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Beyond Synergy: Understanding the Impact of the Entourage Effect

Written By Ellese Symons Jul 13th 2022
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It may surprise you to learn that hemp CBD contains more than 400 compounds. While many of the individual components of CBD can have an effect on your body, the potential benefits are multiplied and intensified when plant compounds work together. This is one of the many reasons so many CBD enthusiasts prefer to use full-spectrum CBD products. They want to take advantage of a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.

What You Need to Know About the Entourage Effect

When a Compound is More Than the Sum of Its Parts

The concept of one component adding to the benefit of another is nothing new. Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle was the first to proclaim that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Each component contributes, but together they are stronger. Today we call it synergy.

When a compound is synergistic, each active element produces an effect, but the combination of these elements intensifies or enhances the individual effects. The total impact of the combined effect is greater than the sum of the active components. If we were to explain synergy in mathematical terms, 1+1=3.

While synergy enhances the impact of active elements, the discovery of the entourage effect takes the concept of synergy to an entirely new level.3

The Discovery of the Entourage Effect

In the 1960s, Israeli researcher Raphael Mechoulam identified the structure of CBD (cannabidiol), one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. A year later Mechoulam became the first researcher to isolate delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This renowned researcher identified multiple cannabinoids and plant compounds found in cannabis. He also identified the first cannabinoid produced by the brain, anandamide. 2

It was clear to Mechoulam and his research teams that many elements in cannabis work together synergistically, that the combined effects had more impact than the effect of the individual elements. Mechoulam and his team also found that cannabis contained many inert components, identifying many cannabinoids and other plant components that appeared to have no effect on their own, but created an effect when combined with other inactive compounds.

In combination, these once inert compounds worked together to intensify the synergistic effects of cannabis compounds, the impact we now know as the entourage effect, first publicized in 1998. The entourage effect enhances synergy.

Selecting a Full-Spectrum Product That Suits Your Lifestyle

For centuries, herbalists have supported the belief that whole plants are more beneficial to the body than their individual components. Today, science can back those theories. To take advantage of the entourage effect, to gain all the potential health and wellness benefits of hemp oil, you have several options, including:

  • Full-Spectrum CBD tinctures

    Tinctures are one of the most popular CBD products. When selecting a tincture, it is important to note how many milligrams of CBD is in the product. The higher the milligram content, the less of the product you will need per dose, and the longer the product will last. Tinctures can be mixed with your favorite foods or beverages, or you can simply hold the mixture under your tongue for a few seconds and swallow. This allows the cannabinoids to enter your bloodstream quickly by bypassing the digestive processes.

  • Full-Spectrum CBD Capsules and SoftGels

    Capsules and softgels are often the product of choice for those who don’t care for the flavor of CBD or would prefer not having to measure every dose. Many CBD users appreciate the ease of adding CBD capsules to their existing vitamin regimen. Some capsule users recommend using a compartmentalized pill case so they remember to take their CBD, or can verify if they missed a dose.

  • CBD Suppositories

    For those who have difficulty swallowing, stomach pain, or nausea, CBD suppositories offer the best option for absorbing the product quickly. Since using a suppository allows the CBD to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream, the potential benefits are noticed in as little as 10 minutes and can last up to eight hours. Suppositories offer the most bioavailability of any CBD product.

  • Broad-Spectrum CBD Wax

    (THC-free) CBD wax is a more crystalized version of the fatty lipids naturally occurring in hemp oil. Broad-spectrum wax can be used for cooking, dabbing (a form of vaping), taken sublingually, or blended with an edible oil to create a THC-free tincture. Broad-spectrum wax is a hybrid of sorts. While a broad-spectrum product does not contain every element found in the original plant, it still contains potentially beneficial plant terpenes that can contribute to the entourage effect.

Differentiating Between Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil and CBD Isolate

It’s important to note that full-spectrum CBD does contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid responsible for the intoxicating, psychoactive effects of marijuana. While marijuana contains 5-30 percent THC, hemp-sourced CBD contains less than 0.3 percent. Although this small amount of THC is not enough to cause intoxication, some CBD users are uncomfortable using a product that contains any amount of this potentially controversial cannabinoid.

For those who want the potential health benefits of CBD without the THC, there is always the option of selecting products made with CBD isolate. Through a process called chromatography, full-spectrum oil is further processed to remove the other cannabinoids and plant compounds. The result is a white powder (isolate) that is at least 99 percent pure cannabidiol. CBD isolate is tasteless and odorless.

Even without the entourage effect, CBD on its own still offers plenty of potential health and wellness benefits. Just a few of the products available for those who prefer THC-free options include:

Products made with CBD Isolates are also an option for those who do not care for the flavor of full spectrum CBD.

Magnify and Multiply the Potential Health Benefits of CBD

CBD (cannabidiol) has the potential to supplement the messengers and influence the receptors regulating every important function in your body. CBD mimics the effects of your naturally occurring neurotransmitters that can influence your moods, digestive processes, pain perception, and more.

The entourage effect offered by full-spectrum CBD can magnify and multiply the potential health and wellness benefits of CBD.

To learn more about the many potential health benefits of Hemp oil, and the way CBD interacts with your body, download The Ultimate CBD User Guide. For a quality selection of non-psychoactive, hemp-sourced products, visit CBDistillery. We offer a quality assortment of full-spectrum and THC-free products so you can find the perfect product to fit your lifestyle.