The legalization of hemp-derived CBD throughout the U.S. and in several countries in Europe has solidified that CBD products aren’t going away. With a rise in the popularity of products containing CBD (cannabidiol), the terminology used to describe these products has become increasingly complex. The entourage effect and full spectrum are some of the most popular buzzwords in the CBD world. But what do they mean? These terms appear at the front or center of most CBD products, including Tanasi CBD products, but why? What is the so-called full spectrum entourage effect?
Want to better understand what the full spectrum entourage effect means and how to unlock the full potential of your CBD? Keep reading!
While you may be familiar with the two key players of the cannabis plant – CBD and THC – and their natural benefits, there are, in fact, other 100+ accompanying cannabinoids and a wide range of terpenes found in the cannabis plant. When these compounds are used in conjunction, they provide a synergistic effect referred to as the entourage effect.
This blog post aims to clear up any confusion about full-spectrum CBD products and the entourage effect, and how it may benefit you.
Defining Full Spectrum
Full-spectrum is a term used to define extracts that are similar to their originating plant it was concentrated from. Instead of isolating the plant’s different compounds, full spectrum extracts contain the same multitude of compounds that make up the specific plant.
In this case, full-spectrum CBD products contain CBD and THC along with all other cannabinoids, flavor-packed terpenes, and other compounds naturally found in the cannabis plant. Full spectrum plant extracts, including full-spectrum CBD, can be said to be the truest representation of the cannabis plant and the most therapeutic.
The full spectrum concept plays a vital role in giving CBD products their full potential. But to truly grasp the importance of the spectrum concept, it’s first imperative to understand what the CBD world refers to as the “entourage effect.”
Defining The Entourage Effect
The term “entourage effect” is used to refer to a mechanism where different cannabinoids and other naturally occurring compounds of the cannabis plant, such as resins and terpenes, act synergistically together to deliver a powerful compounding effect.
The entourage effect was first coined by researchers Rafael Mechuolam and Shimon Ben-Shabat together with their team in 1998. However, it wasn’t until a decade later, in 2011, that the phrase was popularized thanks to peer-reviewed papers by Dr. Ethan Russo.
In his papers, Dr. Ethan Russo expanded and explained the entourage effect concept and showed that cannabis compounds consumed in tandem enhanced the natural properties of each cannabis compound.
With literally more than a hundred compounds within the cannabis plant, the variety of different synergies offered within it is astounding.
THC, CBD, CBDA, THCA, other minor cannabinoids, and even some terpenes have a unique interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system. By taking them together, they enhance and complement each other to deliver optimum health benefits.
Research on Full Spectrum Entourage Effect
While research on the “entourage effect” is still in its infancy, a few studies demonstrate the huge potential of the combined consumption of terpenes and varied cannabinoids. The goal of researchers has been to show evidence of chemical combinations working in chorus with each other to synergistically enhance the overall outcome when compared to consuming isolated compounds.
In one study involving human breast cancer cells in vitro, pure THC was compared to formulated extracts, with positive outcomes seen from the treatment containing formulated extracts than THC-only. The authors of the study were convinced that this might be attributed to the combined effect of tetrahydrocannabinol with other minor cannabinoids, THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) and CBG (cannabigerol)
Another animal study conducted published in 2015 in the Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacy showed that using cannabidiol or CBD alone in treating inflammation-induced pain resulted in pain relief up to a point. Still, the effectiveness of the treatment was reduced once the dose was exceeded. However, increasing the dose of CBD combined with terpenes and other cannabinoids evidenced a consistent increase in its effectiveness.
The bottom line? Synergy matters and CBD is more effective with its entourage.
