactured full-spectrum products are of varying potencies. It is always helpful to consult a health professional before experimenting with weed doses. 

The most crucial tip in finding your appropriate ratio is to start small. THC and CBD are potent commodities with different results for different people. With beginners, it is advisable to start with as low as 5mg of THC and about 5-15 mg of CBD. It would help if you also practiced patience after each ingestion to determine whether they worked. 

Another helpful tip is to determine whether you want to take them simultaneously or separately. Some people may start with THC and add cannabidiol later on and vice versa. Others take them together. Whichever method you decide, make sure that it works for you. 

The other tip is regarding the products you choose to ingest. You can settle for full-spectrum tablets, pre-rolls, oils, tinctures, and more. The goal is to ensure that the potency of the products is suitable for your tolerance levels. Too many of the products, and you may overdose. Too little, and you may not feel the desired effects. 


No man is ever an island; in this case, no cannabinoid is an island. On their own, both cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol are effective and have a range of benefits. The results become more pronounced when used together, and the benefits spike. The beauty of full-spectrum products is that they build on each other to give the most health benefits. This entourage effect highly values each ingredient in the marijuana plant. It promotes using full-spectrum products for their effectiveness and richness in beneficial compounds. 

Denys Svirepchuk authored this article. One of his greatest passions is understanding marijuana and how to use the plant to help people. His pieces always contain ample research and are well organized to offer simplistic information for users. After years of reviewing weed products and equipment, Denys is one of the best contributors to the AskGrowers site. 

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.