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September 07, 2022 5 min read
Cannabis is home to various chemical compounds, such as cannabinoids and terpenes. Additionally, the terpenes are responsible for their distinctive taste, smell, and appearance. Of all the cannabinoids in the 'magic' plant, THC and CBD are the most popular. While some people prefer taking isolates (CBD or THC), others prefer the whole weed plant, full spectrum, or broad-spectrum CBD products. This means consuming cannabinoids and terpenes at the same time. Therefore, an individual experiences the entourage effect, a phenomenon in which the chemical compounds in hemp work synergically to improve CBD's therapeutic effects. This article will explain more about the entourage effect and its benefits.
There is no denying that cannabis is having a moment. If you are a cannabis connoisseur, you will realize more people are taking advantage of the moment to take their health and general well-being to the stars. Does this mean opioids are losing their popularity? Over the years, people have reported the side effects of opioids. Because the existing body of research labels cannabis as safer and more effective, thousands of people are stepping into the cannabis community daily. Furthermore, cannabis is an excellent source of cannabinoids and terpenes. According to research, these compounds can work together harmoniously, creating the entourage effect.
The entourage effect describes the outcome of the synergic interaction between cannabinoids and terpenes. Coined in 1998 by Professor Rafael Mouchoulum and Simon-Ben Shabat, the term 'entourage effect' supports the idea that taking the popular cannabinoids (CBD and THC) with terpenes simultaneously provides greater results rather than taking the individual compounds. It is worth noting that every compound in cannabis has its benefits. However, researchers believe these compounds can enhance each other's effects when consumed together.
When you consume many cannabinoids and terpenes, you are less likely to experience a high sensation. CBD and terpenes neutralize the effects of THC, a compound responsible for the" high" effect experienced after consuming marijuana.
The entourage effect packs tons of health benefits, including:
According to Choy et al. (2019), flavonoids are an excellent source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. When taken with chemicals found in cannabis, they become powerful anti-cancer agents.
According to Moltke et al. (2021), CBD and THC increase the production and release of anandamide. This neurotransmitter interacts with a dense network of receptors in the endocannabinoid system. As a result, your anxiety symptoms might reduce significantly.
According to Miao et al. (2021), the anti-inflammatory properties of flavonoids can reduce arthritis-related joint pain. Of course, more studies on this need to be done before people can start using cannabis for medical purposes.
Consuming a multitude of cannabinoids and terpenes floods your system with antifungal properties. This can be a surefire way of dealing with your fungal infections.
Li et al. (2021) suggested that flavonoids in cannabis can lower LDL cholesterol or "bad" cholesterol levels. This can reduce the risk of heart problems. Additionally, flavonoids' heavy anti-inflammatory profile can massively improve your heart health.
Your body has an intricate system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for pain reception, memory, learning, appetite, emotional processing, inflammatory and immune responses, eating, and sleep. Therefore, various compounds in marijuana interact with the ECS by binding to the endocannabinoid receptors, helping you achieve your desired results. For instance, CBD and terpenes activate the ECS, reducing anxiety symptoms.
There are several ways to utilize the entourage effect. These include:
Full spectrum CBD products are home to flavonoids, fatty acids, terpenes, CBD, and THC. To avoid the high sensation, you may want to look for products made with hemp-derived CBD. These contain trace amounts of THC (below 0.3%).
While whole plant CBD and full spectrum CBD are often used interchangeably, the two are different creatures. Whole plant CBD is less refined, containing compounds you may not find in full spectrum CBD, including waxes and fats.
Broad spectrum CBD products are an excellent source of cannabinol, cannabichromene, and terpenes (think: limonene, linalool, pinene, or myrcene). Because these products contain trace amounts of THC, they are less likely to produce a 'high' sensation.
When choosing products for the entourage effect, your safety should come at the top of the list. Therefore, you should carefully read the ingredients on the product label. Furthermore, invest in products with safe and high-quality ingredients. Also, your favorite product should be free from molds, pesticides, and heavy metals.
Some companies lie about their wellness products' quality, purity, and potency to profit from low-quality or contaminated hemp. Others go overboard when advertising their products to boost their sales. This is why buying organic cannabinoid products from reputable companies is important. These companies ensure a third party or independent lab tests their products before putting them on shelves. As a cannabis enthusiast, this allows you to benefit from the product's therapeutic effects fully.
Some products, including edibles, indicate the dosage. For tinctures, you'll need to calculate the right dosage for you. You may want to start slow and gradually increase your dosage until you get your desired effects.
Normally, a company gets the Certificate of Analysis after the independent lab results. Therefore, purchase products that have undergone intensive independent third-party testing. Also, ensure that the CoA is not older than 6 months.
The entourage effect is one of the most understudied theories. Although the effects of the theory are clear, more studies need to be conducted for cannabis connoisseurs to understand how they happen fully. The entourage effect is about the combination of cannabinoids and terpenes. Researchers believe when compounds in cannabis work together, they boost each other's potency. Additionally, since many compounds exist in cannabis, more cannabis enthusiasts need to learn about the entourage effect.
Choy, K. W., Murugan, D., Leong, X. F., Abas, R., Alias, A., & Mustafa, M. R. (2019). Flavonoids as natural anti-inflammatory agents targeting nuclear factor-kappa B (NFκB) signaling in cardiovascular diseases: a mini review. Frontiers in pharmacology, 10, 1295.
Li, Q., Gao, B., Siqin, B., He, Q., Zhang, R., Meng, X., ... & Li, M. (2021). Gut microbiota: a novel regulator of cardiovascular disease and key factor in the therapeutic effects of flavonoids. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 12, 651926.
Miao, Z., & He, C. (2021). The known and unknown are the use of flavonoids as a therapeutic intervention against rheumatoid arthritis. Pharmacological Research-Modern Chinese Medicine, 100014.
Moltke, J., & Hindocha, C. (2021). Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. Journal of cannabis research, 3(1), 1-12.
Sudheesh, S., Presannakumar, G., Vijayakumar, S., & Vijayalakshmi, N. R. (1997). Hypolipidemic effect of flavonoids from Solanum melongena. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 51(4), 321-330.
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