Entourage Effect & CBD Oil: How the Synergic Effect Enhances CBD
The Entourage Effect is the term used to describe the enhanced effects of cannabinoids, such as CBD, when multiple compounds synergistically work together rather than alone. That synergistic effect is known as the Entourage Effect.
Everyone just knows about CBD or THC, but hemp contains much more than just those two cannabinoids.
Imagine two basketball teams playing against each other. Team red has only one player doing all the shooting, stealing, defending, and rebounding, while team blue has all five players working together doing different things. Which team would win? Obviously team blue will win.
Not All Hemp Extracts Are Equal
Just because two companies manufacture CBD oil does not mean the quality is close in terms of effectiveness and safety.
CBD oil from one company is not the same CBD oil as another. It’s important to understand that many variables come into play to manufacture CBD extracts.
The hemp plants’ genetics, the extraction method, and the parameters used, and the purification process are three of the several crucial parts of the manufacturing process.
The first two parts mentioned can be exceptional. Still, if the purification process cannot retain the essential cannabinoids and lighter compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids, it doesn’t make much of a difference.
Purchasing from a reputable company with extensive knowledge and experience in hemp extraction is crucial to getting a safe but effective product.
Entourage Effect: What Research Shows
It started In 1998 when Professors Raphael Mechoulam and Shimon Ben-Shabat found the Endocannabinoid System demonstrated an “entourage effect” when they noticed the plant compounds significantly increased the activity of our receptors.
These receptors, which interact with our Endocannabinoid System, play a crucial role in regulating and balancing many body processes such as immune response, communication between cells, sleep cycles, memory, and more.
In 2001, two highly notable researchers John McPartland and Ethan Russo, published a paper titled “Cannabis and Cannabis Extracts: Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts.”
This research paper further examines the claims of Professors Mechoulam and Ben-Shabat on how cannabinoids act with secondary compounds, such as terpenes and flavonoids.
Their research found supporting evidence that extracts rich in both cannabinoids and terpenes increased pharmacological activities that strengthened and broadened clinical applications and improved the therapeutic index.
To summarise, terpenes enhance the effects of cannabinoids, and having terpenes intact with cannabinoids shows a noticeable difference in effects.
More than Just CBD – Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids
What are “minor cannabinoids”?
Minor cannabinoids are cannabinoids, just like CBD or THC, found in hemp. Since they are found in much smaller amounts, ranging from 0.01mg to 5-7mg per 1,000mg of extract, they’re considered “minor” cannabinoids.
Although found in minor amounts, they still play a crucial role in the synergistic effects of CBD products. You would be surprised at how they always make a difference even at those minor amounts.
Research studies of minor cannabinoids lacks compared to CBD. However, they still show promising results for what we know. Here are three cannabinoids of the 113 scientists have discovered to date:
What is Cannabigerol (CBG)
CBG is the final form of CBGA, which is sometimes called the “stem cell” cannabinoid. Scientists have researched the potential antimicrobial and digestive benefits of CBG.
What is Cannabinol (CBN)
CBN can be produced by aging THC or converting CBD. Many people who use CBN believe that this cannabinoid has sleep-promoting properties, and CBN has been investigated for its potential neuroprotective benefits.
CBC is a little-known cannabinoid that has been investigated for its potential analgesic benefits. Scientists have researched the activity of CBC at the nervous system’s TRPV1 receptors, which regulate inflammation and pain.
Other notable cannabinoids are Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA), Cannabidivarin (CBDV), Cannabicitran (CBT), or Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are another group of chemical compounds found in hemp and are an essential group of aromatic compounds that give plants their unique fragrance. They’re present in nearly every plant on earth, and anything you can sense and smell from a plant is due to the terpenes present in the plant.
Health Benefits of Terpenes and Role with Cannabinoids
Not only do terpenes play a crucial role in the Entourage Effect, but they hold a wide range of health benefits. Medicinal properties like anticancer, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, antihyperglycemic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antiparasitic.
