The “Entourage Effect” and CBD - what is it and how does it occur?
What is the ‘entourage effect’?
The “Entourage Effect” is a term that describes the enhanced effects that a person will get when multiple cannabinoids synergistically work together, in comparison to them working alone. This “accompanying“ effect is the sum of all the effects that the different compounds in hemp can produce, but in relation to each other.
There are some contradictory views on the subject - but there are clear indications that full-spectrum extracts can sometimes be more effective than any of the isolated compounds.
So what’s the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolates? Full spectrum extracts (like our cold-pressed CBD products) are those that contain amounts of other cannabinoids such as THC, CBN, CBG among more than 104 others found in the plant, as well as containing terpenes and other compounds. Broad spectrum is close to full-spectrum, however it doesn’t contain THC, one of the more studied compounds. Isolate refers to cannabinoids that have been separated from the plant by themselves which can then be used or infused into other things.
What are the different compounds that contribute towards the Entourage Effect?
As we previously mentioned, there are a wide range of cannabinoids present in the plant - but that’s not all! There are other natural compounds within it that each have a variety of properties
Flavonoids are chemicals that are present in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and other plant life, and are also a type of natural chemical compound that plants produce called phytonutrients. These are what contributes to a plant's appearance - when you see a bright coloured fruit you can contribute that colour to the flavonoids within. Further to this, they also contribute to and affect the plant's taste.
Scientists have, in recent years, found that a lot of health benefits that are associated with fruits and vegetables are actually due to the flavonoids within them. Some of these have been linked specifically to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the human body.
As said in CBDoil.co.uk - while flavonoids are responsible for the appearance of plants, fruits and vegetables - terpenes are the compounds that contribute more to their scent. Terpenes have aromatic effects and in the case of the Hemp plant it is what gives it the unique and easily recognisable scent.
Similar to flavonoids, terpenes have shown that they can act as a form of pain relief, as well as have a positive effect on mood with anxiety and stress relief.
There are around 200 known Terpenes in Cannabis plants, but not all of them occur in concentrations big enough to have any effects. The ten most abundant terpenes in the plant are:
Ref: GoldBee (https://goldbee.com/cbd-entourage-effect/)
As we mentioned though, these terpenes don’t just affect the aroma of the plant, but have a host of health benefits including:
- Improving blood circulation
- Appetite regulation
- Relief from nausea
- Boosting your cognitive functions
- Stress reduction
- Pain relief
First mentioned by a pair of scientists back in 1998, Raphael Mechoulam and Shimon Ben-Shabat, it was proposed that the endocannabinoid system could manifest the ‘entourage effect’ - and that there were a number of ‘inactive’ molecules and compounds that enhanced the effects of the major cannabinoids, and subsequently made it evident that this was why full-spectrum medications were often more effective than isolated compounds used for the same reasons.
So for CBD users out there that have been buying full-spectrum products - it’s not just the CBD that’s helping you, it’s a combination of all of the compounds, flavonoids and terpenes working together. It may also be the reason that you get more benefit out of the product than someone who is buying broad-spectrum or isolated CBD!