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What is the Entourage Effect… And What Does it Have to Do with CBD Oil?

August 31, 2018

What is the Entourage Effect… And What Does it Have to Do with CBD Oil?

If you have done any research into CBD oil, you are likely to have come across references to the entourage effect. The question is, do you know what it is? And, more importantly, do you know how beneficial CBD oil is that maximizes the entourage effect?

When deciding which CBD oil product is best for you, it’s important that you know the difference between full-spectrum cannabis extracts and cannabinoid isolates, and how the entourage effect comes into play. Understanding this will help you to choose the best possible product for your unique needs.

If you take a closer look at cannabis buds, you will notice that they’re covered in a sticky dusting of crystal resin. These contain hundreds of therapeutic compounds known as terpenoids and cannabinoids. You are most probably well acquainted with CBD and THC, but these are just two among many important players that work together to produce specific effects.

The interactive synergy that takes place between cannabis compounds has been deemed as the “entourage effect.” Once you know what the entourage effect is, you will understand why products that contain only CBD or THC aren’t always sufficient for certain conditions.

What is whole plant CBD oil?

“Whole plant medicine” is a phrase used to describe medicines that utilize the full spectrum of therapeutic compounds contained within the cannabis plant. Cannabis consists of over 100 cannabinoids, the main ones that you are familiar with being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Some of the other lesser known but still interesting cannabinoids include cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN), cannabidiol acid (CBDA), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), and cannabidivarin (CBDV).

Each cannabinoid will have a different effect on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our body. Thus, each one can have different beneficial aspects. For example, CBD is widely thought to have antioxidant, pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, and anti-seizure effects. THC, on the other hand, is considered to be an appetite stimulant that helps with relaxation and brings about a sense of euphoria.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is influenced by substances produced in the body called endocannabinoids. These are responsible for keeping our most essential functions in balance, including sleep, appetite, pain, the immune system, and much more. In times when our body gets out of balance, endocannabinoids can work to fix those problems.

The compounds of the cannabis plant mimic our endocannabinoids, and thus can be useful in helping the body to manage crisis and restore itself after a specific trauma when the body’s own endocannabinoids aren’t able to restore the body’s balance alone.

Ultimately, “whole plant CBD oil” utilizes the full cannabis plant, keeping intact the full synergistic properties of its fatty acids, rich terpenes, and secondary cannabinoids to interact with and enhance the properties of CBD. In other words, whole plant CBD oil contains a wide range of cannabinoids (not just CBD) that are naturally present in cannabis.

Whole plant extract and full spectrum oil are sometimes used interchangeably. The main difference is that, while they both contain a wide range of cannabinoids, whole plant extracts also contain waxes, fats, and other fibrous materials that may not be good for consumption.

Whole Plant CBD Oil vs. Pure CBD Oil

Now that we’ve discussed full spectrum oil and the meaning of whole plant extract, let’s take a look at cannabinoid isolates – and more specifically pure CBD isolates.

By now, you have probably figured out that since full spectrum CBD oil contains a wide range of cannabinoids, pure CBD oil is cannabidiol in its purest form. CBD isolate is indeed a term used for pure CBD, and it comes in powder form, containing no other active compounds — just the CBD molecules.

Pure CBD is extracted when CBD has been isolated from the rest of the plant, resulting in pure CBD crystals. This does have advantages, especially if the user is looking for an exclusive CBD experience. Pure CBD is perfect for those who want to experience the effects of CBD on before experimenting with the benefits of full-spectrum products.

Up until recently, it was widely believed that isolated CBD would be a more effective treatment to those who needed it than full spectrum oil. However, this theory was debunked in part by a research study done on malaria treatment back in 2011.

Ultimately, there are benefits to both full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate, and one isn’t necessarily better than the other. At the end of the day it comes down to consumer needs and the specific reasons for your using CBD oil or other CBD-infused products.

What is the entourage effect?

Since we have already discussed full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate, understanding the entourage effect should now make a lot more sense. Ultimately, the basic idea of the entourage effect is that all the cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant work together, and affect the body in a similar way to the body’s ECS.

The general understanding of the entourage effect is that it occurs when hundreds of natural components found within a plant interact together, combined with the human body to produce a stronger effect than any of the components could produce alone.

