The CBD Entourage Effect: An Introduction
The association of CBD products with the famous “entourage effect” is well-known in the hemp and CBD world. Yet, it is a contested theory that is often disregarded as conjecture. The theory simply states that all the compounds of the cannabis plant, when taken together, show more profound effects than isolating CBD alone or eliminating THC altogether. Advocates of cannabinoid isolates disagree.
Instead of focusing on that ongoing debate, let us dive into the science behind the CBD entourage effect. We shall explain what it is, discuss its implications on the human body, and share the awe-inspiring benefits of full-spectrum CBD.
What Is the Entourage Effect?
According to the proposed mechanism known as the CBD entourage effect, cannabis compounds or cannabinoids act synergistically with each other to enhance the overall psychoactive effects of the plant. In other words, all the compounds in cannabis perform better when taken together, as opposed to being taken separately.
One study concluded that the phytochemical factory in cannabis is more beneficial for humans than isolates. The efficacy of the CBD entourage effect comes down to the chemistry of the multifarious cannabinoid compounds and their reaction within the human body. To understand the entourage effect, it is essential to know a bit about cannabinoids first.
The Cannabis Plant and Its Different Compounds
There are two main subspecies of the cannabis plant: cannabis Indica and cannabis Sativa. These plants look different physically. Indica-dominant strains are short plants with broad, dark green leaves and Sativa-dominant strains are usually taller with thin, pale green leaves.
Although both plants contain the same compounds, their effects on the body are drastically different due to the ratio and concentration of the compounds present. There are over 100 different phytocannabinoids in cannabis plants. Of them, the two most researched compounds are CBD and THC. These compounds make the most difference in how Sativa and Indica variants of the cannabis plant react. Here are their characteristics:
Cannabidiol (CBD) — CBD has therapeutic and calming effects on the body, which can help with many physical ailments.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — THC is a psychoactive compound with intoxicating effects which produce a “high”.
Note that these are only two of over a hundred compounds found in cannabis. Studies show there is the presence of other phytocannabinoids such as cannabigerols (CBGs), cannabichromenes (CBCs), cannabicyclols (CBLs), and terpenes like myrcene, pinene, limonene, and caryophyllene.
The Endocannabinoid System and Its Relationship with the CBD Entourage Effect
The human body has a natural endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids. The ECS works within the central and peripheral nervous system, including the brain. It is always active, irrespective of the external use of cannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid system regulates your sleep, mood, appetite, memory, metabolism, growth, temperature control, emotional processing, inflammatory responses, immune responses, and pain sensation. It controls homeostasis and helps your body return to stable conditions when attacked by external or internal factors.
Phytocannabinoids like CBD and THC are chemically similar to your body’s endocannabinoids, which allow them to interact with your cannabinoid receptors. The interaction affects the release of neurotransmitters in your brain that have roles in immune function, pain, stress, and sleep, to name a few.
Phytocannabinoids can thus help produce the same calming effects as your body’s endocannabinoids do. One of CBD full spectrum’s benefits is inclusive of all these amazing chemicals in addition to CBD!
But there’s a catch! Taking only one or just a few of the compounds can have side effects. They may not act in a foolproof way within the body. For example, after taking THC, some people experience side effects like anxiety, hunger, and sedation. This is where CBD’s entourage effect comes in.
As long as you take all the phytocannabinoids together in their natural ratio, they cancel out the negative impacts of each other and produce a potent and holistic effect. For instance, when you use CBD and THC together, CBD reduces THC’s psychotic potential, thus taking away from its intoxicating effects. More research is required to explain exactly how the CBD entourage effect works within the neural pathways.
Benefits of Full Spectrum CBD
Full-spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids including 0.3% or less THC and produces the most benefits from the CBD entourage effect. Highly processed CBD products, such as CBD isolates (which contain only CBD) and broad-spectrum CBD (which contain all other cannabinoids except THC), do not show the effects of the CBD entourage effect, as well as full-spectrum products, do.
Start Your Wellness Journey Today!
Now that you know what the entourage effect is, you can make a more well-informed decision about which kind of CBD products to buy. The CBD entourage effect is a truly incredible example of how well the human body interacts synergistically with natural compounds. As more research is conducted on this wonderful phenomenon, the demand for CBD is only going to increase — and you don’t want to miss out!
If the benefits of full-spectrum CBD intrigue you, check out our shop. We have a wide selection of full-spectrum products you need to get started on a sound and healthy life.