The conversation about CBD is filled to the brim with complex terminology that can be confusing. After all, who doesn’t have questions about CBD? The industry is growing rapidly and continuously evolving with new and emerging research. Among the buzzwords is the entourage effect.
What’s the CBD Entourage Effect?
In a nutshell, the entourage effect is what helps maximize CBD’s therapeutic effects. While research is still analyzing this effect, it’s been studied since 1998 when scientists demonstrated the entourage effect by studying the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Stronger Together? Why the Entourage Effect Could Affect Potency
When considering the benefits and capabilities of CBD, the entourage effect, well—affects quite a bit. As you’re likely aware, CBD is derived from the cannabis plant. Its extracts contain traces of CBD, THC, and hundreds of compounds.
What the Entourage Effect Is All About
What’s interesting about this is that the sum of these compounds, when separated, does not equal the same value as when combined. When synergy forms between the compounds when they are combined, this is referred to as the entourage effect. It’s believed that this synergy maximizes the benefits and potential of the compounds as it is most potent.
Products containing this harmony of substances are presented to the public as full-spectrum. When compared, scientists have found that synthetic single-molecule CBD versus whole plant CBD extract did not both produce the entourage effect. Engineered full-spectrum products are meant to replicate the effects of the full plant with legally minimal contents of THC, which can affect the presence of the entourage effect.
Challenges with Understanding the Entourage Effect
Scientists believe that the ability to synergize affects the effectiveness of CBD. However, legally speaking, broad-spectrum products are still of value for benefits and do not flag the radar when it comes to THC levels.
Another determinant in the likelihood of synergy is terpenes. Cannabis plants can produce approximately 200 terpenes, which are believed to provide therapeutic value for inflammation in the body, as well as autoimmune disorders. Most of which are removed for broad-spectrum and CBD-isolate products.
So, what does this mean for the effectiveness of CBD products that aren’t full-spectrum? Depending on the intended use of CBD, the occurrence of the entourage effect can significantly impact whether or not a product works.
Some question whether or not the entourage effect lacks legitimacy. But not enough has been concluded on either end to support whether or not this is true. However, what it means for the cannabis industry is up for debate and to be further researched.