In 1998, famous scientists Raphael Mechoulam and Simon Ben-Shabat first mentioned the entourage effect. According to a study they had concluded, the human endocannabinoid system experienced heightened endocannabinoid activity. This resulted from various inactive compounds and other related compounds working together. Cannabis researcher Ethan Russo further advanced this phenomenon.
In 2011, Russo conducted a study on full-spectrum CBD to investigate the authenticity of the entourage effect. The conclusion was that cannabinoids and terpenes work in synergy with each other and other compounds in cannabis plants to produce advanced therapeutic benefits. In 2019, Ethan Russo further looked into the entourage effect by reviewing multiple studies and concluded that full-spectrum CBD products offered consumers enhanced benefits compared to isolates. So, what is the entourage effect? This piece covers everything you need to know about this phenomenon and how to apply it to your advantage.
What is the entourage effect?
This refers to the synergy of effects experienced when consumers take full-spectrum CBD. It is believed that cannabis compounds – cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and essential oils – work together to heighten the overall benefits of the CBD product. For example, individuals experience heightened relief from stress and extra physical comfort through the entourage effect. These extra compounds help CBD attain its full potential. This increased efficacy is provided by whole plant extracts (full-spectrum) as opposed to isolates.
What cannabis compounds contribute to the entourage effect?
CBD is the main ingredient in a full-spectrum CBD product. The cannabinoid is the most abundant compound in hemp and the second most abundant in marijuana. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that counters the psychoactive properties of THC. Unlike THC, CBN, CBC, and CBA, CBD does not directly bind with the endocannabinoid receptors. Instead, it interacts with the ECS at multiple molecular levels to provide the following therapeutic benefits;
- Relief from stress and depression
- Sleep promotion
- Suppressing psychosis
- Relief from physical discomfort
- Correcting ECS deficiencies
There has to be other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the entourage effect to be effective. Cannabinoids THC (0.3% or lower), CBN, CBG, CBC, and their acidic precursors add to this phenomenon. As highlighted above, each of these compounds interacts with the ECS to intensify CBD’s benefits.
There are more than 400 terpenes present in cannabis plants. They are divided into three categories, depending on the number of repeating units of the isoprene molecule: monoterpenes, diterpenes, and sesquiterpenes. Top terpenes include myrcene, limonene, caryophyllene, humulene, pinene, terpineol, and pinene. These are aromatic compounds that give cannabis plants their flavor and aroma. Additionally, terpenes have potent therapeutic potential. When combined with cannabinoids, terpenes offer a myriad of health benefits such as;
- Reduced stress
- Appetite stimulation
- Relief from physical discomfort
- Boost cognitive function
- Promote blood circulation
- Sleep regulation
- Alleviates nausea and vomiting
Flavonoids are the compounds behind the pigmentation of plants, including cannabis. Besides this function, these flavonoids offer a host of medical benefits that include;
- Antioxidant properties
- Improved blood circulation
- Blood pressure regulation
Older studies supporting the entourage effect
Besides the studies highlighted at the beginning of this piece, numerous older studies support the entourage effect. The first is a 1981 study investigating how the CBD and THC content affected the activity of cannabis plants. According to the results, full-spectrum cannabis extract provided more than three times the activity compared to THC on its own. Additionally, the researchers noted that CBD’s ability to inhibit THC’s psychoactive effects helped improve the overall synergetic benefits. This conclusion goes hand in hand with the mountain of anecdotal evidence available.
A much older study conducted in 1976 tested the effects of THC when combined with CBD. The study involved 15 participants. The scientists observed that when administered together, CBD helped to attenuate the euphoric effects of THC in 73% of the participants. When taken alone, CBD did not display the same parameters when combined with THC. Though not conclusive, this study shone a light on the THC-CBD balancing properties and how this comes into play in promoting the entourage effect.
Numerous studies support the phenomenon of the entourage effect. However, few studies suggest otherwise. Additional research, specifically focusing on the entourage effect, is warranted.
While the full potential of the entourage effect is experienced with whole-plant extracts, it does not mean that other types of CBD products do not have efficient therapeutic benefits. Broad-spectrum products provide a mild entourage effect due to the lack of THC. Isolates are pure compounds that offer specific benefits. Both compounds are an excellent choice for anyone with low THC tolerance or afraid of failing a drug test. The entourage effect is not designed to undermine the effectiveness of broad-spectrum and isolate CBD products.
Advanced research into the entourage effect will allow scientists, retailers, and consumers to understand the phenomenon better. This way, it will be easy to leverage the entourage effect to meet the specialized needs of consumers.
Where to buy full-spectrum CBD in bulk and wholesale
Weedutch is a leading manufacturer and wholesale/bulk distributor of medical cannabis products. We stock a comprehensive collection of full-spectrum CBD, including full-spectrum oils, crude paste, distillates, and vape liquids. We offer the most competitive prices to brands looking to create a line of top-quality, pure, and potent full-spectrum products.
We also custom make orders to meet business and consumer needs, giving your brand a competitive advantage. Besides full-spectrum products, we also sell bulk CBD oils, THC-free crude paste, isolates, vape extracts, flowers, and hash. Make the first step towards working with a reliable partner by visiting our website today. We are looking forward to working with you!