As you embark on your journey and deepen your understanding of CBD, I’m sure you’ll often come across the term “Entourage Effect.” Instead of having to search for the answers, We thought it would be helpful to provide you with a solid explanation.
By definition, the word “entourage” is a group of people attending or surrounding an important person. In the context of CBD wellness effects, CBD is the” important person” in the equation. The things surrounding and supporting the CBD, the entourage, are the cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and other phytochemicals that are found within the cannabis plant, among others.
A cornerstone of holistic or alternative medicine revolves around the use of the entire cannabis plant for restorative purposes rather than isolating or creating the active ingredients in a lab. Whole-plant medicine has been in use for thousands of years in the ancient healing art of Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine.
The world we live in today is rooted in pills and quick fixes to health issues. While this holistic approach may seem antiquated, there is a revolution in progress for alternative methods.
There’s a lot of information out there that suggests that alternative treatments may be more effective in their whole and natural state.
This phenomenon is the Entourage Effect.
What is the Entourage Effect?
The entourage effect is what happens when CBD is taken with a host of other compounds from the cannabis plant rather than in isolation. As shared previously, the theory is that by using the spectrum of compounds available in the whole plant versus one part or one molecule, boosts the health benefits of the cannabinoids. When the many components of the plant interact with the body, it produces a stronger influence than any one component by itself. For example, the effects of CBD are heightened if they are working in synergy with another compound like a terpene.
It’s okay If you are a little confused. Let’s use an analogy to make this easier to grasp. Let’s look at it through the context of a relationship with another person. Each person alone has a specific set of talents and abilities. You then meet another person that has a different set of attractive talents and abilities that make them special. When they combine in a relationship, their unique talents and abilities are combined and that makes them more powerful than one and what they can accomplish together is limitless. Making more sense now?
When you combine multiple compounds in their natural state, it’s not a simple addition but rather a multiplying effect of the core ingredients. They amplify each other exponentially depending on the combination of the chemistry of the different compounds leveraged.
How did the Entourage Effect get its name?
This phrase was coined in 1998 by two Israeli scientists, Shimon Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam. They noticed in their research that cannabinoids and terpenes from within the cannabis plant worked better when they were combined versus by itself. They noted that in combination, they affected the body in a manner similar to the body’s own endocannabinoid system. So, for all those math lovers, in this instance, 1+3 = 7.
This further explains exactly what this means. To summarize what all of this does in combination:
- Creates a synergistic effect that works on many different areas of the body
- Improves the body’s ability to absorb beneficial chemicals through the blood-brain barrier
- Helps to overcome bacterial defense mechanisms
- Minimizes unwanted side effects
Terpenes & The Entourage Effect
There are several terpenes, and each has many potential beneficial effects individually, but the entourage effect is what transpires when they are used in combination and especially when used in concurrence with CBD products.
How do I get the Entourage Effect?
Now that you know what it is, you are probably curious to understand how you can get it. When you take CBD products, avoid anything that is “pure” CBD oil if you are looking for the entourage effect. Most high-quality CBD oils will claim that they are full-spectrum or broad-spectrum. If they are full-spectrum CBD oils, they will contain; CBD, other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids. All of these contribute to the entourage effect.
Competition vs. Cooperation
A key takeaway here is the fact that the parts of the cannabis plant do not work in competition with each other but rather in cooperation with each other. There is a vast array of strains and terpenes available and each has its own unique characteristics and qualities. With all the variation and differences among users requires you to experiment until you find the products that are right for you.
Obstacles to Overcome
This is a new world with new terminology born daily from the findings that CBD research renders. With all that said, there still remain many obstacles to overcome before what is preached by many CBD evangelists to become widespread, accepted, and incorporated as an overarching holistic wellness approach in the United States. Much of this will hinge on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and additional scientific research.
We are confident that over the next several years, research will continue to shed more light on the cannabis plant and this whole-plant medicine movement as it relates to the human body and how we can harness it as an alternative to modern medicine.