If you’ve heard of CBD, you may be familiar with the concept of the entourage effect: the idea that all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other active compounds in cannabis work synergistically to produce greater effects than any substance alone.
Now, a new animal study out of Texas Tech University is providing more evidence for this phenomenon. The researchers studied the effects of CBD and beta-caryophyllene, one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis. Terpenes are natural molecules that give plants their distinct aromas and have many potential health benefits.
The researchers tested the pain-relieving effects of CBD and beta-caryophyllene alone and together in mice with inflammatory pain. They found that the combination had greater effects than either compound by itself, lending more proof to the idea that cannabinoids and terpenes work in synergy.
The Study Details
The researchers injected mice with formalin to induce inflammatory paw pain. They were then injected with CBD, beta-caryophyllene, or a combination of the two and the researchers tested their response in behavioral and blood tests. Both compounds produced pain relief but when they were administered together, the effect was significantly stronger.
The researchers also found that the combination treatment did not produce any unwanted side effects associated with the CB1 receptor — the same receptor that THC activates to produce its psychoactive effects. These unwanted side effects are the major reason THC and cannabis are not as widely used for pain relief as they could be.
The researchers were excited about their findings, hoping to see this combination treatment tested in real patients.
They concluded that: “the present data support the concept that cannabinoids and terpenes work synergistically with therapeutical value…CBD and BCP in combination produce a synergistic analgesic effect without CB1-associated side effects.”
This study is significant because it provides yet more evidence for the entourage effect. The beneficial interactions between cannabinoids and terpenes are the next great frontier of cannabis research so it’s great to see these positive findings.
This kind of research provides further proof that cannabis and hemp should be used in their whole-plant form as much as possible to achieve greater effects, whether it be relief of pain, anxiety, or something else.
That’s why we always recommend that CBD users opt for full-spectrum CBD products, which maintain the plant’s rich cannabinoid and terpene profile.
Gleb is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and cannabis. He’s read thousands of studies on CBD and other supplements, helping him translate complex science into plain language. Gleb has tried and reviewed dozens of CBD brands and products, written third-party testing reports, and knows the CBD industry inside and out. When not writing, he likes to kickbox, travel, and tell everyone how awesome intermittent fasting is.