Thanks to recent findings, we now know that terpenoids from cannabis do not mediate an entourage effect by effecting cannabinoid receptors. So how do they work?
The entourage effect is the standard explanation for why different strains produce different highs. In 2010, Dr. Ethan Russo published a study proposing phytocannabinoid-terpenoid synergy. He believed that terpenes intercede the effects of THC and CBD on the body. This hypothesis quickly took hold in the cannabis community. The experience of Indica strains vs Sativa strains was attributed to the different terpene profiles.
Leafly, the prominent cannabis strain resource, spent a great deal of time and money to redesign their website. Rather than leaning on genetics, terpenes were the focus of their education. “Because Indicas and Sativas can have specific physical traits, it has led to the assumption that each also has certain effects, but this is insufficient,” Russo said.
“Regardless of whether a strain is an Indica or Sativa, its chemical profile—that is, the cannabinoids and terpenes in it—will determine how it affects you, not its physical features.” Thanks to recent findings, we now know that terpenoids from cannabis do not mediate an entourage effect by effecting cannabinoid receptors.