The entourage effect is one of the most interesting discoveries in recent times when it comes to cannabis plants and their compounds. Advocates of the entourage effect claim that extracts produced from the entire cannabis add to the effectiveness of its health benefits – something that would be impossible with isolated compounds. CBD Entourage Effect
Research has proved otherwise – there are strong indications that full-spectrum cannabis is much more potent in certain cases than its isolated counterparts. Those who advocate the isolation of specific compounds and standardisation of dosages aren’t that positive about these findings, claiming that attaching the entourage effect to all situations is a profound generalisation.
The full spectrum products we know include cannabinoids – even traces of THC – terpenes and other compounds. Then we have the broad-spectrum isolates and extracts, which are a lighter version of the full-spectrum because it contains all the previously mentioned substances except for THC.
Isolates, on the other hand, are pure cannabinoids that have been extracted from the remaining constituents of cannabis. They are completely odorless and flavorless extracts sold in powders or infused into different products such as edibles.
Table of Contents
What do we know about Cannabinoids and Terpenes?
Terpenes are so much more than a source of various fragrances. They are as essential for the entourage effect as cannabinoids.
Recent findings suggest that terpenes are capable of improving how cannabinoids interact with your body when taken together. Some of the most prevalent terpenes found in cannabis are Limonene (also found in citrus fruit) and Alpha-pinene (responsible for producing the festive smell of the Christmas tree).
While both enchant our senses in a way, Alpha-pine is believed to benefit your memory, as well as present potential anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties.
The Actual Entourage Effect
The entourage effect was first discovered in 1998 when researchers noticed that plant compounds significantly increase the activity in our receptors.
These receptors, which interact with our ECS or Endocannabinoid System, play a key role in regulating and harmonising different body processes such as communication between cells, immune response, memory, sleep cycles, and more.
Research has found that extracts rich in both terpenes and cannabinoids enhanced chemical activities that broadened and reinforced clinical applications. While CBD is a powerful compound on its own, it needs a team of supporters to develop its full capabilities – here’s where terpenes enter the scene.
In short, terpenes enhance the effects of cannabinoids and having both interacting shows a noticeable difference in effects.
CBD & THC: the most popular cannabis entourage effect
One of the most cited entourage effects is the relationship between THC and CBD.
While Tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound responsible for the high effects, binds directly to the CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain, Cannabidiol employs different mechanisms to manifest its effects. When combined, CBD reduces THC’s psychoactive effects by blocking the routes of the CB1 receptors to which THC tries to bind, resulting in a lower high.
The research backing CBD’s potential to help take the edge off THC is mounting. For example, the FDA approved a synthetic form of THC necessary for increasing a patient’s appetite.
As you get a better understanding of the interaction between THC, CBD, and the CB1 receptor, you should get an overall view of how the entourage effect works.
While THC works like a key that unlocks the CB1’s receptor’s lock, the CBD competes with THC for its space. As we’ve previously mentioned, the combination of these two compounds leaves little to no receptor for THC to onset. In this case, the popular psychoactive effects of THC, such as increased appetite or temporary anxiety, are modulated.
Washington University researchers claim that Cannabidiol uses at least 14 different mechanisms of action in the brain alone. Even so, it has more than 65 molecular targets. Because CBD acts through a number of pathways, it’s hard to attribute its beneficial properties solely to CB1 occupation.
Now, when vaping different CBD flower strains from OCN or ingesting full-spectrum oil, there are a lot more compounds entering your body.
What are the benefits of THC alone?
While we encourage consumers to do their own research and explore different terpenes and cannabinoids, it’s important to recognize the potential benefits of Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol-only products.
The benefits of THC include:
- Stress relief
- Deep relaxation
- Reduced discomfort and stiffness
- Regulation of the gut microbiome
- Regulation of the sleep cycle
- Improved appetite
When ingested, THC usually reaches its highest peak. For example, when you eat edibles, THC gets metabolised by your liver, transforming into 11-hydroxy-THC. This metabolite is much stronger than THC alone.
What are the benefits of CBD alone?
Cannabidiol has very different effects from THC. The most noticeable example is the lack of intoxication. CBD remains a top choice for users who do not tolerate the intoxicating effects of THC or are afraid of not passing a drug test.
CBD also works wonders as a general supplement as it supports the proper functioning of the endocannabinoid system. CBD is commonly used to relieve:
- Sleep deprivation
- Endocannabinoid deficiencies
CBD also benefits the immune system, improving communication between cells and enhancing its performance.
Before you go…
The entourage effect has generated a lot of buzz lately. If this is possible with all cannabis extract, it may transform the way we use marijuana and hemp-based products forever.
That said, the existence of the entourage effect doesn’t actually mean that CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD is inferior to full-spectrum cannabis products. Nonetheless, the notion that terpenes and cannabinoids are more powerful together than on their own is an intriguing one.