What is The Entourage Effect In CBD?
If you are one of the 64 million Americans that have tried CBD products in 2019, then chances are you have heard of the entourage effect.
But, what exactly is the entourage effect, and why should you even care?
When you first heard about the entourage effect, you probably thought it sounded like a marketing term. Let’s be honest; it does sound like an effective advertising hook.The entourage effect, however, is much more than a word used to round up customers.
But let’s address the second question that we posed: why should you care about the entourage effect?
Because it can make a significant difference when it comes to CBD and the impact that it has on your health and your body.
Now that we know understanding the entourage effect is important, let’s get into the juicy details of exactly what this term encompasses.
Is the Entourage Effect Real?
So far, research is showing us that the proposed effects, or benefits, of CBD are scientifically supported. They are possibly even heightened when taken with other naturally occurring phytocannabinoids and compounds, or rather, the full scope of the plant’s naturally occurring compounds. That is because they all work together synergistically, and they all promote each other’s properties.
This is what is known as the entourage effect.
This study from the Jeruselum Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology found that when compared to Isolate CBD, full-spectrum CBD was always more effective.
Marinol is an FDA-approved synthetic THC drug. It is usually prescribed for symptoms resulting from chemotherapy, such as vomiting and nausea. This is an isolated THC. However, it is proving to be far less effective than THC-rich cannabis. Cannabis with naturally occurring THC has been used by many cancer patients to combat the adverse side effects of chemotherapy.
In some cases, the isolated THC, Marinol, has even increased nausea. This case helps to illustrate how isolating certain compounds is not as effective as using them in their natural, full-spectrum state.
When we are looking at the entourage effect and full-spectrum products, most people tend to focus on the two mainstream cannabinoids, THC and CBD. However, these are just two players, and there are many more compounds that contribute to the positive entourage effect.
Included in these compounds, as we mentioned before, are terpenes and flavonoids. The entourage effect extends to all the conspiring chemicals and compounds.
Let’s look a little bit closer at CBD, and see how and why this compound is the star of the show.
What Does CBD Do?
When most people first started hearing about CBD, they most probably wondered, does CBD really do anything?
There are many conditions that CBD is being used to treat, even with limited studies. Although we must state from the get-go that these effects or benefits have not been proven, and more evidence still needs to be conducted.
These are just some conditions that people have been using CBD to treat the following:
– Mood Disorders, including depression and serotonin levels
– Relieve pain
There are more than 400 different components to the cannabis plant, and although CBD is just one of these 400 components, it is one of the most important. This is why you will see many products made from isolated CBD. However, science is showing us that the synergistic effect of all the components combined can have a more significant impact.
What are some of these components?
– Terpenes (the ones responsible for the aroma)
– Flavanoids (the ones responsible for the color)
– Cannabinoids (the two main ones you may have heard of are THC and CBD)
What is the difference between CBD Isolate and Full Spectrum CBD?
Well, we have already covered that full-spectrum CBD contains most of the naturally occurring compounds. CBD isolate products are made with isolated CBD, meaning that it is only CBD and no other terpenes, cannabinoids or flavonoids. CBD isolate can also be produced in a lab.
THC and CBD
Recent studies suggest that CBD could be a potential treatment option for people suffering from depression and other mood disorders. There is no doubt that if you are reading this, you are already familiar with the phytocannabinoid, THC.
One of the primary concerns consumers have about full-spectrum CBD products is whether or not they contain THC- the phytocannabinoid infamous for triggering the psychoactive experience so often associated with cannabis.
THC has a psychotropic chemical structure. Therefore, it is one of the cannabinoids responsible for effecting mood changes. What many people are not aware of is the fact that CBD can work to lower these psychoactive effects. This nature forms part of the entourage effect.
There are broad-spectrum and full-spectrum products that have isolated the THC and have removed it. As well as full-spectrum products that have been created from the hemp plant, which typically contains only trace amounts of THC.
If you are unsure about THC in your full-spectrum products, always check the company’s third-party lab reports. A reputable and trustworthy company will always have these readily available for consumers.
Finding such a company can be a challenge in today’s mass of the marijuana market. We will touch more on how to pinpoint a trustworthy CBD company a little later on.
Most people have a million doubts, and a million questions, about CBD and cannabis products. Let’s take a look now at some of these commonly asked questions.
How Does CBD Affect the Mood?
Researchers are looking into how CBD can be used to treat mood disorders, depression, and other mental health challenges. In order to properly understand how CBD affects mood, we need to look at the endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System’s Role
The endocannabinoid system (the ECS) is a complex network in the body that works as an intricate messaging system. This system is not only found in humans but in all mammals too. The main goal of the ECS is to maintain a state of homeostasis within the body. That is, to ensure that all the body systems (inflammatory responses, brain functions, mood, etc.) are maintained in a balanced state. If these functions go out of balance, then disease and illness manifest.
When it comes to effect mood, scientists discovered that CBD works with the functions that produce serotonin (the mood-regulating hormone). If serotonin levels are not healthy, in the ‘goldilocks’ zone, then mood disorders such as bipolar and depression can result. This is just one way that CBD works in the brain.
How Does CBD Reduce Inflammation?
