The Entourage Effect. Full-Spectrum CBD Explained
An Explanation of One of the Most Powerful Medicinal Discoveries: The Entourage Effect
Full-spectrum is one of the most popular buzzwords in the CBD industry, but what does it mean? It appears front and center on many CBD products, including ours, but why? What is the so-called Entourage Effect and why is it so important? This blog post examines the scientific benefits of full-spectrum CBD products and the Entourage Effect.
A full-spectrum product contains CBD along with all of the other minor cannabinoids and terpenes naturally produced by the hemp plant. That is, it contains the full-spectrum of hemp compounds. Fitting name, right? This is in contrast to broad-spectrum and isolate products. Broad-spectrum products contain CBD and all minor cannabinoids except THC. Isolate products contain only CBD. Full-spectrum oils are the truest representation of the hemp plant, and the most therapeutic. This is where understanding the Entourage Effect comes into play.
The Entourage Effect: 1 + 1 = 3
The Entourage Effect is a term for the synergistic benefit derived from all compounds found in the hemp plant. CBD is just one beneficial cannabinoid, but paired with THC, minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and other hemp compounds, a greater therapeutic benefit is achieved than any one compound in isolation.
CBD, THC, minor cannabinoids, and even some terpenes all interact with your Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Your ECS regulates a wide range of biological processes (sleep, appetite, memory, immune function, pain response to name a few). By pairing CBD with other compounds that interact with the ECS, it increases the effectiveness of CBD.
Dr. Ethan Russo is a leader in medicinal cannabis research and has shared multiple papers supporting the Entourage Effect. Many users have experienced little to no benefit from CBD isolate products, but have been helped greatly by full-spectrum products due to the Entourage Effect.
Why is CBD with THC Better?
Full-spectrum CBD oil containing THC and other cannabinoids is far superior to CBD oils containing just CBD. THC is typically the most abundant compound (outside of CBD) in CBD oil. THC contributes greatly to the therapeutic effects of CBD, even in low concentrations that don’t lead to intoxication (e.g. 0.3% for hemp products). This is due to the Entourage Effect.
All BATCH products, except for our Muscle Gel, contain full-spectrum CBD oil. Using our in-house HPLC testing instrument, we’ve identified and quantified seven well-known cannabinoids found in our extracts: CBDV, CBDA, CBG, CBD, d9-THC, d8-THC, and CBC. Additionally, there are hundreds of lesser-known, and less abundant, cannabinoids that we don’t have the abilities to quantify. All of these cannabinoids further contribute to the healing powers of full-spectrum CBD products.
What Role Do Terpenes Play in the Entourage Effect?
Terpenes are a class of organic compounds that also contribute to the Entourage Effect. They are aromatic in nature, giving plants their scents. For example, pinene gives pine trees their distinctive smell. Limonene contributes to citrus fruits’ odor. These compounds are also found in the hemp plant. We all know how smelly the hemp plant can be! Some terpenes (e.g. beta-caryophyllene) interact directly with the Endocannabinoid System and can contribute to the Entourage Effect and the healing ability of CBD.
All of our CBD oil contains naturally occurring terpenes found in the hemp plant. In addition to this, we supplement our products with terpene isolates to dial up or down desired effects depending on the product application. This is how we formulate different effect-based blends like Clarity, Dream, Soothe, and Calm.
All CBD is Not Equal
The high price of CBD may motivate some customers to search for the cheapest available option. While we’re all for frugality, we also have to caution our customers. Make sure the CBD you are purchasing is indeed full-spectrum and backed up with lab results (preferably from a trusted third-party lab). Look for cannabinoids besides CBD on potency lab reports. Isolate products are typically cheaper, but lack the true power of the Entourage Effect. We highly recommend full-spectrum products for the highest therapeutic benefit.