If you’ve been reading our blog for a bit, you likely know about the benefits of full spectrum CBD products, which contain all of the cannabinoids naturally found in the hemp plant. These products are high in CBD, but only contain trace amounts of the other cannabinoids, and are especially low in THC (less than 0.3%). Even with these low amounts, the overall composition provides the “entourage effect.” This is what makes full spectrum products significantly more effective than products derived from CBD isolate, as those products contain only the isolated CBD molecule.
But, what is the entourage effect and why is it so important?
What is the Entourage Effect?
The Entourage Effect is produced from the cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and fatty acids present in the cannabis plant working synergistically together to amplify the effects of the product.
In plain English: The Entourage Effect is the benefit achieved by consuming multiple cannabis compounds at once instead of consuming the compounds individually.
The cannabis plant contains approximately 113 cannabinoids, of which CBD and THC are the most abundant and most researched. Other salient compounds include terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids.
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in cannabis, as well as in all other plants. They give the plants (and different cannabis strains) their different scents. Terpenes are therapeutic. In fact, aromatherapy is centered around terpenes.
Flavonoids are plant nutrients that give plants their bright rainbow of colors. The most well-known flavonoids are catechins (found in tea) and quercetin (found in cannabis, as well as in fruits and vegetables). Flavonoids offer benefits of their own, being antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory.
Fatty acids, like Omega-3, offer several benefits for our health. This includes keeping our skin soft and supple, keeping hair healthy, fighting inflammation, protecting against sun damage, being anti-aging, and more.
How the Entourage Effect Happens
Our bodies have a naturally occurring endocannabinoid system that regulates a wide range of physiological processes that include, but are not limited to, mood, memory, sleep, and appetite. When a cannabinoid deficiency takes place, the risk of disease increases.
When cannabis is consumed, the cannabinoids bind to the endocannabinoid system’s cannabinoid receptors, which are most abundant in the brain, immune system, and skin. The effects the cannabinoids have on the body differ based on which receptor they bind to, as this tells the body to produce more or less of certain chemicals. Furthermore, the different ratio of cannabinoids ingested has a different effect on the body.
Terpenes may enhance the effect these cannabinoids and other compounds have on the receptors, in addition to each one producing its own unique effects on the body. This is why using each compound in synergy together produces the highest impact — the entourage effect.
Example of the Entourage Effect
One of the best examples of the entourage effect is the interaction between CBD and THC. When someone consumes strains high in THC, but very low (or non-existent) in CBD, they get a high that can come with some unpleasant side effects, such as anxiety and paranoia. When CBD is introduced, these unpleasant side effects are counteracted, and the person feels a lot more calm – but also less high.
CBD can both counteract the negative effects of THC and amplify the benefits.
Other Important Cannabinoids
Other key cannabinoids found in cannabis, which includes hemp and marijuana, are:
- Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA) – This cannabinoid converts to THC when heat is applied.
- Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA) – This cannabinoid is similar to THCA and is the main cannabinoid in cannabis with high CBD levels. CBDA contributes to cannabis’ anti-inflammatory effects.
- Cannabinol (CBN) – This cannabinoid is mildly psychoactive and is produced from the degradation of THC. This process often causes a sedative effect.
- Cannabigerol (CBG) – This non-psychoactive cannabinoid has antibacterial effects.
- Cannabichromene (CBC) – This cannabinoid relieves pain and inflammation, inhibits cancerous / tumor cell growth, and promotes bone health.
- Cannabidivarin (CBDV) – Research is still new on this cannabinoid, but it has promising effects on epilepsy.
- Anandamide – This is an endocannabinoid (produced by the body) is an analog of THC and is known as the “bliss molecule”. It’s your body’s unique version of THC, and is very similar in chemical composition. It even binds to the same receptors. This endocannabinoid plays a key role in many physiological processes including appetite, pain, and fertility. This endocannabinoid is enhanced when other cannabinoids and terpenes are introduced. Specifically, CBD increases your body’s anandamide levels. CBD inhibits the enzyme that breaks down this endocannabinoid, thus allowing it to stay in your system and reach higher levels, thereby releasing more of its uplifting effects.
How to Experience the Entourage Effect
If you are trying to experience the entourage effect – the maximum benefit of all the compounds working together – you want to look for full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD products. Full spectrum will contain less than 0.3% THC, whereas broad spectrum products will not contain any THC. Both products still contain a variety of terpenes, other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and other fatty acids. Avoid products made with CBD isolate if you want the entourage effect.
Full Spectrum CBD Products for the Entourage Effect
The best full spectrum CBD products contain all the compounds found within the cannabis plant. Hemp-derived CBD products will contain less than 0.3% THC when they are full-spectrum. This means there will be no high or stoned feeling, but will instead increase the potential for the entourage effect to take place.
Full spectrum CBD products contain all of the important compounds, each one contributing to the entourage effect. This is why all of our Rēl Hemp products are full spectrum, as they are designed to bring you the maximum benefit.
Looking for the entourage effect?
Rēl Hemp Full Spectrum CBD products include:
- CBD tincture
- CBD body butter
- CBD topical balm
- CBD tension relief roll-ons
- CBD flower
This blog post is not intended as medical advice. These products are not intended to cure, diagnose, or otherwise treat any disease. Always check with your physician before beginning a new dietary supplement program.