It is no secret that CBD has been in the spotlight lately. However, one of the central areas of interest is CBD pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. So far, studies show that CBD has these effects due to the impacts on specific cannabinoid receptors and how it communicates with related neurotransmitters.
There is a growing interest in this area, for both consumers and scientists.
How does CBD work for Anxiety?
If you have ever had a cannabis product that is high in THC, you may have noticed an increase in anxiety. In some people, THC can cause people to become anxious and paranoid. As we have already covered, CBD can balance out this anxious effect from THC.
For those that are seeking cannabis products to treat and manage anxiety, then THC-free, full-spectrum CBD products are the best option.
So far, preliminary research is showing us that CBD has promise for relieving anxiety. CBD interacts with the way certain mood-altering hormones are released- hormones that could be connected to anxiety.
In certain animal studies, CBD was beneficial in treating general anxiety. Immediate improvements in physiological symptoms were recorded as well.
The Journal of Psychopharmacology published human studies in 2011 that showed how CBD was able to reduce overall anxiety levels in patients.
Does CBD Isolate Work for Anxiety?
Although studies are showing that full-spectrum CBD is more effective, that does not mean that isolated CBD has no effect whatsoever. CBD isolate can still be used; however, always make sure that you use a quality product that uses safe extraction methods.
If you are looking for CBD Isolate because you are concerned about THC, remember that there is a wealth of full-spectrum CBD products that do not contain any THC.
If presented with the choice, why not use a THC-free, full-spectrum CBD product or a broad spectrum product with the entourage effect?
Does CBD Isolate Show up on a Drug Test?
Most drug tests screen for THC-COOH, so if you use CBD Isolate, then you shouldn’t be concerned about CBD Isolate. Many full-spectrum CBD products will also be safe for a drug test, just ensure that your product has no, or minimal, THC.
Finding the Right Product: Best Cbd Brands For Entourage Effect
Whether you are shopping for full-spectrum CBD products or CBD Isolate, there should be one thing at the top of your list: Quality.
Yes, CBD products can become pricey, and as you shop around, you will find a myriad of products ranging from exorbitantly expensive to dirt cheap. Although you may be tempted to go for the most inexpensive CBD product you can see, stop yourself. Don’t do it.
Well, when it comes to CBD products- it is imperative that you find a trustworthy company making quality products.
While this is true across the consumer board for almost all products, this is especially true when it comes to CBD.
Full-spectrum CBD products that come from hemp are arguably the best option for people who want to avoid THC. But, there is one drawback that comes with hemp; hemp absorbs ‘things’ from its environment that it is growing in. Whether it is nutrients or harmful heavy metals in the soil, the hemp plant will soak it right up.
You can see why this could be a problem. If the hemp is contaminated with all sorts of harmful chemicals and heavy metals, these could wind up in the CBD product.
This is how some companies are able to sell you cheap CBD products; they use hemp that has not been rigorously tested and safely grown. Furthermore, the methods used to extract the cannabinoids and compounds could be unsafe, resulting in residual solvents in the products.
Whenever you are looking for a CBD product, always do your homework and check out their third party test results and products made from organic hemp is recommended.
Best CBD Brands For Entourage Effect
So, what products are the best (in our humble opinion) for the entourage effect? We have two favorites:
– Green Flower Botanicals
CBDfx: an all-round powerhouse
Strengths: 250mg, 500mg, 1000mg
Pricing: $39.99 – $99.99
CBDfx has risen in popularity among the cannabis consumer market because they offer a wide range of products to suit almost every person, and they offer quality that is backed up with easily accessible third party reports. But the thing that makes it even more attractive to consumers? It is a quality product that is competitively priced.
Although they originally began as a simple vape oil additive, they quickly recognized that the market needed more quality products for their customers.
Green Flower Botanicals: your high-end choice
Strengths: 450mg, 900mg, 1800mg, 3600mg
Pricing: These products are considered high-end products, and are slightly more expensive than regular products. However, they offer reasonable pricing for being a high-end product.
What sets green flower botanicals apart is that they offer products based on different strains. IF you are looking for a granddaddy purple CBD oil, for example, you will be able to find this THC-free oil from Green Flower Botanicals.
They offer a range of organic, high-quality oils. What’s more, they place a focus on sustainable hemp farming in the USA and use small-scale, family farmers to source their hemp. All their products are batch tested, and you can view their results on their website.
These strain-specific oils offer more than just a fun name. Each strain is unique and will, therefore, have a defining combination of terpenes and cannabinoids. Some will be more conducive to the successful treatment of anxiety than others, while some (such as the ACDC) will be an excellent choice for those looking to manage inflammation and pain.
And there you have it- the best CBD brands to benefit from the full range of effects, and why you should care in the first place. Remember to always have a chat with your doctor if you are concerned about taking CBD products, especially if you are on existing medications.
Keep your ear to the ground for the latest in cannabis research, this is an exciting time as the industry expands and more studies are conducted into this once misunderstood plant.
Jessica Rosslee is a former journalist that has dedicated her writing skills and passion for communication to the cannabis industry. Jessica has spent her life in the field of wellness and communication, committed to allowing people access to accurate health and wellness information.
As a freelance cannabis writer, Jessica is passionate about free-flowing education for the public and the destigmatization of cannabis.