What Is the Entourage Effect? All You Need to Know
Hemp plants are quite extraordinary. They contain at least 120 phytocannabinoids – the plant-based chemicals that directly affect the human endocannabinoid system. The most famous of these are CBD and THC. When these various cannabinoids work together, they can cause something called the entourage effect.
WHAT IS THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT?
People take CBD for a variety of reasons. They may want to improve their mood, increase focus, reduce pain, or sleep better. CBD is associated with all these issues and more. Yet, CBD isn’t the only beneficial component of hemp.
Phytochemicals are chemicals that come from plants. Combining CBD with other phytochemicals from the same plant, including other cannabinoids, may boost CBD’s effect. The entourage effect means starting a chain reaction of beneficial body processes thanks to all these phytochemicals enhancing each other’s effects.
ENTOURAGE EFFECT DEFINITION
In 2009, Dr. G. Ulrich-Merzenich and Prof. H. Wagner defined the entourage effect as follows:
- Affecting many different parts of the body
- Improving the absorption of the active ingredients
- Overcoming bacterial defense mechanisms (stopping your body from fighting the beneficial effects)
- Minimizing any side effects
The entourage effect helps your body absorb the CBD and other phytochemicals to make the most of the potential benefits.
CBD vs. THC
THC and CBD oil are quite different. THC is a psychoactive substance that can cause a “high” feeling, sensations of disorientation, and a lack of focus. CBD is not psychoactive, so many users take it daily without worrying about it affecting their job, school, or other important aspects of their life.
Some hemp CBD products have minuscule amounts of THC, too small to cause any psychoactive or other effects. This is good news, as combining CBD and THC together can help boost the entourage effect.
SO, CAN I BUY A CBD THC TINCTURE?
The answer is, in a way, you can. Full-spectrum CBD is the best type to look for to achieve the CBD entourage effect. Full-spectrum means the product contains a little of all the Phyto cannabinoids from the hemp plant.
Other chemicals that may enhance the beneficial effects of CBD include:
- Fatty acids
The last two are also cannabinoids like CBD and THC, and altogether they make a much fuller and more beneficial product than CBD alone.
TERPENES AND CBD
Terpenes and phytocannabinoids can work together to help the body in a variety of ways. But what are terpenes? Terpenes are aromatic chemicals that exist within plants. Think of any essential oil you’ve ever smelled; it’s the terpenes that cause the oil to have those fantastic aromas.
Unsurprisingly, it’s also the terpenes that help give essential oils many of their beneficial qualities. For example, the monoterpene limonene is found in citrus peels and has a distinctive orange fragrance. It’s thought to have calming properties, as evidenced in research on mice. More research showed that limonene could potentially reduce blood pressure and the risk of stroke, although studies on humans instead of rodents could be a long way off.
Limonene is also found in the hemp plant. It contributes towards its unique smell and also potentially provides health benefits. It also boosts the effect of the cannabinoids, further enhancing the entourage effect.
Other terpenes found in hemp that contribute towards the entourage effect include:
- Myrcene, which is associated with the reduction of inflammation and pain
- Linalool, associated with relaxation and sleep
- Humulene, which may affect the appetite
- Terpineol, associated with improved mood and memory, particularly spatial memory
WHAT DOES THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT DO
CBD and other cannabinoids work directly on the endocannabinoid system. This is a series of receptors throughout the body that influence:
- Pain levels and perception of pain
- Inflammatory response
CBD hemp products work to gently influence the endocannabinoid system, keeping everything in balance. For example, some users who struggled to eat regularly might find that they suddenly have an appetite again. However, someone who was overeating instead might use CBD to regulate their food intake. This balance within the body’s systems is called homeostasis, and it promotes overall health and wellbeing.
The entourage effect increases CBD’s impact on the endocannabinoid system, helping move the body towards homeostasis faster.
To achieve the entourage effect, always look for full-spectrum CBD products. Some products use CBD isolate, which has had all the other cannabinoids and beneficial phytochemicals removed. You cannot achieve the entourage effect with CBD isolate.
FULL-SPECTRUM HEMP CBD PRODUCTS AVAILABLE
CBD oil is probably the most common way to take CBD. A few drops under the tongue (sublingual) helps the body absorb the full range of beneficial chemicals. There are flavored options like fragrant full spectrum hemp oil with orange blossom flavor for those that aren't sure about CBD’s natural taste.
TOPICAL CBD PRODUCTS
Many people turn to CBD to help with muscular or joint pain. One way to do this is with topical treatments like CBD balms and CBD creams. Combining CBD with other hemp-based phytochemicals like terpenes could boost the anti-inflammatory properties for a more soothing effect.
Lab-tested, full-spectrum CBD gives CBD users the peace of mind that they’re getting the highest quality CBD experience. Plus, with the added benefits of combining those additional phytochemicals, the entourage effect can further boost those benefits.
To achieve the entourage effect, CBD products must contain other phytochemicals from the hemp plant. These chemicals can enhance each other, promoting a more beneficial experience.