If you are fresh to cannabis, you might not know CBD, THC, and terpenes. They are part and parcel of the cannabis plants, and everyone, including expert and novice consumers, must know about them. Whenever you take a very close look at the cannabis buds, there are several things that you will observe. You will realize that the buds have a sticky and shiny resin. In this resin, there exist hundreds of different therapeutic compounds. All of these contribute to the benefits and effects of cannabis.
THC and CBD are just part of the many compounds of this plant. This brings us to the question of, “what is the entourage effect?” The theory in which different compounds in cannabis work together for unique benefits and effects is known as the entourage effect. It is believed that this effect is more significant compared to when all these compounds work separately.
What is the Entourage Effect?
This refers to the idea that molecules occurring together in nature interact in beneficial ways. For cannabis, it implies that the advantage of using the whole plant has a higher medical value as opposed to only consuming cannabinoids separately. As you might already know, cannabis has so many compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and cannabinoid acids, to name a few. The molecular compounds also exist naturally in other plants and insects alike.
Terpenes are a single aspect of cannabis plants. These are natural oils with a particular viscosity and aroma. The terpenes and cannabinoids like THC and CBD work together to optimize the benefits to your body. According to lab reports, CBD and THC work well individually, but the outcomes are even better when they work together.
How Does the Entourage Effect Work?
To your surprise, there is much more into cannabis apart from CBD and THC. This is a plant that has so many compounds known as cannabinoids that have unique properties each. From a wellness point of view, CBD could be the most beneficial compound of cannabis plants. All the same, the support of other compounds helps boost its performance and its positive impact on the ECS. You should, therefore, never get surprised when you find people opting for full-spectrum CBD for their wellness.
Full-spectrum CBD has a diverse cannabinoid content. For this reason, it maximizes the chances of the plant when it enters your body. This is something that is never experienced by CBD isolate users. If you are in this class, you need to try exploring more cannabinoids that cannabis plants have. With full-spectrum CBD, you will see the entourage effect manifesting itself.
Even though CBD will interact with CB receptors, it will not bind to them, which is unusual among cannabinoids. When you use broad or full-spectrum CBD oil, you consume so many cannabinoids. These bind to receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems. The entourage effect can be explained as an enhancement of the endocannabinoid system via multiple cannabinoids.
What Does the Research Say?
According to research, using phytocannabinoids along with terpenes could provide extra therapeutic benefits. Several conditions have been studied concerning the entourage effect. It was found out that using terpenes together with phytocannabinoids could be beneficial for conditions like:
- Fungal infection
CBD could also help in reducing the intoxicating effects brought about by THC. After taking THC, some people experience side effects such as hunger, sedation, and anxiety. According to human and rat studies, CBD could greatly benefit from such side effects.
Phytochemicals including flavonoids and terpenes are also believed to be beneficial for the health of the brain. According to research, some terpenes and flavonoids could offer anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Researchers have proposed that such compounds could improve the potential of CBD’s therapeutic benefits.
Like we know concerning medical marijuana, the theory explaining the entourage effect remains a properly-supported theory as of now. It is good to note that not every research has found enough evidence to support the theory. This should not, however, mean that the entourage effect is entirely inexistent. It only means that there is a need for more research.
Entourage Effect with CBD & THC
Among the leading theories that have made researchers develop much interest in cannabis is the entourage effect. It has been shown that terpenes, for example, allow cannabinoids to pass through your bloodstream quickly. Apart from that, terpenes could also work to fight memory loss caused by THC and helping you to relieve stress and relax. This is a better explanation of the entourage effect. By THC and CBD work together, you end up feeling better.
Like teammates do, both THC and CBD help each other become the best versions of themselves. It is, however, essential to note that our bodies are different. This, therefore, means that a CBD to THC ratio of 1:3 could help some people get better sleep, but that can lead to more effects than they expected. In this regard, a CBD to THC ratio of 3:1 or 30:1 could be a good option for you. This is due to the simple reason that CBD will counterbalance THC’s intoxicating effects. With that, you will have that restful sleep that you have been looking for.
Cannabinoids and Terpenes Potentially Work Together
The entourage effect theory is explained well in the famous review dubbed “Taming THC.” This review was done by Dr. Russo, who has studied cannabis compounds to understand how they affect the human body. Some of the potential synergies in this review include:
- The pine-scented terpene Pinene might help counter the compromised memory brought about by THC.
- CBD along with citrus-scented terpene limonene could work hand in hand to alleviate anxiety.
- THC together with CBN could potentially have enhanced sedating effects.
- CBD, along with peppery terpene called Caryophyllene, might be beneficial in treating addiction.
We maintain that the entourage effect is an unproven theory. All the same, more research is expected since cannabinoids and terpenes have become of interest among consumers.
The Endocannabinoid System & Entourage Effect
The Endocannabinoid System, commonly known as the ECS, can be thought of like air traffic control in our bodies. This is responsible for controlling the physiological processes that include appetite, mood, pain sensations, and memory. Your ECS has 2 primary cannabinoid receptors, which are the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
What you will find concentrated in the brain and the central nervous system are the CB1 receptors. CB2 receptors are abundant in the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and peripheral nervous systems. Cannabis has natural phytonutrients and cannabinoids that communicate with the signal receptors for the ECS. This helps to lower minor aches, normal inflammation, and acute discomfort.
Cannabinoids and the endocannabinoids that occur naturally affect us when they bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body. When you think of cannabinoids like CBN, THC, and CBD as keys, CB receptors will be the corresponding locks where they fit. It is the interactions that have made researchers gain interest in cannabinoids.
Hopefully, this is going to lead to medical discoveries in the future as research continues. The effects of these cannabinoids will vary based on the location of the receptors that will be stimulated. It is also good to note that products that offer the full spectrum of a plant’s cannabinoids and terpene profile interact well with the ECS.
The Bottom Line
We hope this piece has got you the information you need now that we have explained the entourage effect. Understanding this will help you understand the different forms of CBD available and how each type could be of benefit to you. Most importantly, buyers will be able to make wise buying decisions when it comes to CBD products.
You have learned that terpenoids and cannabinoids could interact to bring the entourage effect. Some evidence shows that THC and CBD work greater in conjunction with one another than working individually. However, the bottom line is that the entourage effect is still a theory. More research into cannabis plants and their composition will therefore be needed in this regard.
Carlos B. graduated from Oxford in 2014 after pursuing biological sciences, and his passion has been so much about health and lifestyle. He later quits his career as a health consultant to focus on writing. His love for hemp and endless possibilities, including the practical medicinal functions in making CBD is among the reasons he now writes about it. Carlos is an informative writer that delivers timely content about hemp, its uses, and its potentials of hemp. He enjoys his leisure time visiting the people suffering neurological conditions and advises them on the best practices that can change their lives.