Essentially, it’s a synergistic effect. When we combine various components in their natural state, we get a multiplying effect, rather than ending up with the sum of the parts. The different compounds can amplify the effects of each other, which makes the overall plant more effective in helping treat a variety of symptoms.

The entourage effect is the biological interaction of cannabinoids, along with other compounds like terpenes and flavonoids. When all of these compounds work together, the synergy creates richer and stronger effects than either could achieve on their own. In other words, it isn’t just the cannabinoids that create the entourage effect; it’s also the terpenes (such as pinene, humulene, limonene, myrcene) and other flavonoids that lend their beneficial properties to the total impact that ingesting cannabinoids has.

In case you haven’t figured it out already, full spectrum oil helps to deliver the entourage effect, while CBD isolate does not. There are various beneficial interactions between the many compounds in whole plant CBD. The terpenes limonene and linalool, for example, combined with the cannabinoid CBG are believed to have certain antibiotic properties.

Pinene, which is another terpene, serves to counteract compromised cognition that could be induced by THC, while the cannabinoid CBN helps promote restfulness. These are just a few examples of the entourage effect, which create better levels of wellness than the single compounds could alone.

A popular example of the entourage effect is the interaction between THC and CBD. An interesting finding is that CBD has the potential to reverse the psychoactive effects of THC when used in conjunction with one another. CBD, in particular, can modulate the effects of THC on the body. Research has shown that a marijuana plant that contains far more THC than CBD makes the user feel “stoned.” While hemp, which contains reverse ratios (i.e. more CBD than THC), has the potential to relieve symptoms without the psychoactive effects of marijuana.

In summary, while many of the cannabinoids found in cannabis have individual benefits, it is believed that when used in combination, often along with terpenes and flavonoids, they are able to work synergistically to enhance these beneficial effects.

The entourage effect and CBD oil

While CBD and THC have become major topics in the discussion of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis products, the idea that other terpenes and cannabinoids may also contribute to the beneficial effects of CBD oil has emerged as the entourage effect.

Besides the major cannabinoids that we are all aware of – THC and CBD – CBD oil that is derived from different hemp and marijuana plants could also contain minor trace cannabinoids, like cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromene (CBC), to name only a few of the over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis.

Generally, people seem to respond better to products that have multiple cannabinoids as opposed to single cannabinoids in isolation. This is why it is often advised that you aim for a “whole plant extract” or “full plant extract” when you are shopping for your CBD oil product. This is because, as we have already discussed, full plant extract CBD oil will contain beneficial terpenes, enzymes, fatty acids, and other phytocannabinoids, in addition to CBD and other cannabinoids that are found naturally in the cannabis plant.

A CBD isolate product won’t contain these other beneficial aspects. It will only consist of pure, isolated CBD. Of course, pure CBD has its own benefits, and if you want to test how pure CBD affects you, then an isolated CBD product is the way to go.

Final thoughts on the entourage effect and CBD oil

Ultimately, it is a personal choice about whether it is best for you to use CBD isolate products or full spectrum products. The main benefit of using full spectrum CBD oil, or in other words, the main benefit of the entourage effect is that the final product contains all of the beneficial components of the natural plant, to ensure that you aren’t missing out on any of the potential benefits that the plant has to offer.

However, if you are looking to stay away from trace levels of THC (i.e. for drug testing), then you would be better off using a CBD isolate product. At the end of the day, it’s all about what you are looking to achieve from using the product.

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Jonathan Miller
Jonathan Miller, age 53 is an Ex Railyard Engineer who suffers from chronic back pain and anxiety. Jonathan’s goal was to create an unbiased site that would provide anyone who seeks help in CBD oil as a treatment, with accurate and helpful information.
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Getting Started with CBD Oil

If you suffer from anxiety (like me), depression or pain and are looking to get started with CBD oil, you need information on how to buy CBD oil, or you’re simply looking to learn more about CBD products, you’ve arrived at the right place.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, aka CBD, is a compound found in the cannabis plant that has significant medical benefits. CBD can be extracted from two different species of the Cannabis Sativa L plant, which include Cannabis and Hemp. Unlike its rival THC, CBD does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC.

