What is the Entourage Effect
Cannabis has long been used in various ways throughout history. Some even believe that its first usage dates back to the early years of civilization. This is all thanks to the plant’s versatility that has made it into a household staple. Its many benefits, including the entourage effect, made it effective as a medicinal plant and supplement.
Despite this, many are still hesitant because of the stigma that surrounds the cannabis industry. There are always questions like what are the possible side effects? What are cannabinoids and how do they work? Does the entourage effect work on everyone?
Here we take a deeper look at the technicalities of cannabis terms.
What is the Entourage Effect of CBD
There are hundreds of active compounds called cannabinoids that the human body ingests when taking cannabis. Each cannabinoid is unique in its structure and benefit and may react differently when combined with other compounds. This reaction is called the entourage effect.
While there are no definitive scientific facts on this phenomenon yet, scientists believe that the entourage effect takes place when cannabinoids work well in synchronicity with each other. This also helps maximize the health benefits of each cannabinoid.
Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the most active cannabinoids most abundantly found in hemp plants, a variety of the cannabis sativa species. Ever since industrial hemp was legalized in all 50 states in the USA, CBD has become even more popular.
With this, many CBD-derived products have made their way into the market. What makes people flock to this particular compound? For starters, it is non-psychoactive, unlike the infamous tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This means that taking CBD will not result in a cannabis high.
However, it is important to note that CBD oil has different types. They are classified according to the cannabinoids present in the present. Given that cannabis has over a hundred compounds, cannabinoids like CBN, CBC, CBG, among many others, as well as terpenes, can also be present in CBD products.
These compounds working together can create the entourage effect.
This synergistic effect created could bring about a list of health benefits including pain relief, soothe anxiety, help treat depression and mood swings, and improve overall sleep quality in humans.
The entourage effect is still anecdotal evidence but with technology’s progression, anything can be possible with enough funding and research.
CBD and THC Working Together
Many cannabis enthusiasts advocate for using products with both CBD and THC. According to them, these two cannabinoids are not only the most backed up by research, but they also bring a myriad of health benefits when working together.
As opposed to using pure CBD or products with a high concentration of THC, consuming cannabis with a more or less equal ratio of both can be of great benefit to the user. One study suggests that CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC.
What this implies is that CBD can help users “stabilize” or manage their cannabis high even with THC traces present in the product they are using. It could also help maximize the health benefits of THC when combined with not just CBD but other organic compounds found in the plant as well.
Cannabinoids and Terpenes
Much like how CBD and THC work well together, the benefits of common cannabis compounds when combined have the potential for synergistic effects. A 2011 review of studies in the British Journal of Pharmacology suggested that cannabinoids and terpenes work quite well together.
Their main health benefits included pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties. Experts believe that the molecular structures of cannabinoids like CBD are similar to the structure of compounds present in regular NSAIDs. This is why so many have turned to “cannabis medicine” as an alternative to over-the-counter drugs.
Apart from this, cannabinoids and terpenes that produce the entourage effect also soothe anxiety, mood swings, and other mental health concerns. Some clinical trials have also received positive results from using cannabis to treat certain types of epilepsy and cancer.
Full-Spectrum vs Broad-Spectrum vs Isolate CBD
Raw cannabis plants contain hundreds of active and naturally-occurring compounds. There are certain processes that leave or include other compounds as well when particular cannabinoids like CBD are extracted. This is how the different types of CBD are classified: Full-spectrum CBD, Broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD Isolates.
Both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products offer a rich diversity of cannabinoids and terpenes. They also create the entourage effect as the compounds work well together to deliver many benefits to the body.
The main difference is that full-spectrum contains a low amount of THC traces, usually no more than 0.3 percent.
Broad-spectrum can still create the entourage effect but without THC. The extract could contain other cannabinoids like CBC, CBG, CBN, and terpenes like caryophyllene, myrcene, limonene, and so many more.
On the other hand, CBD Isolates are pure, potent products that only contain Cannabidiol. Isolates are much more expensive and elusive to come by especially high-quality ones. This is because the extraction process of isolating pure CBD is often costly and requires high-technology machinery and methods.