Here are three terpenes and their benefits:
What is Beta-Caryophyllene
Since it interacts with your brain’s CB2 receptors, beta-caryophyllene works like a cannabinoid. It doesn’t get you high, however, and this terpene is believed to have potent anti-inflammatory benefits.
What is Linalool
Found in lavender as well as hemp, linalool appears to have impressive antimicrobial benefits. This terpene also interacts with your nervous system, and it might help with depression and anxiety.
What is Guaiol
Guaiol has a piney flavor and aroma, and this terpene may offer antiparasitic benefits. Like many other terpenes, guaiol also appears to have antioxidant effects.
What are Flavonoids?
Cannabinoids and terpenes have been showing to take all the spotlight as cannabis and CBD products are being widely used. First, people learn about the other cannabinoids—outside of THC or CBD—then they learn about these fantastic compounds called terpenes. However, there is more that contributes to the entourage effect—flavonoids.
Flavonoids are a group of phytonutrients found in all sorts of fruits, flowers, vegetables, and of course, cannabis & hemp. The primary function of flavonoids is to serve as cell messengers and is also known for giving the plant pigment.
Flavonoids make the yellow of sunflower pop out against a sunny blue sky and give blueberries their name. However, studies have shown these compounds possess many health benefits.
Scientists have identified thousands of them throughout nature, and some are known to be only found in cannabis and hemp. The flavonoids found in hemp and marijuana are called cannaflavins .
In a study conducted in 2011 , they found flavonoids to posses the following properties:
- Lowers risk of heart disease
Summary on Entourage Effect: Enhancing the Effects of CBD Oil
Cannabinoids work better with a combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids versus a CBD product with fewer compounds or, even worse, just pure CBD.
Don’t forget the analogy of the two basketball teams. Which team do you think would win? The team with five players working together to shoot, pass, defend, rebound, or the team with just one player doing everything?
Obviously, the team with five players working together would win.
Why Choose Colorado Botanicals
Our team at Colorado Botanicals holds decades of experience in each part of the hemp manufacturing process. From the farms to growing hemp organically, the post-process of farming in drying the plants to the crucial extraction and purification process to retain as many cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other important plant oils as possible.
If you’re looking for a product that maximizes the full potential of the Entourage Effect, visit our wide variety of products such as our CBD oils , CBD gummies , CBD creams , CBD softgels , or our CBD face mask.
Manufacturing of CBD extracts is not a fixed process, and not all extracts are equal.
To learn more about our high standards and process from seed to exact, make sure to check out our Quality page and our Quality and Consistency blog post. If you want to dive deeper into what makes the best CBD oil, then check out this blog post .
The goal is to extract the most beneficial compounds: the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, with the least heat degradation. All while eliminating unwanted compounds such as the gums, lipids, heavy metals, pesticides, and so on.
Entourage Effect in CBD and Cannabis: What Does It Mean?
Cannabis plants are said to have more than 100 different phytocannabinoids. These phytocannabinoids are naturally occurring cannabinoids that can be found in cannabis plants. As these phytocannabinoids enter one’s body, they act on the receptors found in the endocannabinoid system which, in return, will help in keeping your body in balance.
Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two most popular phytocannabinoids; they occur in the highest concentrations in cannabis — and are responsible for its psychological and physical effects.
There’s an ongoing debate on which is better — THC or CBD? But, recent studies suggest that these two cannabinoids work in tandem to amplify their positive effects while mitigating their unwanted side effects.
This phenomenon is known as the entourage effect — it’s the reason why whole-plant products are considered superior to isolates.
Here’s what you need to know.
What is the Entourage Effect?
The Entourage Effect refers to the theory that when all of the compounds in cannabis plants work together, they can produce better effects than when taken separately.
Cannabinoids and terpenes can contribute to different effects, aromas, and flavors of cannabis. That’s why different cannabis strains have different recommended uses.
The advocates of the entourage effect believe that it can create new features that may not be present in isolated THC or CBD. In addition, there is a possibility that the medicinal effects may be altered or enhanced when multiple cannabis compounds are combined together.
