You've probably heard the words "entourage effect" before, but don't really know what they mean. The term was first used by Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli chemist, known for isolating THC in the 1960s. To understand the entourage effect is to perceive the way CBD works and how it acts on the body. A useful information that allows to choose CBD products in a more informed way, according to the desired effects.
The African proverb "Alone we go faster, together we go further", summarizes in a few words what the entourage effect is. It is a theory according to which all the compounds of the hemp plant work together with a common goal: to reinforce, to increase tenfold, to improve the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids more than when these compounds are isolated.
The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that reacts with the different cannabinoids contained in the hemp plant. These cannabinoids are natural compounds and are found in large numbers in cannabis: there are nearly 110 of them!
Our endocannabinoid system plays an important role in our body, regulating the other systems in the human body and the balance between them.
In addition to the many cannabinoids, the hemp plant has terpenes, organic compounds that serve to repel predators, but also attract pollinators. Terpenes are responsible for the aroma of cannabis and also play a role in relieving pain, stress and general balance.
Many terpenes contained in the hemp plant have been found in several plants. Among the most common terpenes, we find :
- terpinolene, present in apples, tea tree, nutmeg or lilac
- limonene, found in rosemary, citrus peels and peppermint
- beta-caryophyllene, present in cloves, cinnamon or pepper
- myrcene, present in thyme, lemongrass or mango
Flavonoids, are other natural compounds of cannabis Sativa L. These organic substances play several roles. First of all, they are responsible for the color of the plant. Then, they participate in the good functioning of the cellular cycle and act as protectors against common diseases in the hemp plant. Similar to antioxidants, flavonoids can be consumed as supplements.
But let's get back to our original topic: what is the entourage effect? It is when cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are consumed at the same time. An incredible synergy is then created between each of these compounds to multiply tenfold the individual forces of each.
And so, how does the entourage effect work? The entourage effect of CBD acts not only on but also with the human endocannabinoid system. When you consume CBD that contains cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, the synergy of all the compounds enhances the therapeutic benefits of each individual compound.
In the CBD-based products sold on the market, there are three categories, namely:
- CBD isolate
- full spectrum CBD
- the CBD with broad spectrum (broad spectrum)
To maximize the effect of entourage, you will have to direct you towards products with complete spectrum. Why? Because a product of this type contains all the cannabinoids of the plant (including THC in small quantity), flavonoids, terpenes, as well as vitamins and minerals. These compounds work together to do their job and be as effective as possible.
Broad spectrum products have many similarities with the previous ones, except for one detail: they do not contain any trace of THC. The entourage effect still takes place, without the benefits of THC in small quantities, such as pain relief, nausea reduction or sleep. However, other cannabinoids have similar effects.
Finally, the CBD isolate does not produce a surrounding effect, since cannabidiol (CBD) is the only organic compound contained in the hemp plant present in this kind of product. The CBD has been "isolated", hence the name... The advantage of this kind of products is that they allow to obtain targeted results.
Now you have a better understanding of the entourage effect and the difference between broad spectrum, full spectrum and isolate CBD products. To help you make the best possible choice in choosing your CBD products, you need to ask yourself a few questions.
1. What is my need?
If this seems obvious, it is nonetheless essential. Indeed, someone who suffers from anxiety does not have the same needs as someone who wants to promote muscle recovery. Thus, defining your needs allows you to "reduce the funnel" and to choose products made for you.
2. Am I comfortable with the idea of ingesting THC?
Although the French legislation limits the THC level to 0.2% and with such a level, no psychoactive effect can be felt, the idea may bother you. In this case, you should focus on broad spectrum products rather than full spectrum.
3. Do you want a long-term or short-term effect?
Studies prove that large and complete spectrum CBD products act over time, while the CBD isolate has a shorter effect.
4. What type of product do you prefer to consume?
Oils, gummies, herbal teas or creams, the CBD is in several forms and can be consumed in different ways. Ask yourself if you would be comfortable taking CBD oil drops at the office or if you prefer to suck a jelly bean ?
5. The price
Full spectrum products are more difficult to obtain and require higher technical processes, therefore their price is higher.
Interestingly, all the compounds in the hemp plant work better as a team, as together they are stronger. However, the entourage effect seen in the full spectrum and broad spectrum products are no more or less effective than CBD isolate. They act differently. Furthermore, each individual reacts differently to cannabinoids. Each person's sensitivity, as well as other aspects (apprehension, price) should be taken into consideration before choosing the CBD product that meets your needs.
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