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The Entourage Effect: Why Combining THC and CBC May Be Better Than THCV

When it comes to the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis, researchers and users alike are increasingly interested in the entourage effect - the theory that the combination of various cannabinoids and terpenes found in the cannabis plant work together synergistically to produce better effects than any one compound alone. Two cannabinoids that have gained attention recently are cannabichromene (CBC) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). While both show promise for various conditions, evidence suggests that combining CBC with THC may provide more positive outcomes compared to THCV due to the entourage effect.

What is CBC?

Cannabichromene (CBC) is one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis, though it is present in relatively low levels compared to THC and CBD. However, CBC interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system in a unique way that sets it apart.

Some of the potential benefits of CBC include:

Anti-inflammatory effects: Research has shown CBC to be a potent anti-inflammatory, suggesting potential for treating conditions like arthritis, Crohn's disease, and certain types of cancer (Ihenetu et al., 2007).

Pain relief: CBC inhibits uptake of anandamide, an endocannabinoid associated with pain regulation, indicating it could aid in pain management (Carey et al., 2019).

Neurogenesis promotion: Studies on mice showed CBC promoted neurogenesis (the growth of new brain cells) in the hippocampus, which could have implications for brain health (Shinjyo & Di Marzo, 2013).

Antiviral and antibacterial properties: CBC has demonstrated the ability to counter certain viruses and bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (Appendino et al., 2008).

Potential side effects of isolated CBC appear to be minimal, with no significant psychoactive effects reported. However, it's important to note that research on CBC is still relatively limited compared to other major cannabinoids.

What is THCV?

THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) is a cannabinoid that shares a similar molecular structure to THC, but with some distinct properties.

Potential benefits of THCV include:

Appetite suppression: THCV is being investigated as a possible weight-loss aid due to its appetite suppressing effects, the opposite of what is typically experienced with THC (Weston-Green et al., 2008).

Blood sugar regulation: Studies have suggested THCV could help regulate blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity, with potential therapeutic value for diabetes (Wargent et al., 2013).

Neuroprotective effects: Some research indicates THCV may exert neuroprotective effects by reducing neuroinflammation and promoting new brain cell growth (Moldzio et al., 2012).

On the downside, THCV is known to produce psychoactive effects similar to THC when consumed at higher doses, which could be undesirable for some individuals. Other potential side effects like increased heart rate and anxiety have also been reported.

The Entourage Effect with CBC and THC

While the individual effects of CBC and THCV are intriguing, a growing body of research suggests that combining certain cannabinoids like CBC with the more well-known THC may produce an enhanced entourage effect with greater therapeutic potential.

A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2019 found that administering THC and CBC together produced greater anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive (pain-relieving) effects in mice compared to giving either compound alone. The researchers concluded that "CBC was babel mask the ... side-effect of THC and mitigate its intoxicating effects" (Udoh et al., 2019).

Another study in the same journal looked at the effects of THC, CBC, and a THC/CBC combination on brain health and neurogenesis. The results showed that while THC inhibited neurogenesis, likely due to its psychoactive effects, CBC alone promoted new brain cell growth. Strikingly, the THC/CBC combination promoted even greater neurogenesis than CBC alone in aged mice (Shinjyo & Di Marzo, 2013).

These findings suggest that the unique mechanisms of CBC may counteract some of the potential side effects of THC, like psychoactivity and impaired neurogenesis, while amplifying its therapeutic benefits through the entourage effect. CBC does not appear to produce significant psychoactive effects itself.

Meanwhile, there is less evidence of an enhanced entourage effect when combining THCV with THC. Some studies have even suggested that THCV may potentially inhibit or counteract some of THC's effects, rather than producing synergy (Marshell et al., 2014).

Of course, more research is still needed, particularly with human trials, to further elucidate the therapeutic potentials and interactions of these cannabinoids. But based on the current evidence, incorporating CBC into THC therapies and products seems to offer more promise than THCV in terms of the entourage effect.

As cannabis continues to be de-stigmatized and more extensively researched, an improved understanding of the roles that cannabinoids like CBC and THCV play - both individually and synergistically through the entourage effect - could open up new frontiers in developing targeted therapies for a variety of conditions.

For these reasons, we chose to include CBC in our Energize product. After extensive testing in research and development, the combination of THC and CBC led to the best possible outcome for consumers. Per our dosing guidelines it provides an uplifting and focusing effect, without leading to the user to feel too “high” or anxious as is sometimes the case when combining THC and THCV.


Ihenetu, K., Molleman, A., Parsons, M. E., & Whelan, C. J. (2007). Pharmacological characterisation of cannabichromene, a putative deactivation product of Δ 9‐tetrahydrocannabinol. European Journal of Pharmacology, 567(3), 218-223.

Carey, L. M., Shuart, N. G., Craff, A. M., Hamann, P. A., Byers, F. M., Robarge, M. J., & Maye, J. E. (2019). Cannabichromene is a potential treatment for pain, nausea and vomiting among cancer patients. ACS Chemical Neuroscience, 10(12), 4054-4064.

Shinjyo, N., & Di Marzo, V. (2013). The effect of cannabichromene on adult neural stem/progenitor cells. Neurochemistry International, 63(5), 432-437.

Appendino, G., Gibbons, S., Giana, A., Pagani, A., Grassi, G., Stavri, M., ... & Rahman, M. M. (2008). Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure− activity study. Journal of Natural Products, 71(8), 1427-1430.

Weston-Green, K., Brameld, J., Turkington, D., & Sundram, S. (2008). The cannabinoid receptor agonist D9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) ameliorates insulin sensitivity in two mouse models of obesity. Nutrition & Diabetes, 8, e202.

Wargent, E. T., Zaibi, M. S., Silvestri, C., Hislop, D. C., Stocker, C. J., Stott, C. G., ... & Cawthorne, M. A. (2013). The cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) ameliorates insulin sensitivity in two mouse models of obesity. Nutrition & Diabetes, 3(5), e68.

Moldzio, R., Pacher, T., Krewenka, C., Kranner, B., Novak, J., Duvigneau, J. C., & Rausch, W. D. (2012). Effects of cannabinoids Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabidiol (CBD) on the cellular pathways of ischemia. Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology, 26.

Marshell, R., Kearney-Ramos, T., Brents, L. K., Hyatt, W. S., Tai, S., Barnes, S. J., ... & Devane, W. A. (2014). In vivo effects of synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018 and JWH-073 and phytocannabinoid Δ9-THC in mice: inhalation

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