How does this work? The entourage effect can help in enhancing the health benefits of cannabinoids like CBD and THC. It can be through amplifying their effects or expanding the options on how to use them for different health needs.
The entourage effect does not only occur between THC and CBD, as there are more different kinds of cannabinoids found in the plant with unique properties. CBD may be the most popular cannabinoid that is used for health and wellness but its benefits can be boosted through the support of other cannabinoids.
Applicable Examples of the Entourage Effect in CBD Oil
Now that you’re familiar with the entourage effect, let’s take a look at what science has to say about this intriguing phenomenon.
A 2018 meta-analysis showed that 71% of the patients reported that they felt more improvement when they used CBD extracts mixed with other cannabinoids and terpenes. Only 46% reported similar effects with pure CBD.
The study adds that one of its notable observations is the difference in the average daily dose between pure CBD and plant-based CBD. It was revealed that the average daily dose of plant-based CBD is four times lower than the average daily dose of pure CBD. This means that the CBD extract mixed with other cannabinoids is four times more powerful than pure CBD.
There is also a review of studies in 2011 published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, which explored another phytotherapeutic agent in cannabis — terpenes.
Terpenes not only add unique aromas and flavors to the plant, but they also work synergistically with cannabinoids to leverage the entourage effect. They can alleviate physical discomfort, help with mental distress, and improve general well-being.
Earlier in the article, we mentioned that cannabinoids can also mitigate the side effects of one another. The same 2011 review showed that CBD helped in reducing some side effects of THC, including anxiety, sedation, and hunger.
Terpenes and Flavonoids Can Support Brain Health and Beyond
In terms of the entourage effect, it is believed that the terpenes can also help in increasing the effectiveness of phytocannabinoids. But what exactly are terpenes?
Terpenes refer to essential oils that have unique aromas and flavors present in almost every plant on earth. In other words, what you can smell from a plant is due to its terpenes.
When it comes to cannabis plants, their characteristics are often determined according to the concentration of terpenes found in them. Studies suggest that terpenes have a wide range of health benefits including the physical and mental health
There’s also a group of phytonutrients that can be found in a wide array of fruits, flowers, vegetables, and even cannabis and hemp plant called flavonoids. Its primary purpose is to act as cell messengers and to give pigment to the plants. When it comes to hemp and cannabis, their primary flavonoids are called cannaflavins .
A 2011 review states that there is an increase of interest in studying flavonoids due to their health benefits reported by some epidemiological studies . It further suggests that flavonoids possess numerous beneficial properties such as: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective.
Another research suggests that CBD combined with certain phytochemicals such as terpenes and flavonoids has potential benefits for brain health. They showed pro-cognitive, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory effects in cerebral ischemia and neurodegenerative disorders.
Full-spectrum CBD vs. Isolate: Which Is Better?
The entourage effect occurs in full-spectrum CBD products. Full-spectrum CBD contains all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, and trace amounts of THC (0.3% or less).
CBD isolate is just pure CBD that has been separated from other cannabis compounds. It provides the highest concentration of CBD per serving but it also lacks the entourage effect. For that reason, full-spectrum CBD oil remains the preferred format.
When it comes to the health benefits of CBD oil, full-spectrum products will provide more pronounced effects. Isolates, in turn, are better for people who are allergic to certain compounds from hemp, or for those who don’t want to fail a drug test after consuming full-spectrum CBD.
You can still reap the benefits from CBD pure isolate, but they won’t be as potent as with full-spectrum CBD oil.
Final Thoughts on the Entourage Effect
THC and CBD have many health benefits on their own. However, recent studies say their efficacy may increase when you take them together instead of using isolates.
The entourage effect means that you need less CBD to achieve the desired results because the cannabinoid is supported by other compounds from hemp, such as adjunctive cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
By using different ratios of the aforementioned phytochemicals, you can personalize your experience with CBD oil on top of receiving better results from your supplementation.
Although clinical trials are yet to determine the prevalence of the entourage effect in cannabis on large populations, current evidence makes it hard to deny that this phenomenon exists.
Do you believe in the entourage effect? Let us know by leaving a comment!