The Entourage Effect - what is it and why is it important?
We're big advocates of full-spectrum CBD products here at CBD Bible, and you might often hear us talk about why we believe that the small amount of THC present in full-spectrum products is so important, as well as the other plant goodness present. We often talk about "the entourage effect" that takes place when you consume a full-spectrum CBD product, but we realised that we didn't have a comprehensive article that explained what exactly this is. In this guide we'll be explaining:
Let's get into it:
What is the entourage effect?
Before we get into specifics, it's important to remember that CBD is only a small part (albeit an important part) of the cannabis plant. Most studies carried out with cannabidiol examine single-molecule CBD, whereas we know that whole-plant extractions of the compound typically include CBD, THC, and more than 400 other trace compounds and cannabinoids.
Studies have shown that these compounds interact synergistically to create what we know as an “entourage effect” whereby all of the compounds work together to magnify the therapeutic benefits of the plant’s individual components. In other words, the compounds present in the cannabis plant work better as a team than individually (melatonin seems to be different).
This is a frustration in the industry when CBD is being tested because you cannot fairly compare 100mg of synthetically produced single-molecule CBD to 100mg of a CBD-rich whole-plant cannabis extract. Yet most of the studies being carried out are using single-molecule CBD in their tests.
The entourage effect also just doesn't rely on cannabinoids, but other active compounds like terpenes, or fats and other undiscovered elements within the plant which make small changes to the plant's effects. A great example is the difference between a Sativa dominant strain (Mimosa or Stardawg) and Indica strains (Like Zkittlez, Wedding Cake or Grandaddy Purple). Sativa's are generally more 'energetic' and an indica is 'sleepy'. It is clear that both enjoy different cannabinoid and terpene profiles, each ensure the strains effect you very differently. A hybrid like the OZK strain may do something completely different.
You can find some interesting strains sold as 'CBD tea' to test this out.
Why is the entourage effect important?
So that explains the science, but why is the entourage effect important to an average consumer? In simple terms, we describe it as all of the plant goodness working in harmony, ensuring that you get the most out of your CBD consumption. CBD consumed as an isolate cannot be compared to CBD that is consumed alongside other cannabinoids and plant goodness like terpenes, because the other plant compounds actually magnify the benefits of the CBD. You should try a CBD isolate product vs a broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD product and you'll definitely notice a difference.
How can you experience the entourage effect when consuming CBD products?
As we mentioned, to truly experience the entourage effect you need to consume a full-spectrum CBD product. This will contain CBD, but also a small amount of THC alongside other cannabinoids like CBG, CBDa etc. It will also contain plant compounds like terpenes.
There are also broad-spectrum CBD products that don't contain any THC, you can experience a form of the entourage effect via consumption of these products but it won't be the same as a full-spectrum CBD product. It's vital that you read lab reports before you buy any CBD product because often products are labeled as full/broad-spectrum, but actually aren't when you check the lab reports.
The Entourage Effect is an important aspect of consuming CBD products and shouldn't be overlooked. Hopefully this guide has helped you understand more about this phenomenon and why it is so important.
This guide was published by the CBD Bible team. We publish hundreds of guides every month, feel free to explore our website for more reviews and CBD guides.