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What is the Entourage Effect?

by | Sep 3, 2020 | Blog Posts | 0 comments

By now, you’ve likely heard praise being sung left and right for Cannabidiol or CBD products. Many individuals report a host of benefits to a regular CBD routine. But not all products are made equally.

According to many experts in the field, a major contributing factor to the effectiveness of a CBD product is a well-supported theory known as the entourage effect.

What is the Entourage Effect? 

Before we dive into the entourage effect, let’s cover some basics of CBD.

The cannabis plant contains a long list of naturally occurring chemical compounds known as phytocannabinoids (plant cannabinoids). They are the puzzle pieces that link together to create the qualities this plant is renowned for. 

You’re probably familiar with the most famous cannabinoid of the bunch; delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. This is what stimulates the hallmark psychoactive effects (the sought-after high) cannabis is known for.

CBD is another well-researched cannabinoid that is currently under study for potential benefits it may offer the human body. Together, these two compounds, the long list of additional cannabinoids, and other chemical compounds react to create the entourage effect in cannabis and hemp users.

In simple terms, the entourage effect is the result of all these compounds working in harmony to enhance the effects of cannabis on our endocannabinoid system. This can help increase all the benefits CBD users keep coming back for when they reach for their favorite product.

The Endocannabinoid System

Industrial hemp contains 113 currently-known cannabinoids. These compounds interact with our endocannabinoid system -or ECS- to amplify our receptors and encourage our bodies’ natural production of cannabinoids. Our ECS also works to slow the breakdown of those compounds for longer-lasting effectiveness.

Infographic of the Human Endocannabinoid System.

All mammals have an endocannabinoid system. Its main role is to regulate biological functionality through receptors and neurotransmitters. With the help of this system, our bodies can reach homeostasis. But sometimes it needs support to maintain harmony longer and more efficiently. 

This is where the entourage effect comes into play.

On its own, CBD can help our endocannabinoid system maintain homeostasis for longer. When it works in tandem with other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, the entourage can be observed.

Though CBD carries many benefits on its own, it’s speculated that when other compounds such as THC, CBG, or CBT are also present in a product, it holds the potential to be more effective. 

How the Entourage Effect Differs Between CBD Types 

There are three main types of CBD products on the market today: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. Each is formulated with a different combination and quantity of cannabinoid compounds. 

Full-spectrum CBD includes all cannabinoid compounds found in hemp in order to take full advantage of the entourage effect. It contains less than 0.3% THC. This is not enough to stimulate a psychoactive effect but it is enough to potentially cause a positive on a drug test.

Broad-spectrum CBD contains 0.0% THC meaning it carries many of the same benefits of full-spectrum CBD without running the risk of any problems with potential drug tests looking for THC. Broad-spectrum CBD does not carry any intoxicating effects. It does, however, stimulate the entourage effect! This is the variety of CBD oil we carry here at Peace River.

Lastly, we have CBD isolate. This product only contains CBD and excludes every other cannabinoid. That means it is the purest form of cannabidiol. Usually, the only other ingredient found in this product is flavoring. This variety of CBD does not encourage the entourage effect since it doesn’t contain any other industrial hemp plant compounds. 

We go into more detail on the differences between these three main players of the CBD industry in a previous blog.

Dosage Can Factor Into the Entourage Effect

How can you be sure what dose of CBD is right for you? Well there isn’t a one size fits all answer. But in order to take advantage of the entourage effect, it’s vital to find the right amount for you. Depending on your needs and tolerance level, your dosage will vary. 

Say you buy a 1000mg CBD oil tincture. Within that bottle there are 1000mg and there are typically “30 servings” per bottle. That means the recommended serving size and dropper amount will equal out to roughly 33mg. But this is more of a jumping-off point than a hard and fast rule. 

Each body will react to the product in a different way. But keep in mind, if your goal is to reach the entourage effect, you’ll need to determine the proper amount of CBD for you. Anything less won’t reap the desired outcome of the entourage effect. But don’t worry; there are plenty of methods to decipher what dosage is right for you.

The Entourage Effect and the Body

As we briefly touched on, the endocannabinoid system regulates the body’s homeostasis. It regulates sleep, mood, immune response, memory, and more. Our body already creates cannabinoids on its own. But CBD has been observed to help the ECS do its job more efficiently.

The entourage effect encourages two types of compounds to interact: phytocannabinoids and terpenes. Both are key to how CBD affects the body. Phytocannabinoids, as the name suggests, are plant-derived cannabinoids. Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that give each strain of hemp its unique fragrance. 

CBD works to help the ECS to produce more cannabinoids. It also blocks fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) enzymes so your body breaks down the cannabinoids slower and you can reap their full potential benefits. The entourage effect is thought to help this process along even better. 

Together, the different components of the hemp plant work in concert to amplify the benefits of CBD products and prevent unwanted side effects. There’s still a lot of research to do on how the entourage effect works and all of the benefits it provides our bodies and minds but the case for the validity of this phenomenon is strong. 

Here are some of the benefits as stated in Ethan Russo’s 2011 study of the entourage effect.

We’re still only scratching the surface of what the entourage effect can do for our bodies and overall wellbeing. There’s a lot of additional research to be done with industrial hemp plants and their compounds in general. Since the cannabis plant was so heavily bred to enhance the psychoactive properties of THC for so long, the other cannabinoids are just an afterthought in many strains of hemp plants. 

Choosing a CBD That’s Right for You

If you’re ready to tap into the entourage effect, the first step is to seek out a vehicle to deliver the cannabinoids and other compounds to your system in a way that serves you. Peace River CBD offers a skillfully crafted collection of broad-spectrum products ideal for the individual who wants all the potential benefits of the entourage effect without any fear of introducing detectable THC to the system. 

Our products utilize liposomal absorption technology. That means they are capable of delivering higher levels of CBD directly into your bloodstream. You’ll be more likely to reach the entourage effect and less likely to burn off any of the products in the digestive system. 

All and all, Peace River CBD is dedicated to providing a top-tier product for an affordable price. Give us a try and see how CBD can positively impact your life