What is Full Spectrum and the Entourage Effect?


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So you’ve probably heard a lot about full spectrum and the entourage effect.  But you may be wondering what that all means?

It’s Dr. Chou here and thanks for tuning into another article.  Today we’re going to talk about full spectrum products and the entourage effect and what that means for patients.




First off, think about the marijuana plant as a whole.  Research has revealed there are over 100 biologically active components in the marijuana plant.  We only know about a dozen of these compounds.

We obviously know about the main active components, which are THC and CBD.  We even know about some of the terpenes, like myrcene and limonene, and some of the minor cannabinoids.

That leaves another 90 compounds in marijuana that we feel have some biological purpose, but we just don’t know much about them.  However, we feel that these 100 compounds in marijuana all work together.

Think about your favorite soft drink.  It’s the perfect combination of syrup, carbonated water, sugar, and flavorings, and that’s why it tastes so good.  If you remove even one ingredient from your drink, everything is thrown out of proportion.


Entourage Effect

This combination of molecules all working together is called the entourage effect.  It’s the reason soda tastes so good and medical marijuana helps patients.

The reason full spectrum products are so powerful is they retain the entourage effect of the different molecules in the marijuana plant working together.



When someone talks about an isolate, they mean a product that only has one biologically active molecule, like only THC or only CBD.

For example, there is synthetic THC that has been available as a prescription for many years called dronabinol.  It has been FDA approved for use in cancer and HIV patients for appetite stimulation and treatment of chemotherapy side effects.

However, patients who have access to medical marijuana versus dronabinol much prefer medical marijuana to the synthetic THC.

Again, that is because patients using medical marijuana have access to the full spectrum of biologically active compounds which all work together to give the entourage effect.

That means a better effect with fewer side effects for most people.



The research into marijuana is a rapidly growing and exciting field from which we are learning more and more every day.

That’s why it’s essential to have your treatment guided by an experienced doctor who knows about different products and treatment options to give you the best result.

Thanks for reading.


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Doctor Victor Chou, M.D.

Medical Marijuana Clinic of Louisiana