One of the main advantages of CBD is its non-psychoactive affect making it a great option for people looking for relief from inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, seizures, spasms, and other conditions.
As I mentioned above the primary distinction between Hemp and CBD oil is the part of the plant they are derived from and what parts of the plant are used to create the oil. Hemp oil is typically made from pressing cannabis seeds to extract the fatty oil from within, while some that have mastered the CBD extraction process also use the flowers as they contain high percentages of CBD. CBD oil, on the other hand, is usually made from the flowers of cannabis plant through various extraction methods.

How Does CBD Affect Your Body?

The way marijuana affects your body varies from person to person as it will often depend on genetics, tolerance to the cannabinoids, medical health, DNA, and more. It also depends on the way you consume the CBD, for example, the effects of vaping CBD are far different to smoking it in the form of high-CBD cannabis strains. 

CBD and the way it affects us is still of somewhat a mystery to researchers they still try to figure out how it effects the EndoCannabinoid system. During the previous century, it was discovered that our bodies have receptors within the brain and central nervous system. Specific cannabinoids such as CBD bind to those receptors and activate the EndoCannabinoid System (ECS). This then provides a wide range of psychological and physical benefits helping the body.

Without going into specifics, cannabinoids signal to the body to create endocannabinoids and build more receptors. This helps the body to limit things associated with pain and inflammation, repairs cells and provides a wide range of other health benefits. Unlike other cannabinoids, CBD is thought to be the ultimate anti-inflammatory cannabinoid.

Want to learn more about how CBD works read: How Long Does it Take CBD to Work

Medical Benefits of CBD

There is a misconception as to whether CBD can help treat patients, similar to pharmaceutical medicine, but thanks to the internet and a few different medical studies patients and researchers have been exposing their findings on how CBD oil is helping to cure a wide range of medical conditions.

The most popular story was the one of Charlotte Figi. At the time Charlotte was only 6 years old. As a little girl, she was experiencing over 300 epileptic seizures per week until she was successfully treated by a CBD-rich strain oil, later named Charlotte’s Web.

The high-quality CBD oil, changed her life, helping her to overcome a 6-year battle. Since her story hit the news, CBD and other cannabinoids of the cannabis plant are constantly being researched to understand how they can help to treat different medical conditions. As a matter of fact, CBD has been thought to help treat over 170 medical conditions, among them severe conditions such as Anorexia, Cancer, Arthritis, Depression, Anxiety, Chronic Pain, Insomnia, Glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and PTSD.

Recent studies have even shown that CBD, may cure life-threatening diseases by altering genes. Other studies have proven that it might even be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and chronic pain.

The way that CBD works is that it interacts with receptors located in different parts of the central nervous system. These receptors are called CB1 and CB2. Both reflect the areas of the brain they interact with such as the limbic system. When taking CBD, this cannabinoid locks in on these receptors and affects the body in different ways. For example, it can help to block the pain caused by specific medical conditions.

While numerous studies have shown promising results, it is important to understand that CBD research is still at premature stages. A 2011 study that researched CBD for fibromyalgia showed extremely promising results. 56 of 112 participants who took CBD in the form of oil saw a great reduction in their symptoms and pain, while those using traditional methods didn’t see hardly any improvement.

Can you Buy CBD if you live in an illegal state?

The process is not cut-&-dry, and but thanks to the Farm Bill of 2014, forms of CBD can now be delivered to your doorstep. Those that live in recreational states can purchase CBD cannabis oil which is high in potency and extremely effective for helping to treat severe medical conditions, while those that live in other states that are not medical or recreational can benefit from CBD hemp oil. CBD Hemp oil is perfect for helping to treat a wide range of conditions including anxiety, depression and acute pain. 

Who is NaturalWellNessCBDOil?

My name is Jonathan, and I’ve created this loving resource that is packed with information about CBD oil. I am growing a community on Facebook and are constantly engaging with different people to help them make more informed decisions. I review products on a daily basis and provide unbiased reviews about some of the top CBD oil manufacturers. All the information on the site is FREE; I only ask that you help to share the information you find on the site with other people that are suffering. 

To your health and happiness.