What Is the Entourage Effect?
Cannabis plants look quite simple; however, when you look at compounds from the plant, you will find hundreds of different molecules. While many of these compounds aren’t discussed in regular conversation, you have likely heard of CBD and THC, as they are the most famous components of cannabis. These other compounds do play a role in the effects of cannabis, though.
When you speak to CBD experts, you’ll often hear them mention the “entourage effect.” This is the term that is used to discuss the theory that these compounds all work together to provide unique benefits.
So, What Is the Entourage Effect?
In the simplest of terms, it is the theory that when cannabis or hemp is smoked, consumed, or otherwise used, all the botanical compounds within the plant work together to provide more benefits than each individual compound could provide on its own. In addition, researchers believe that the compounds can actually amplify the benefits of one another.
Dr. Shimon Ben-Shabat and Dr. Raphael Mechloulan are credited with the discovery of how the compounds within cannabis interact with one another and the endocannabinoid system in 1998. However, it wasn’t until later that the term “entourage effect” was coined.
The entourage effect is very similar to the concept of synergy in plant medicine; however, it is only used to describe this type of impact when associated with cannabis.
Qualities of the Entourage Effect
There are three main qualities of the entourage effect:
- Amplifies the effects of individual cannabis compounds.
- Broader impact on the body due to increased interaction with the endocannabinoid system.
- Mediates the endocannabinoid system response by balancing system stimulators and repressors.
- These features aren’t necessarily true with CBD products that don’t include all of the compounds naturally found in cannabis. While full-spectrum CBD products will contain more compounds that naturally occurs in these plants, other types will contain one or only a few of the compounds.
Types of Compounds Included in the Entourage Effect
You’ve likely heard us talk a lot about cannabinoids, like CBD and THC. However, there are other compounds in cannabis that experts believe are part of the entourage effect, like terpenes and flavonoids. Cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are thought to work in tandem to provide more effective benefits.
- Cannabinoids: These are a group of naturally occurring compounds found in cannabis plants. There are currently many different cannabinoids that have been identified within cannabis, but the most commonly known cannabinoids are THC and CBD.
- Terpenes: A group of chemical compounds found in hemp and nearly every other plant on earth that give each plant a unique scent profile. While terpenes are known for creating fragrances, they can also have additional benefits, such as antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. There are around 120 terpenes that have been identified in cannabis, but there are over 20,000 in the world.
- Flavonoids: These are any number of a large class of plant pigments that have a structure that is based on or similar to that of flavone. Flavonoids are largely responsible for the color of a flower or plant to help attract pollinators to plants. Additionally, flavonoids are known as antioxidant agents that help protect the body from harmful toxins.
Due to the entourage effect, it is believed that full-spectrum CBD products will provide more benefits than isolate products. It is all based around the idea of a synergistic effect between the chemical compounds within the plants.
How Does the Entourage Effect Feel?
CBD affects everyone differently, and the way it makes people feel can depend on numerous factors, such as genetics, age, lifestyle, health conditions, and more. For this reason, it is very difficult to determine how the entourage effect actually makes someone feel.
, the effects may be more pronounced due to this unique property. It is important to note that full-spectrum CBD is more potent than CBD isolate, as the additional compounds in the formula will provide stronger effects. When you use CBD isolate products, you will likely need a higher dose to get the same effects as you would with a lower dose of a full-spectrum product.
Full-spectrum CBD products also tend to have a stronger flavor than isolates. This is because the terpenes are still present in full-spectrum products that provide both aroma and flavor.
What Is Full-Spectrum CBD?
Full-spectrum CBD contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in cannabis plants. To comply with federal guidelines, levels of THC are limited to less than 0.3%, but it is still included in products to increase the effectiveness of the benefits. However, full spectrum isn’t the only category of CBD products.
Broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolates are also popular on the market. Broad-spectrum CBD products contain nearly all of the cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes found in the plant with the exception of THC. CBD isolate products contain only CBD with none of the other compounds present.
Since broad-spectrum and CBD isolate products don’t fully utilize the entourage effect, they are considered by some to be less effective. Based on the entourage effect, full-spectrum CBD would provide the most benefits, followed by broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. At Veritas Farms, nearly all of our products are made using full-spectrum CBD, bringing the most beneficial CBD products to our customers.
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