What are the Effects of Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are active compounds found in cannabis plants, as mentioned before. Some are more popular than others for certain health benefits attributed to them.
There are hundreds of others with perhaps the same potential as THC and CBD. Though those two are the most known and researched among cannabis compounds.
The side effects of taking cannabinoids will vary. This could depend on the type of cannabis product you are taking, the amount, and the active compounds present therein. It is always best to thoroughly research any foreign substance and be aware of its possible effects on the body.
Particular cannabinoids need more research of their own to discover more about their individual characteristics and potential. Many experts believe that these lesser-known compounds are “synergistic”. This means that they are the key to achieving the entourage effect that boosts the effect of more potent compounds like CBD.
Do Broad-Spectrum and CBD Isolate have the Entourage Effect?
The way cannabinoids create the entourage effect is by interacting with the body’s natural cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are located in the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) which comprises the central nervous, digestive, respiratory, and many other vital systems of the body.
From its name, broad-spectrum CBD boasts of a number of cannabinoids and terpenes except for THC. These compounds are beneficial in their own rights, but when combined together, they create a harmonious balance.
Because of its nature of diverse compound profiles, broad-spectrum products can still create the entourage effect.
CBD isolates, however, contain the highest concentration of CBD per serving. Most high-quality isolates undergo third-party lab testing to ensure decontamination and potency. It lacks the potential to create the entourage effect as the product carries CBD alone and no other foreign compounds.
Broad-spectrum and isolates are good choices for first-time users. They are also best for those who want to experience the full benefits of CBD without worrying about the possible side effects of THC.
What does the Entourage Effect Feel Like
Now you know a little bit about what the entourage effect. The next logical question would be what does it feel like? Many studies suggest the effectivity of cannabinoids and terpenes working together rather than as isolated compounds.
With this, many long-time and first-time cannabis users attest to the therapeutic effects of using a wide range of cannabinoids instead of isolates. Terpenes also act along with cannabinoids in a collective effort to maximize the compound’s health benefits.
This includes healing properties like reducing pain and inflammation, increasing sedation, and improving rest and sleep.
The entourage effect may come in different forms to various users. Some feel an increase in energy while others feel more relaxed. Most of these statements come from full-spectrum or broad-spectrum users themselves. This is because there is no statistical data on this on a wide-scale.
Supplements like CBD are not regulated by the Food and Drug Authority. This means that none of the statements regarding its medicinal benefits have been approved or evaluated.
There is still plenty of data available if you want to know more about the medical abilities of the entourage effect. These studies usually focus on using cannabis in its raw form, or as close to raw as possible, in treating various conditions.
One research talks about the positive effects of using full-spectrum cannabis as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic treatment. Experts also believe that many compounds present in cannabis are “inhibitors” or “synergists”. They work well when combined with other active composites.
Most scientific evidence is not completely conclusive. However, what available facts there are could be enough to support health claims on using CBD. The same goes for the benefits of the entourage effect.
Is CBD Legal?
The cannabis industry comprises of many products. This includes textiles, fabric, paper, food, spices, essential oils, and other necessities. Its recent rise in popularity, though, is thanks to the changes in laws regarding its legality.
Whereas before, cannabis was fully legal and used in practicing medicine, it was eventually banned for public consumption. This greatly had to do with the infamous intoxicating side effects attributed to the plant matter.
Fortunately, legislators seem to have changed their tune in recent decades. Cannabis researchers have found medical benefits from this wonder plant. These benefits can potentially be used as treatments for illnesses that have long been plaguing many.
In terms of legality, cannabinoids derived from marijuana plants are still banned in many places. This is perhaps due to the high traces of THC usually found in weed. Hemp-derived cannabinoids, however, are becoming more and more accepted not just in the United States but in other countries as well.
Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level. Moreover, these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and products that have not been FDA approved. Likewise, you must be at least 21 years old to purchase these products. Talk to your physician or medical doctor for additional information.