We’re going to be schmoozing with a swanky posse of facts about CBD’s famous entourage effect. By the end of this post, you’ll have enough entourage effect knowledge to justify that swagger of yours. You’ll learn:
- What the entourage effect is
- How the entourage effect works
- How the entourage effect relates to CBD
What Is The Entourage Effect of CBD?
By this point, you may know that CBD comes from cannabis. And that cannabis contains hundreds of different compounds. Each of these substances has unique properties, which can produce different effects in your body.
The entourage effect simply suggests that these constituents work differently when consumed together. Typically, the thought is that the compounds yield better or more beneficial results as an ensemble than as solo acts. It’s synergy in living color!
The Entourage Effect Of Terpenes, Flavonoids & Cannabinoids (Like CBD & THC!)
So, we’ve already mentioned these many and mysterious cannabis-dwelling substances. But what are they and what role do they have in the entourage effect? These are definitely integral tidbits to the whole thing.
Terpenes, Flavonoids & Cannabinoids
Among that throng of constituents in cannabis are things called cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Here’s a quicker-than-quick explainer of each:
- Cannabinoids are chemicals that are naturally occurring in cannabis, but can also be man-made. There are over 140 of them packed into those verdant plants. Probably the most well-known ones are THC and CBD. These guys elicit various responses within your body.
- Flavonoids are another set of organic nutrients in cannabis. Actually, they’re found in all kinds of plants, including the fruits and veggies we eat on a [ideally] regular basis. These multi-purpose phytochemicals help to give plants their color and fragrance. They also spur or support many healthful functions in our bodies. Flavonoids contribute to making hemp “earthy” smelling.
- Surprise! Just kidding. Terpenes are also a class of plant chemicals. They do a lot of things to keep the plants they’re in and the animals that consume them thriving. One of their primary jobs in cannabis is to help shape the flavor and aroma profile of different strains of hemp and marijuana. Terpenes are the main molecules making hemp “earthy” tasting.
Cannabis Compounds & The Entourage Effect
According to the entourage effect the flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids partner up. It’s believed that — as a group — these compounds are doing one (or more) things to the properties and impacts of the cannabis you consume:
- Amplifying each. The entourage effect may “simply” boost the characteristics (and results) of individual components of your cannabis. A multiplier influence. Example: Instead of feeling a little relaxed, you feel super chill.
- Altering existing. It’s possible that the entourage effect could tweak the traits (and results) of individual or combos of components in your cannabis so they behave differently together than when isolated. Example: Instead of your weed making you energized but edgy, you’re only feeling energized.
- Creating anew. Another prospect is that the entourage effect gives rise to something else entirely, properties (and results) that wouldn’t be exhibited by any single component of your cannabis all by its lonesome. Example: Instead of having no impact on appetite, your appetite is stimulated.
It’s this complex interaction and resulting effects that folks seek out different strains of marijuana or types of CBD. Each has a specific roster of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that produce a particular kind of response. With different constituents, your cannabis products can have entourage effects that vary in nature and magnitude.
How’s The Entourage Effect Work Exactly?
We haven’t called it out explicitly yet, but you are a critical element of the entourage effect. All those chemical reactions and downstream results are happening inside your bod. You are both a catalyst for the entourage effect as well as a recipient of its influences. Neat!
So what’s going on here? Your endocannabinoid system’s (ECS) going on! Everyone has an ECS; it’s all throughout your body.
This magnificent and still-a-bit-enigmatic structure engages with the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Each interactions leads to different signals being sent to the brain. The brain then tells the body to respond in a certain way.
Is The Entourage Effect Real?
Should this be shelved in the Fiction or Non-Fiction section? The debate is active.
Science & Stories
Current research suggests that the entourage effect is, indeed, legit. In one study of mood and anxiety disorders, for instance, “positive contributions” seemed to be derived from including terpenes with cannabinoids.
However, there are skeptics — who’re cautiously optimism in the absence of abundant data-backed proof — in the scientific community as well. They noted that the placebo effect could be in full force. That is to say, if you believe you’re going to get certain entourage effects from your cannabis — you just may observe entourage-effect-like outcomes.
But, don’t discount the anecdotes you’ve heard from the masses. Despite them not being part of a formal clinical trial, their experiences are valid and could be evidence pointing to the existence of the entourage effect.
What most agree on is that there needs to be additional study to quantify and qualify the entourage effect. Expanding knowledge is always a good idea!
Improving The Entourage Effect Odds
You can up your chances of experiencing the entourage effect. It’s simple really. The key is selecting the right products.
By opting for products with multiple cannabinoids — like ones featuring full- or broad-spectrum-CBD — you’ll get a mixture of the cannabis compounds associated with the entourage effect. (Full- and broad-spectrum-CBD contains some THC, CBN, CBG, and other cannabinoids in addition to the CBD.)
If you use products made from isolate CBD or other isolated cannabinoids, you could be missing out on the possible entourage effect. The solitary cannabinoid you’re consuming doesn’t get to tango with other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids. It’s gone stag to the prom.
Entourage Effect — The Total Is Greater Than The Sum Of All Parts
The entourage effect refers to the altered or amplified outcomes caused by consuming a combination of the compounds found in cannabis.
Some research — and a lot of anecdotal reports — support the existence of the entourage effect. There are skeptics, though. More study of the entourage effect is needed.
You can enhance your chances of experiencing the entourage effect by using products that contain multiple cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.