Let’s take a moment to discuss the term “entourage effect” and the role it plays in how a product interacts with our bodies.. While there are many types of CBD products on the market, they all have a core component of broad spectrum, full spectrum, or isolated CBD. In this blog, we will explore the entourage effect, which as you will see can only be achieved with a broad or full spectrum CBD product.
What is the Entourage Effect?
Simply put, the entourage effect is the theory that the full spectrum of the cannabis plant works best together - the interaction between all of the compounds from a cannabis plant, such as phytocannabinoids and terpenes, come together to enhance their effects. The term usually refers to the herbal remedies that contain different compounds that work together to produce a particular impact on a person’s well-being, from easing anxiety to decreasing inflammation.
The Entourage Effect and CBD
The entourage effect focuses on what happens when other compounds come together with cannabidiol, as opposed to when CBD is in its isolated form. By using a range of different phytochemicals, you can experience a variety of positive effects.
Some examples of how these compounds work together include:
Terpenes are found throughout the natural world with over 20,000 known. Interestingly, terpenes are most abundantly produced by the Cannabis plant, with over 140 known. Terpenes are found in the form of aromatic compounds, the compounds responsible for the distinctive scents of the plant. For example, limonene is a terpene that can be found in lemon peels, while eucalyptol can be found in eucalyptus. They make up the base for many essential oils, which are believed to be beneficial on their own. In addition to their pleasant aromas, terpenes have been studied to bring some significant health benefits and alter how the body will use the cannabinoids. Limonene has been studied to improve mood when combined with CBD, and pinene (which comes from pine resin) has been studied to increase alertness.
THC & CBD: THC is the only cannabinoid compound that is psychoactive or can induce the feeling of being ‘high’ from the cannabis plant. It is also illegal in most nations. As for CBD, it not only doesn’t get you high but can actually regulate the psychoactive effects of the THC, and prevent you from feeling that ‘high’ too strongly or if too late for preventing, help you come down from it. Of course, CBD on its own is still considered to be beneficial and is preferred by many because of its lack of THC.
Ways to Experience the Entourage Effect
Let’s dive into the different types of CBD present in the market and which are considered to take advantage of the entourage effect. One type of CBD - CBD isolate - is not listed below because it doesn’t provide an entourage effect due to the fact that all ingredients other than CBD were removed to make this product.
Full-Spectrum CBD: If you’re looking for a CBD product that provides you with a majority of the compounds from the cannabis plant, then full-spectrum CBD products are your go-to. These products are defined as keeping the full cannabinoid profile of the plant, including having some THC. You can avoid the psychoactive effects of THC by looking for hemp-derived CBD product which contains trace amounts of THC below 0.3%. Typically a full-spectrum CBD oil will also contain terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and other minor cannabinoids.
Whole Plant CBD: While many believe that whole plant CBD and full spectrum CBD are one and the same, the truth is that there are some key differences. To start with, whole plant CBD contains the entire plant which includes waxes, fats, and other materials not found in full spectrum oil. Essentially, whole plant CBD is a less refined version of full spectrum CBD. One of the issues cited around this type of CBD is that the taste is not as pleasant and the whole hemp plant may be bitter.
Broad Spectrum CBD: Broad spectrum CBD products usually have a range of cannabinoids, and what many find most attractive about this option is it’s even lower amounts of THC. Most broad spectrum products will have trace amounts of THC but show up as non-detectable (ND) on the COA. These products are very similar to full spectrum products outside of this special care to the amount of THC.
The entourage effect is a fascinating theory that illustrates the variety of compounds and phytochemicals present in the cannabis plant, and all of the different ways these can work together to improve well-being and provide different benefits. As more information is uncovered, we hope this will lead to an incredible variety in CBD products and even more opportunities for positive effects on the body.