The Entourage Effect is one of the most foundational subjects in cannabis education. Learn all about this amazing concept and find out how to incorporate it into your lifestyle in our latest guide.
In your search for deep knowledge of CBD and smoking hemp, there’s no doubt you’ve stumbled upon a mention of “the entourage effect.” You probably found yourself a bit perplexed, possibly wondering if the phrase had something to do with smoking hemp with your own entourage of buddies. As fun as that sounds, the true entourage effect doesn’t involve anything but your own body and all those goodies tucked into that hemp flower you may be smoking.
What Is the Entourage Effect? Seriously, It’s Simple
The cannabis entourage effect refers to a proposed theory that the many compounds found in cannabis plants like hemp work together. And, the adage here is usually that these compounds may deliver more profound effects when consumed together instead of alone.
Imagine your own entourage (probably envisioned earlier, passing a hemp pre-roll in a circle). You get in a room together, and everything is amplified; each member has their own personality, brings something unique to the table. But the group as a whole is something pretty amazing. Now, pluck out those entourage members one by one, place them in a room alone. These people become individuals, they’re different, they don’t play off of one another’s thoughts, senses of humor, or words.
The cannabis entourage effect is essentially the same; all parts of the plant working together, highlighting one another, and at times, balancing one another.
Hemp Can Be Broken Down Into Fascinating Bits
Take your pick of a type of plant, even a blade of grass. If you could run that plant through a machine that carefully separated everything the plant was comprised of, you would end up with several constituents. Hemp, just like every other plant, is comprised of interesting constituents that, simply put, make the plant what it is. While any plant can be made up of a number of constituents, hemp contains something not all plants have: Cannabinoids. In addition to cannabinoids, hemp also contains phytochemicals like most plants.
Hemp is unique in that it contains a long list of cannabinoids and in a higher concentration than most other plants. Contrary to popular belief, some other plant species beyond cannabis contain these chemical compounds, including cacao, coneflower, and black pepper plants. The list of discovered cannabinoids in cannabis plants has reached 144, and each is suspected of interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in its own unique way. For example, one cannabinoid may bind to receptors in the nervous system while others seem to attach to receptors in the peripheral nervous system.
CBD (cannabidiol) is only one type of cannabinoid, and the one hemp is most known for boasting in high concentrations. However, several other cannabinoids are well-known among the cannabis family of plants as well, such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBG (cannabigerol).
Phytochemicals (Phyto basically being a stand-in for “plant”) are abundant in all plants. These compounds are responsible for giving plants their particular colors, flavors, and even smells. For example, phytochemicals are directly responsible for the vibrant neon color of orange carrots and the spicy bite to jalapeno peppers. Some scientists believe there could be as many as 5,000 different phytochemicals in plants, but the majority of them have never been explored for their potential benefits to human health. Just like most plants, hemp is chock-full of phytochemicals. Specifically, terpenes and flavonoids.
Flavonoids and terpenes, as you may suspect, give all cannabis plants their unique flavor profiles. This explains why something like a Hawaiian Haze strain may have a sweet flavor or aroma and another strain like Sour Space Candy may deliver a slightly tart flavor and citrusy aroma.
A Brief Overview of the ECS System
To really understand the entourage effect, you have to briefly get to know the ECS. All mammals have one of these complicated systems, which is comprised of cannabinoid receptors poised in the brain, organs, and even the immune system and bodily produced endocannabinoids. The ECS receptors all respond to both endocannabinoids and cannabinoids (both highly similar) in different ways.
The ECS as a whole is thought to play an important role in everything from sleep cycles and metabolization of glucose to mood and inflammation. CBD, as just one cannabinoid example, seems to support the production of the body’s own endocannabinoids. Overall, the ECS has been thought to control homeostasis or balance in the body.
What Science Has Shown Us About the Entourage Effect
By now, you probably have a lot of questions, especially when it comes to the CBD entourage effect. What we do know is phytocannabinoids and terpenes together may provide specific benefits. A review published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found the synergy between the two may be especially helpful for things like pain, anxiety, fungal infections, and even cancer.
If you strip down CBD to its bare-bones, isolate form, you would be missing out on those phytochemicals like terpenes and flavonoids. Some research has speculated that these compounds alone may have certain protective qualities for the nervous system and may reduce inflammation. Further, the compounds were proposed to possibly improve the therapeutic qualities of CBD when taken together with the cannabinoid.
Some cannabinoids may even balance one another where undesirable side effects are concerned. For example, CBD seems to counteract some of the negative effects of THC, such as anxiety or fatigue.
So, All Things Considered, Is Full-Spectrum CBD Best?
That is the hot question of the decade, and the real answer is yet to be determined. Of course, using a full-spectrum CBD product means you are not just getting CBD; you’re getting those complementary cannabinoids and phytochemicals as well. In theory, this could mean you are getting a host of important agents working together for the greater good of your mind and body thanks to the entourage effect.
In truth, each constituent’s profile is so diverse, and each constituent’s relationship to the next is so under-studied, it is hard to give a definitive answer. Pair that with the fact that every hemp product is going to yield different cannabinoid-phytochemical combinations, and you have innumerable possibilities. Good evidence shows that you are likely going to see a better outcome with a full-spectrum CBD product. The question lies in just where you will benefit and how much, according to the profile of the plant consumed and your own ECS system.
Ready to Discover the Entourage Effect for Yourself?
The newly legal status of hemp and newfound interest in cannabis constituents like CBD has made it possible for new doors to be opened in the world of research. No doubt, the longer hemp is around and the more acceptable it grows as a beneficial product, the more we will all know about the entourage effect and precisely how it could benefit humans. If you’re ready to try out CBD hemp flower for yourself, check out our smokable hemp flower, hemp pre-rolls, and more from TIMBR Organics.
Thanks for joining us for our latest article! I hope that it helped to provide you with valuable information about the Entourage Effect and how you can use it to enhance your lifestyle.
If you have any questions or comments about this article, please share your thoughts with our team in the comments!
This article is not intended to serve as a substitute for advice or consultation from a certified doctor or health professional. Before trying CBD or hemp flower products, it is strongly advised to conduct your own research and consult with a licensed doctor. While the World Health Organization considers cannabidiol to be “generally well tolerated with a good safely profile,” more research is needed to properly evaluate the safety and efficacy of CBD for general use.