Terpenes’ Role In The Full Spectrum Entourage Effect
Terpenes are aromatic chemicals that most plants, herbs, and fruits, including cannabis, contain. Some of the common terpenes that you’ve probably come in contact with include:
– Pinene, from pine resin
– Limonene, from citrus fruit peels
– Miocene, found in mangos
The interesting thing is that these terpenes, and many others, are also in the cannabis plant. Many suggest that terpenes have an impactful presence in the entourage effect of cannabis extracts. Below are a few positive potential effects of terpenes:
– Limonene: elevates mood
– Nerolidol: may improve the effects of other compounds
– 𝛽-myrcene: anti-inflammatory properties
– Linalool: may help with anticonvulsant activity
All of these benefits correspond well with the actions and benefits of CBD.
CBD’s Link To The Entourage Effect
Some manufacturers and consumers incorrectly call the full spectrum entourage effect the “CBD entourage effect.” While cannabidiol plays a pivotal role in the synergistic effect of other cannabinoids and terpenes, it is inaccurate to call CBD the only important cannabinoid.
That being said, it is true that cannabidiol plays a key role in the whole synergistic process. To take full advantage of the entourage effect, consider choosing full-spectrum CBD products.
Entourage Effect In Various CBD Products
When shopping for CBD oil and tinctures, there are several categories to chose from, including full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, CBD isolate, and whole plant extracts.
Depending on the type of CBD oil used, the benefits of the entourage effect can vary greatly. To understand which CBD products offer the maximum entourage effect, you must understand each type’s diverse profiles.
Full Spectrum CBD
Full-spectrum CBD takes pride in offering the maximum entourage effect. This is because, as the name suggests, full-spectrum CBD products contain all cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils, and other compounds of the cannabis plant.
Full-spectrum CBD comes from variety of different extraction methods. Manufacturers tweak the process to keep as many terpenes, cannabinoids, esters, phenols, and other naturally occurring compounds of the cannabis plant together as possible. It is important to note, however, that even full-spectrum CBD products vary in concentration of lipids, fats, and other less desirable cannabis compounds.
One of the biggest drawbacks of full-spectrum CBD oil is that it contains THC, which can have intoxicating effects and legal issues. THC in full-spectrum CBD products may also show up in a drug test. Full-spectrum CBD products are ideal for:
– People looking to get CBD’s maximum therapeutic benefits from the entourage effect.
– Those accustomed the effects of THC.
– Those looking for a specific CBD to THC ratio for high effectivity
Whole Plant Extracts
Whole-plant extracts sometimes referred to as full plant extracts, are similar to full spectrum CBD but not the same. While both types contain a full range of terpenes and cannabinoids, full plant extracts undergo less processing than full-spectrum extracts and thus often contain extra compounds naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. These compounds include fats, vitamins, fibers, and other nutrients. Ultimately, whole plant extracts are an excellent choice for those looking for the most powerful entourage effect.
CBD isolate is the purest form possible of CBD. It contains only CBD, with all other compounds, including THC and terpenes, removed during processing. Typically, CBD isolate comes from industrial hemp as it contains very low levels of THC.
Without other cannabinoids, you can experience CBD’s many potential benefits without the effects of THC. However, CBD isolate will NOT deliver the entourage effect.
Does this mean you shouldn’t give CBD isolate a chance? Just because CBD isolate does not deliver the entourage effect doesn’t mean you should abandon CBD isolate products altogether. The lack of the entourage effect only means that full-spectrum and whole-plant extract offer further benefits. If you’re new to the world of cannabis, by all means, give CBD isolate a try.
Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad-spectrum CBD products are like a mix of CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD. Like full spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum products retain all naturally occurring compounds of the cannabis plant. This includes terpenes but not THC. Therefore, you can achieve the entourage effect with broad-spectrum CBD and without the psychoactive side effects that come with tetrahydrocannabinol.
Full Spectrum Entourage Effect: Conclusion
There is still little concrete evidence proving the full spectrum entourage effect’s full impact. But a strong appetite for information regarding CBD and cannabis continues to fuel research studies. In the meantime, you can enjoy the entourage effect by choosing a full spectrum CBD product from Tanasi!