Many aspects of cannabis are still classified as being in the early research stage. This includes what is known as the “entourage effect.” However, there is certainly enough information to get this discussion going.
Let’s start with a brief description of what the entourage effect is. From there we will get into further details of some included cannabis plant compounds that can combine to bring natural well-being effects.
The entourage effect is based on the theory that the full spectrum of the cannabis plant works best together. In other words, advocate researchers in this field suggest that it is the interaction between all of the compounds contained in a cannabis plant such as phytocannabinoids and terpenes that combine to enhance their effects.
On top of this, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of compounds in a cannabis plant. Of these, there are three main groups of compounds that contribute to the entourage effect.
• Phytocannabinoids (Plant Cannabinoids) are the compounds that give bodily effect or feel.
• Terpenes and terpenoids are aromatic compounds.
• Cannabinoids: These are particularly responsible for interacting with the body’s ECS (EndoCannabinoid System).
The term “entourage effect” usually applies to herbal remedies containing different compounds that are known to work together and produce a stated impact on a person’s well-being. These impacts range widely, with examples being the ability to ease anxiety or decrease inflammation.
While there are countless types of CBD products currently available in this rapidly growing market sector, they all have a core component that is termed either broad spectrum, full spectrum, or isolated CBD. The entourage effect can only be achieved with a broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD product. The reason why will be related later in the piece.
The focus of the entourage effect is on what happens when cannabidiol and other compounds come together. This is as opposed to CBD in its isolated form. Through the use of different phytochemicals, users can and do experience various positive effects.
Here are some examples of how compounds in the cannabis plant work together:
Terpenes are certainly not exclusive to the cannabis plant. Indeed, they are found right across the natural world, with more than 20,000 already identified. However, cannabis plants produce the most abundant amount of terpenes with around 150 already known.
They are found in the form of aromatic compounds and are responsible for giving cannabis plants their distinctive scents. Just two prime examples of terpenes present in cannabis plants that are also present in other sources are:
Limonene can also be found in lemon peels and in eucalyptol, which is found in eucalyptus. These terpenes are used to make up the base for a wide variety of essential oils, which are slated as being beneficial in their own right.
As well as having pleasant aromas, the studies to date on terpenes have already shown that they can bring some major health benefits and that they have the ability to alter how the human body will use cannabinoids.
When limonene is combined with CBD, studies have shown it can improve mood. As for pinene, which comes from pine resin, this has been shown to increase alertness in users.
On their own, both CBD and THC have very different effects. THC is psychoactive and is the only cannabinoid compound that can induce the “high” feeling received from the cannabis plant.
As for CBD, this does not get users high, but it can work to regulate the psychoactive effects of THC. It can prevent users from feeling the given “high” too strongly and can also work to help THC users come down.
Those who want the benefits of cannabis products but are not looking for the THC effect will opt for the use of CBD products on their own.
Here are three different types of CBD currently available. Many consider that these help users take advantage of the entourage effect.
Anyone looking for a CBD product that provides them with the majority of compounds contained in the cannabis plant will make full-spectrum CBD products their go-to choice. That is because such products are defined as containing the full cannabinoid profile of the plant. It should be noted that this does include some THC.
If the THC psychoactive effects are not what you are after (albeit they are mild for most) look for hemp-derived CBD products that contain THC trace amounts below 0.3%.
As for oil products, a full-spectrum CBD oil will typically contain various terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and other minor cannabinoids.
There is a widespread belief that whole plant CBD and full spectrum CBD, just mentioned, are one and the same. They are not, and there are some key differentials. For starters, whole-plant CBD products contain the entire plant. That includes such things as fats, waxes, and other materials that will not be found in full-spectrum oil.
To clarify the difference, whole-plant CBD is classified as a less refined version of full-spectrum CBD. With that, this type of CBD is unlikely to taste as pleasant, and the whole hemp plant could be bitter.
These products generally have a range of cannabinoids included. Some users find broad-spectrum CBD products preferable because they have even lower amounts of THC included.
While it is true that the majority of broad-spectrum products will have THC trace amounts present, these show up as ND (non-detectable) on the COA (certificate of analysis).
Broad-spectrum products are quite similar to full-spectrum products but differ in the special care taken regarding the amount of THC included.
When looking at CBD products, you will find CBD isolate versions available. However, these products do not provide an entourage effect. This is because all ingredients bar CBD have been removed to make the product.
While far more research is required, significant knowledge steps are consistently being taken concerning the entourage effect.
This fascinating theory illustrates the huge variety of compounds and phytochemicals that are present in the cannabis plant, as well as the many different ways these can work together.
The results are seen to improve a person’s well-being as well as provide other benefits.
Research and discovery are continuing apace, and that has to be very positive when it comes to introducing a much wider range of CBD products to the market.
If you are interested in topics that relate to the wide and wonderful world of cannabis, please click here for further interesting and informative articles.