The Entourage Effect is Real Says New Study

Liz Filmer
21 Nov 2023

A ground-breaking new study has confirmed what cannabis experts have been saying for years: that THC percentages do not necessarily define a good high.

Instead, it owes much to the famed “entourage effect”, which is the name for how all compounds of the cannabis plants come together in perfect harmony. 

Consumers still tend to be driven toward cannabis products with the highest levels of THC. But cannabis owes many of its characteristics to a multitude of cannabinoids and terpenes. The study in question was undertaken to garner a more profound understanding of how the brain responds to cannabis, 

The peer-reviewed analysis in the March 2022 issue of Neurology and aimed to measure various psychoactive effects, such as the onset time and strength of cannabis.

The team measured the brainwaves of 28 participants after they had vaped one of two cannabis oils. Half of the participants were given a full-spectrum live rosin vape, while the other half were given a distillate-based THC vape. The distinction is important, as the production of distillate-based products tends to burn out many cannabinoids and terpenes that full-spectrum products preserve. 

After participants inhaled about 8 mg of the oil (roughly two hits), EEG data was. used to measure the brainwaves of each participant. Both vapes had THC potency. levels that reached 85% yet yielded very different results. The full spectrum cannabis products result in a much quicker onset and offer more than double the psychoactive effects. 

The results of the study revealed: “key findings suggest that whole plant, full spectrum. products can produce a statistically significant faster onset and more than double the psychoactive experience than distillate products with comparable. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) potencies due to the ‘entourage effect,’ or presence of additional whole plant compounds like Phyto cannabinoids and terpenes.” 

 To continue to advance cannabis research and the understanding of the plant this study wanted to show via scientific study that full-spectrum products with the entire range of terpenes and cannabinoids have a much bigger impact on the onset and ultimate cannabis experience. It is hoped that this type of information may help regular cannabis users understand that choosing products based on THC percentage alone is not always the best approach.

It is also important to note that the study used a small sample size and is not yet peer reviewed. Despite this, the results do offer an exciting update to our ever-expanding knowledge of cannabis.

The complete study can be found at 

More on this topic from Soft Secrets:

Terpenes may increase your high

Beginners guide to terpenes


Liz Filmer