Hang out in the hemp space long enough and you’re sure to hear a thing or two about the entourage effect. It’s become a big buzzword in the CBD space for a good reason. The entourage effect has everything to do with just how effective hemp oil really is.
What is the entourage effect? We’re glad you asked.
What Is The Entourage Effect?
The concept of the entourage effect is simple. It suggests that various cannabis compounds work better together than they do alone. We believe that nature offers everything we need to thrive and live a healthy life, and the entourage effect is a perfect example of this. The entourage effect is the perfect synergy of nature in action, taking all the compounds naturally present in cannabis to provide the best possible benefits.
While there isn’t exactly scientific proof of the entourage effect, it’s a widely accepted theory throughout the legal cannabis community. The idea of the entourage effect was first proposed in the late 1990s by renowned cannabis researcher Raphael Mechoulam, expressing that the type of synergy displayed in the entourage effect “may play a role in the widely held view that in some cases plants are better drugs than the natural products isolated from them.”
When the entourage effect was revisited in 2011 by neuroscientist and pharmacology researcher, Ethan Russo MD, he discovered that cannabinoids like CBDA, CBD, CBN, CBG and others have a powerful synergy with the various terpenes found in cannabis that provide an array of “possible therapeutic interactions.”
The entourage effect is a great example of “whole-plant medicine.” Using the entire plant, already perfect in its natural state, rather than relying on its isolated parts. When we think of the entourage effect, one question always comes to mind. Why mess with something when it’s perfect just the way it is?
The Entourage Effect: A Synergistic Harmony of Specific Plant Compounds
Cannabis is one complex plant! Rich in a variety of phytochemicals, cannabis contains over 500 different chemical compounds. Of these compounds, there are a few that are very specifically suggested to support the idea of the entourage effect.
Check it out.
Over 100 of cannabis compounds are cannabinoids like CBDA and CBD, each of which are suggested to contain their own unique therapeutic profile. Cannabinoids are the naturally occurring compounds found in hemp that work with cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). While some cannabinoids are more common than others, it’s suggested that all the cannabinoids found in cannabis contribute to the entourage effect.
Found in abundance throughout the plant kingdom, terpenes are responsible for the scent and flavor of various plants. Terpenes in cannabis are produced in the same resinous glands that cannabinoids are produced, with research to suggest that terpenes contain an array of wellness potential of their own.
Take limonene, for example, a common cannabis terpene that is also found abundantly in citrus fruits. Research shows limonene has a positive effect on immune function and depression. β-myrcene is another common terpene found in cannabis, hops, mangoes and lemongrass that is widely recognized to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic and sedative-like effects.
Flavonoids are another important facet of the entourage effect. There are some 20 flavonoids that have been discovered in the cannabis plant, making up about 10% of the plant’s active compounds. They’re suggested to work in harmony with terpenes to provide the different aromas and flavors of various strains of cannabis.
Flavonoids display powerful antioxidant activity, and incorporating more flavonoids in your diet is said to be an excellent way to stay healthy and decrease the possibility of developing more serious health conditions. The flavonoids in cannabis show to have a wide range of effects, sharing many of the same properties as cannabinoids and terpenes.
Last Thoughts On The Entourage Effect
It is widely accepted that whole foods and whole plants are beneficial because of the synergy of the chemical compounds they contain. Cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are the “big three” bioactive compounds that are suggested to lend to the entourage effect.
You’ll only find this powerful plant synergy in full spectrum hemp oil. Experts in the industry generally agree that full spectrum hemp oil is superior to other types of hemp oils widely available on the market.
While there’s definitely more research necessary to prove the entourage effect is real, it’s something widely accepted in the industry as the best way to reap the multitude of benefits contained in hemp-derived products.