Due to the popularity CBD has gained over the last few years, it has become common for many new users to assume that CBD is the most powerful cannabinoid or that it is more effective when used alone.
This is a common misconception. CBD is certainly a powerful compound; however, when multiple cannabinoids are combined, they deliver what’s known as the “Entourage Effect.”
What Is the Entourage Effect?
The Entourage Effect is a term used to describe the intensified effects that occur when more than 80 cannabinoids and over 100 terpenes work together in synergy. The cannabinoids and terpenes work together to produce the healing effect for which it’s most recognized. The entourage effect also helps to neutralize the psychoactive effects of cannabis, as these can be too intense to deal with alone.
When these separate components stand alone, they aren’t as strong as when they are mixed together; hence the word “entourage.” They’re better when they’re together as a team, rather than in individual parts.
So, if you were to have 25mg of CBD in the purest form, it would have a lesser effect than if you took 25mg of CBD in a mix with other cannabinoids. Of course, this doesn’t mean that CBD doesn’t have any effect; it just means that the effects themselves are enhanced in the presence of other cannabinoids.
The entourage effect affects the body in a number of ways, and a couple of those include:
Effectiveness. Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body. The idea is that a particular cannabinoid works with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system when in the presence of other cannabinoids.
Potency. The main psychoactive constituent of cannabis is THC, and it’s this that gives the “high” that users seek when they use it. The strength is higher when in the presence of other cannabinoids, but CBD has been shown to reduce the effectiveness of THC.
Why is the Entourage Effect is Important
When you understand the individual components that are involved in the marijuana plant and how they work together, you can understand the benefits to the marijuana community. Terpenes, for example, give cannabis its scent and taste, but they also are responsible for the way that cannabinoids bind to their respective receptors. This then changes the way cannabinoids take effect on the inside.
Terpenes act alongside the cannabinoids to promote the various benefits medically. Terpenes are known to have healing properties, and these include:
- Reducing inflammation
- Increased sedation
- Pain relief
- Reduction in depression and anxiety
When terpenes partner with cannabinoids, they are far more effective. This is because they change the way the already beneficial cannabinoids function. Most of the research into cannabis can indicate which cannabinoids and terpenes are good for which symptoms.
When we understand how the components all work together and the ways in which they support one another, we understand how new strains are developed that can tailor to individual needs directly.
The Benefits of the Entourage Effect
Many people who like to experiment with marijuana want to know how the entourage effect can help them. It’s brilliant for manifesting itself in a variety of ways, and when different compounds are mixed together, different effects happen on the body. Here are some examples:
This is one of the terpenes, and it improves cognition and memory affected by THC.
Pinene, Myrcene, Caryophyllene
This combination can contribute to anxiety relief.
THC + CBN
CBN is another cannabinoid, and when these two work together, you can experience feelings of sedation and relaxation.
These are only a couple of great examples that you can experience with marijuana, but the synergies are only just beginning to be understood. The restrictions on marijuana make the research harder to do, but over the next few years, we should be able to go beyond scratching the surface and have more knowledge about the entourage effect and what you experience with it.
How to Get the Optimal “Entourage Effect”
Not everyone is convinced that the entourage effect is a real thing, but if you believe that it is a genuine occurrence, then you should go forward with focusing on how you can get the most out of your cannabis experience. The easiest ways to do this are smoking, vaping, or CBD oil.
Fresh herb has almost 100 cannabinoids within it and even more terpenes than that. The crop has a good balance, and there is a huge variety. The only way you won’t receive the entourage effect is if it has been modified to lean more in one direction versus another. It’s best to go the pure route.
The Entourage Effect in Various CBD Products
There are several types of CBD to choose from, and the impact of the entourage effect varies depending on the type of CBD that you use, so let’s explore!
CBD in its purest form is produced by isolating CBD and taking away every other compound and substance from the extract. There’s nothing else included in the product except CBD. You won’t get the entourage effect when you use CBD isolate, though you will still get the benefits of CBD.
This is produced by taking out all of the terpenes and cannabinoids found in cannabis. Full-spectrum CBD has a huge range of cannabinoids and terpenes, delivering a powerful entourage effect. The drawback for some is that there is THC included.
This is a mix between full-spectrum and CBD isolate. It’s produced by taking out the full range of terpenes and cannabinoids in the plant. There is also an added process to remove all THC traces. You won’t get the entourage effect from broad-spectrum CBD products.
Much more research is necessary to know whether there is any more evidence for the entourage effect, but so far, it can be said that there are those who do experience it from time to time.