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When thinking of an entourage, we typically think of an actor, athlete, or some other important person that is surrounded by a group of people. This is where the term entourage effect derived from. Replace the important person with CBD and the surrounding group of people with terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids and this paints a picture of how the entourage effect works.
The entourage effect refers to the various components of cannabis working synergistically together to intensify the effects from the hemp. Once again, this refers to terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids that organically originate in the hemp plant.
When CBD is consumed with the other raw ingredients from the hemp plant, the entourage effect gets to work on the body’s endocannabinoid system. This happens whenever a broad spectrum or full spectrum CBD oil or product is consumed. However, whenever CBD is consumed in an isolated form, the entourage effect does not take place since all of the other terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids have already been removed.
In 2015, a study showed that full spectrum CBD at higher doses had better effects in comparison to CBD isolate. Those in the study who consumed full spectrum CBD reported better alleviation of symptoms and ailments than those who consumed the CBD isolate. This is believed to be the case due to the entourage effect. This study, as well as several others and anecdotal feedback from users, is why we are particularly concerned with the entourage effect.
While CBD has been shown to have numerous health benefits on the mind and body, it is not the only cannabinoid to show such benefits. In fact, cannabis contains nearly 100 cannabinoids. The two cannabinoids you are likely familiar with are CBD and THC.
Though CBD and THC are the most abundant cannabinoids they are not the only important ones. There are a few others that show a lot of promise as well.
Cannabinol (CBN): This cannabinoid is created from oxidized THC and creates effects of mild sedation.
Cannabigerol (CBG): This is an non-intoxicating cannabinoid that has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Cannabichromene (CBC): This cannabinoid is particularly present in strains that originate from the tropical regions and has been shown to have the possibility of aiding in fighting cancer and reducing inflammation in the body.
These are just some of the cannabinoids that are contained in full spectrum CBD. The additional terpenes and cannabinoids in full spectrum change how the body’s cannabinoids receptors react to the extract. They do this by either blocking or allowing for other cannabinoids to bind or communicate with the receptors.
The human body has cannabinoid receptors that are located all throughout. These receptor sites can be found throughout the immune system, brain, nervous system, and several other areas throughout the body.
Cannabinoids work by binding to these receptor sites and sending signals to the body to produce either more or less of specific chemical compounds. This is how the positive effects experienced by CBD and other cannabinoids are experienced by the mind and body.
Simply put, terpenes are chemicals that give plants their certain smell and taste. While they are most commonly discussed in relation to cannabis, you come in contact with them on a regular, if not daily, basis. Terpenes are isolated by manufacturers to create such as perfumes, other body products, and even foods.
The reason that they are most regularly associated with cannabis is because the plant contains high concentrations of them. Terpenes are what give cannabis, pine, lavender, and fresh orange peel their own unique scents respectively. In nature, they give the plants protections from infectious germs and animal grazing.
Below are a few terpenes and their effect on the human body.
Limonene: mood elevation
Pinene: elevated levels of alertness
Eucalyptol: antibacterial properties
Nerolidol: may increase the effects of other cannabinoids and compounds
Additionally, terpenes also have been shown to have positive effects on the human body. A study included in Chemico-Biological Interactions has demonstrated just this. The study states that they serve us a potential replacement to various medications and therapies.
While cannabinoids interact directly with cannabinoid receptor sites in the body, terpenes produce their effects throughout other pathways in the body. When it comes to cannabis and terpenes, each strain has a unique blend of terpenes. Each of these terpenes has a specified role in the plant as well as within the human body.
Terpenes do in fact play a role in the entourage effect. The entourage effect as it pertains to CBD oil and products takes place whenever CBD, terpenes, and other cannabinoids are consumed together and work in conjunction with one another. In fact, it is believed that some terpenes may even enhance the effect that cannabinoids have on their receptor sites in the body.
After reading the information throughout this article, it would make sense that you are looking to experience the positive effects of the entourage effect.
If you would like to experience this effect, stay away from CBD isolate or other products that claim to be “pure CBD.” The reason for this is quite simple: CBD alone, without other cannabinoids or terpenes will only cause its singular effects. It is important to remember that while CBD alone does in fact have many beneficial properties, studies have shown that CBD works best for desired outcomes when consumed with other cannabinoids, terpenes, and chemical compounds.
High quality CBD oils and products will almost always be either full spectrum or broad spectrum. In addition to CBD, these products will contain various other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals from the hemp plant.
Full spectrum CBD contains all of the extracted phytochemicals. This includes all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, and yes even THC. The THC content, however, must be under 0.3% to remain legal at a federal level.
In addition to CBD, the other cannabinoids and phytochemicals from the plant work synergistically together to create the entourage effect.
Broad spectrum and full spectrum share more similarities than differences. Both contain CBD and other cannabinoids. The only difference is that broad spectrum CBD contains no THC. After the initial extraction process, all THC is removed and is not included in the final product.
Though the THC is removed after extraction, it still contains other cannabinoids such as CBN, CBG, CBC, and so forth. Broad spectrum also contains the terpenes and flavonoids that come from extracted hemp plants as well.
It is commonly thought that since broad spectrum contains no THC, it cannot create the entourage effect. This is simply not true. The entourage effect is still experienced when consuming a broad spectrum CBD extract is consumed. The only difference is that THC is not part of this equation.
It is rather fascinating to consider that each strain of cannabis creates its own unique blend of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other various phytochemicals.
As more research is conducted on the various parts of cannabis, we will only learn more about how these various aspects of the plant help aid in all the various ways that they have shown to already do.