What Is the Entourage Effect?
New research has lifted the veil on the entourage effect –key to a wide range of cannabinoid products. In a nutshell, we can define entourage effect as a phenomenon in which several compounds work together to achieve otherwise impossible effects.
In this article, we’ll answer questions such as: “What is entourage effect?”, “Which compounds are involved in the process?”, and “What are the associated benefits?”
What Is Entourage Effect?
There are over 400 chemicals inside a cannabis plant, including over 100 cannabinoids, 200 terpenes, plenty of flavonoids, and some phenolic compounds. Some are inactive, other are active, like CBD. THC, however, is psychoactive. In short, each of the compounds affects us differently.
When reacting with each other, the compounds become more effective. Some inactive compounds can turn active, or vice versa.
The easiest way to define entourage effect is to consider it a fusion of different hemp plant components providing a combined effect.
Hemp Entourage Effect – How Does It Interact With Us?
Throughout the 20th century, it wasn’t clear how cannabis interacted with our bodies. However, over the past few decades, scientists discovered the endocannabinoid system consisting of specific proteins on the surface of a cell wall that recognise and bind with cannabinoids. This is how the body reacts to the effects of cannabis.
Cannabinoids are like building blocks. They are what separates cannabis from other plants. Consequently, the entourage process helps maximise the beneficial effects of the plant itself. These effects occur when the compounds interact with our bodies, producing a more significant impact than when consuming the compounds individually.
Entourage Effect and CBD – What’s the Relation?
Some hemp compounds may play a more influential role than others. CBD undoubtedly makes the process possible, much like an engine to a car. That’s why CBD is often labelled as the most crucial part of the process.
However, this is an inaccurate description. Yes, CBD is important, but plenty of other components play a role in the hemp entourage effect. Due to the synergistic process, no hemp component should be labelled as the most important.
Compounds Enabling the Entourage Effect
The entourage effect shows that CBD is not the only compound responsible for the beneficial effects on our bodies. Other components such as terpenes and myrcene amplify CBD’s activity and its impact on different physiological systems.
For example, people believe terpenes have a much more critical presence in hemp extracts than previously thought. These compounds can be found everywhere – on the skin of citrus fruit, in the plant seed essential oils, etc. Not only do they smell great, but they also help CBD function in the best possible way.
There are more than 150 cannabinoids or active ingredients in a single cannabis plant. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the best known, but the rest are still a mystery. Here’s a short overview of what we know about them.
Flavonoids are chemicals found in different types of fruits, herbs, and vegetables. They are phytonutrients, a natural compound in plants mainly responsible for their colour.
Flavonoids also impact the taste of fruits. There’s ongoing research that proves flavonoids are the primary reason for the essential benefits of eating fruits, such as longevity and overall health.
Also, some flavonoids are linked to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. They help our bodies fight everyday toxins and decrease the risk of developing chronic diseases. Since cannabis and hemp are rich in these elements, it emphasises why they are packed with health benefits.
Terpenes are chemicals that naturally appear in plants and some animals. They have a significant impact on the scents produced by plants and are believed to protect them from predators and severe weather conditions.
Cannabis is known to have unique terpene components responsible for its distinctive odour. The terpene scent is thought to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress and contribute to pain relief and mood changes.
However, there is still little scientific proof that supports the therapeutic benefits of terpenes. It’s evident that their role was underestimated in the past, but that is now changing.
Is Full Spectrum CBD Best for Everyone?
In short – no. Consuming CBD with all its compounds doesn’t always provide the best outcomes. People respond to these compounds in different ways, with the THC being the most questionable one.
When it comes to consuming cannabinoids, it’s best to tailor them to personal preferences and needs. It’s wrong to believe the combination of all cannabis compounds is the best option for everyone. Also, insisting on whole-plant formulation prevents further understanding of each individual component’s beneficial effects.
The Main Problem With Broad-Spectrum Entourage Effect
Most people want to try a broad-spectrum CBD extract. However, the main problem is the THC. Even though its content is extremely low (0.2%), it’s still illegal in many countries, including the UK.
Some individuals can be extremely sensitive to this compound, making them unsuitable for CBD consumption. This is especially true for beginners with low sensitivity to the compounds. Also, drug tests can detect even the tiniest amounts of THC.
That’s why there’s a wide range of broad-spectrum THC-free solutions out there. Even though some compounds are lost during the production process, they are still packed with benefits. Plus, there are CBD-isolate products for those who want to experience the benefits of CBD only.
CBD Isolate Products and the Entourage Effect
Are CBD isolate products enough to cause the entourage effect? CBD oils consisting exclusively of this substance can’t start the synergetic process. They lack other compounds such as THC, flavonoids, terpenes, and others to produce synergetic effects.
Entourage Effect – CBD, THC, and Other Compounds Synergy Explained
It is wrong to define entourage effect as a CBD-exclusive process. The entourage effect is a combination of all compounds found in a hemp plant that make the process possible. Even though there’s still plenty of research to be done to prove its medical effects, this phenomenon is slowly becoming more prominent among well-being enthusiasts.