The Entourage Effect: Understanding the Synergy Between Cannabinoids

Many of you may have heard of the term “entourage effect” but have no idea what that necessarily entails. Learning about the entourage effect can give you a better understanding of how cannabinoid therapy works and what CBD products are best for you.

What is the Entourage Effect?

Cannabis plant extracts typically include CBD, THC, and more than 400 different trace compounds ranging from cannabinoids to terpenes. Scientists refer to many of these compounds interacting synergistically as the entourage effect. The entourage effect magnifies the therapeutic benefits of the plant’s individual components, resulting in a greater medicinal impact as a whole rather than individual parts. According to Dr. John McPartland, “Cannabis is inherently polypharmaceutical and synergy arises from interactions between its multiple components.” When scientists compare 100 milligrams of synthetic, single-molecule CBD and 100 milligrams of CBD-rich whole plant cannabis extract, they’ve noted a lack of extrapolating data in terms of the entourage effect in the synthetic, single molecule CBD.

Full-Spectrum CBD Products: Benefits of the Entourage Effect

The entourage effect maximizes the medicinal and therapeutic benefits for the user. In order to take advantage of this, customers must find a full-spectrum product. Full-spectrum CBD products are engineered to mirror the same chemical makeup as the hemp plant in order to provide a full range of cannabinoids and terpenes. The harmonious effect seems to amplify the medical value of each individual cannabinoid and terpene, providing comprehensive cannabinoid therapy for users. Full-spectrum CBD products can only legally contain 0.3% THC or less– the minimal THC content does not have mind-altering effects but still acts as a major component for synergy. Broad-spectrum CBD products are the next best bet. They have the same cannabinoid profile as hemp but with the THC content removed. Scientists believe each cannabinoid is needed for full synergy, but broad-spectrum products are a great alternative for those concerned with drug testing or any THC ingestion.

CBD Isolate Products: Advantages and Disadvantages

From a scientific standpoint, full-spectrum CBD products offer the most comprehensive medical value. However, CBD isolate still contains many therapeutic and medicinal advantages that users can take advantage of. CBD isolate products are great for those concerned with drug testing, any THC exposure, or want to remain on the safe side of the law.

The Importance of Terpenes in the Entourage Effect

Terpenes are aromatic metabolites found within the oils of all plant life. With over 20,000 terpenes in existence, at least 200 of them are produced by cannabis. Terpenes evolved over time as defense compounds as well as a way for plants to attract pollinators. Researchers have found that terpenes offer a wide range of therapeutic attributes that aren’t available in solely isolated CBD products. For instance, beta-caryophyllene is a terpene found in black pepper, oregano, leafy greens, and many cannabis strains. Scientists discovered that beta-caryophyllene is a gastro-protective offering promising therapeutic value for inflammatory conditions and auto-immune disorders.

Dr. Russo’s cannabis research on the cannabinoid-terpene interactions states “the entourage effect could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction… fungal and bacterial infections.”

The Value Among All Cannabinoids and Terpenes

While we tend to focus only on CBD and THC, it is important to understand the value among all the other compounds found within cannabis. Research is limited due to legality but the studies available on other cannabinoids and terpenes showcase incredible, encouraging therapeutic value. It is always important to find the best CBD product suited for you and your circumstance– if you have any questions regarding the entourage effect or what CBD product is best for you, please contact us!


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