The “Entourage Effect”: How Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids can help with the Treatment of Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Posted by TL Knowledge Team on 25th Feb 2023

The “Entourage Effect”: How Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids can help with the Treatment of Mood and Anxiety Disorders

The cannabis plants contains more than 120 different phytocannabinoids. These are known to act on your endocannabinoid system, the sysytem that works to keep your body in homeostasis, or balance.

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of the more well-researched and popular phytocannabinoids. However, some research suggests that taking them together — along with smaller organic compounds in the cannabis plant, known as terpenes or terpenoids — is more effective than taking CBD or THC alone.

This is due to an interaction between phytocannabinoids and terpenes called “the entourage effect.”

What does the research say about the entourage effect? Taking phytocannabinoids and terpenes together may provide additional therapeutic benefits.A number of conditions have been studied in conjunction with the entourage effect. A 2011 review of studiesTrusted Source in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that taking terpenes and phytocannabinoids together may be beneficial for:

Phytochemicals like terpenes and flavonoids could be beneficial to brain health

Research from 2018 found that certain flavonoids and terpenes may provide neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. Researchers proposed that these compounds could improve CBD’s therapeutic potential.

Further research from a 2020 study shows that the “entourage effect”, is the suggested positive contribution derived from the addition of terpenes to the effect of cannabinoids. This means that the entirety of the effect is greater than the sum effects of its contributing parts.

The research concludes:

"...such innovative combinations between terpenes and cannabinoids have not been considered earlier in existing scientific research.The use of various cannabis-derived compounds opens the arena to the option of avoiding the adverse effects of the available antidepressants and mood stabilisers while treating mood disorders. This may be particularly important for patients who are non-responsive or non-adherent to conventional treatment."

Cannabinoids and terpenoids in cannabis are thought to interact with each other as well as the brain’s receptors, the interaction of which interaction has been labeled “the entourage effect.”

Some research evidence shows that the entourage effect makes taking THC and CBD together more effective than either alone. Further research is warranted to investigate the potential therapeutic value of adding terpenes to treatment with CBD, with or without additional THC for the benefit of patients suffering from depression, anxiety or BD.


"The Entourage Effect: How CBD and THC Work Together", HealthLine, 2019
"The “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders", Curr Neuropharmacol, February 2020