The cannabis plant is an extremely complex organism that contains over 500 different chemical compounds. Many of these elements work together to offer greater benefits as a whole than the benefits of their isolated parts. This phenomenon is known as “The Entourage Effect.”
Let’s answer some questions you’ve had about the science behind this concept.
What are the parts of the cannabis plant?
The main parts of the cannabis plant are cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. These building blocks are what give cannabis the properties that make it so effective and popular.
What are cannabinoids?
Much is said about the popular compounds found in cannabis called cannabinoids, and mostly the “big two”, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabinoids are what provide many of the effects that have made cannabis a solution to so many problems.
While THC and CBD get most of the attention these days, other cannabinoids like CBG, CBN and CBC are also present in most strains of cannabis and are thought to contribute to the Entourage Effect. This could explain why countless cannabis users have reported a considerable supply of health benefits when adding CBD to their daily routines.
What Are Terpenes?
To put it in simple terms, terpenes are the aromatic and flavor molecules in cannabis. Terpenes are sometimes referred to as the “essential oils“ of the cannabis plant. So far, over 100 various terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant and it’s been suggested that they may play a significant role in determining the various effects of cannabis
If you’ve ever smelled cannabis, you know that not all strains have the same scent. Some have a pungent earthy or musky smell and some are super fruity and sweet. Each strain smells differently based upon the type of terpenes they possess.
Strains that smell “fruity”, for example, usually contain higher concentrations of a terpene known as limonene, which happens to be naturally abundant in lemons. Pungent, earthy smelling cannabis strains typically are heavy in a terpene found in black pepper known as beta-caryophyllene.
As is the case with all cannabis research, however, more studies are needed before we fully understand how terpenes may contribute to the many benefits CBD offers.
What are Flavonoids?
Compounds that give plants their color, attract pollinators and filter out UV rays are called flavonoids. Studies show that flavonoids regulate cellular activity and fight off free radicals that cause oxidative stress on your body. They help the body function more efficiently while protecting it against everyday toxins and stressors and are also powerful antioxidant agents.
Certain flavonoids are pharmacologically active with studies showing that they possess anti-inflammatory properties that might be stronger than those found in Aspirin.
Where did the term “Entourage Effect” come from?
Although cannabis has been used as a tool to treat numerous medical issues for centuries, the “Entourage Effect” is relatively new concept.
In 1998, Israeli Professors Shimon Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam coined the term, the “Entourage Effect” as a way to describe the synergistic way the ingredients in cannabis affect one another and work together. The term was such an apt description that is was soon employed by other scientists and is a fairly common term today.
Can you give me an example of how it works?
So, the Entourage Effect can be illustrated as follows: if you were to consume 15mg of straight CBD isolate, the effect would be lower than if you took 15mg of CBD in a mixture that contains other elements and cannabinoids. This doesn’t state that the CBD on its own doesn’t have any effect; only that its effects are enhanced when in the presence of other parts of the cannabis plant.
Do all types of CBD cause The Entourage Effect?
Not all forms of CBD produce the same effects. After the CBD oil is extracted from the plant it is offered in one of three forms: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolate, depending on its composition.
- Full spectrum CBD oil has had none of the cannabinoids removed, including the psychoactive elements (THC).
- A further refinement of the oil takes out the unwanted cannabinoids like THC but keeps the benefit-rich compounds that help create the aforementioned “Entourage Effect”. CBD in this form is considered “broad spectrum”. Usually, the only compound that has been removed from a broad spectrum CBD product is THC. All the other beneficial compounds that lend to the “Entourage Effect” remain.
- The third type of CBD is called “isolate“ and is 99+% pure CBD, offering none of the other cannabinoids. While isolate may be the best choice for consumers who have a particular sensitivity to certain cannabinoids, the results won’t result in the Entourage Effect and, therefore, may not be as promising as they would be with full spectrum or broad spectrum products. Broad spectrum CBD gives consumers all the benefits of the entourage effect without having to consume the potentially problematic presence of THC. It’s an excellent choice for those people that can’t or don’t want THC in their system, whether for legal, professional or personal reasons.
How does the Entourage Effect help CBD users?
What’s great about this phenomenon is that it can manifest itself in a myriad of positive ways. As you would expect, the different cannabis compounds when mixed together produce various effects on the body. There’s a fascinating study done by neurologist Ethan Russo outlining the effects cannabis compounds have upon the body. His findings were so promising that he stated, “A better future via cannabis phytochemistry may be an achievable goal through further research of the entourage effect in this versatile plant that may help it fulfil its promise as a pharmacological treasure trove.”
Do pets experience the Entourage Effect?
In humans, CBD interacts with their Endocannabinoid System in a way that promotes homeostasis and stability and because we know that pets, too, possess the ECS, it’s suggested that CBD affects animals in a similar manner.
In both humans AND pets, the Endocannabinoid System is responsible for, among other things, balance, coordination, appetite, memory and muscle movements. An imbalance in the ECS can manifest itself in a variety of ways causing sleep issues, anxiety, depression, physical pain and digestive problems, especially in senior pets.
The complexity and degree of the Entourage Effect experienced by your pet will differ depending on the quality and type of pet products you choose to give your pet.
How can I try CBD and reap the benefits of the Entourage Effect?
Our Premium broad spectrum CBD products are very reasonably priced because we want to give everyone the opportunity to experience the many benefits the Entourage Effect offers. We have pride in the Purelix Wellness brand and can’t wait for you to experience the many benefits of CBD!