Entourage effects

What is the entourage effect?
The more research on cannabis varieties, the more we discover elements allowing us to understand the effects of the different isolated components on the human nervous system. But what about the group effect?
You probably already know the two most famous compounds in hemp: THC and CBD. The first is psychoactive and therefore prohibited in France, while the second is considered therapeutic and therefore open to consumption in France. However, there are many other compounds that the plant produces in smaller quantities. They too have a supporting role in the effects of hemp strains. Their combinations are as numerous as there are strains of cannabis, however, extraction techniques emphasize the isolation of the components to consume them individually. Moreover, most studies carried out on cannabis mainly use these two compounds to carry out their tests.
Except that in wanting to understand each element separately, we forget that there is strength in unity. In case of flu, a good soup full of vegetables is more beneficial than a vegetable alone, we agree on that. It is therefore by asking questions about the combinations of compounds that researchers dedicated to cannabis invented the entourage effect.
The entourage effect refers to the synergy of the different cannabinoids present in cannabis, the combination of which increases the potency of the effects compared to the action of a single cannabinoid, CBD, THC, CBG, CBC, etc.
Let's take a simple example. Your attitude and mood are different when you're in a social environment than when you're home alone. Your surroundings therefore have an effect on you. Well it's the same with the components of cannabis. They influence each other and the results are different depending on who is in the meeting or not.
In this article, we'll describe what the entourage effect entails in detail, and then put it in the context of CBD.
What is the entourage effect?
To fully understand the entourage effect, you must first understand the composition of cannabis plants. Indeed, cannabis is not a simple, flavorless plant. Rather, it is a type of plant that offers an unlimited variety of compound combinations, and therefore flavors. Each variety (or strain) is different and produces a different effect on its consumer. All these lovely, unique blends are made possible thanks to two essential elements: Cannabinoids and terpenes.
Cannabis cannabinoids
If you know CBD, you already know cannabinoids because CBD is part of the long list of more than 100 cannabinoids present in cannabis. If we go into detail, we see that cannabinoids refer to a group of active chemical substances present in cannabis. They act on the body's cells and have variable consequences depending on their nature.
Some of them are psychoactive and therefore can make the user “high or stoned”. THC falls into this category. Then you have others that have no effect on the state of consciousness, like CBD. Other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBC or even CBN exist and therefore have different properties.
What all of the categorized cannabinoid components have in common is that they all have therapeutic properties. The therapeutic effect will vary depending on the potency of the concentrate ingested. But these cannabinoids don't work alone, they have colleagues, just as important, terpenes.
Cannabis terpenes
Terpenes are the sources of aromas and tastes present in many plants. Their aim is to protect the plant while giving it a unique aromatic specificity. We find it almost everywhere, in lavender, orange, black pepper, eucalyptus etc.
It is in particular thanks to these terpenes that we can find a very wide variety of cannabis plants, with different tastes and aromas. Some terpenes are very powerful and can have therapeutic functions: anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, analgesic, antimicrobial, etc.
But how do cannabinoids and terpenes work together?
The entourage effect explained
A neurologist and pharmacologist named Dr. Ethan Russo produced an entire study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology regarding the entourage effect and how cannabinoids and terpenes work together.
Dr. Russo studied common cannabis compounds and, based on their pharmacology, described their potential synergistic effects. For example, he has proven the effectiveness of the cannabinoids CBD and CBG in inhibiting staphylococcus aureus bacterial infection. He goes even further by proposing to integrate a terpene (pinene) into the synergy. It therefore creates an entourage effect to try to obtain convincing results on medical issues on which science makes little or no progress.
Furthermore, another very recent scientific study (2020) also did extensive research on the entourage effect to determine if it can be useful for patients with various diseases. Their results attest that “the use of various cannabis-derived compounds opens the door to the possibility of avoiding the adverse effects of available antidepressants and mood stabilizers while treating mood disorders. This may be particularly important for patients who do not respond to or adhere to conventional treatment. ".
You can imagine that with such a diversity of useful compounds in cannabis, the possible synergies are endless! We are at the very beginning of the exploration and to date, there are very few studies that explore these synergies in humans, but the research continues in the right direction and could strongly impact medical science.
The entourage effect and CBD
After understanding the entourage effect, how can CBD users adapt their consumption to get the most out of their experience with cannabis products?
The important thing to remember is that in a therapeutic context, CBD appears to be more effective in combination with other cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp plant than when isolated. Full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD products are therefore more interesting to consume. They make it possible to obtain additional benefits because they are coupled with other components providing complementary properties.
As a reminder: Full Spectrum CBD is a CBD extract which contains all the cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant: CBN, CBC, CBG etc. When extracting the product, the entire plant was used. It may therefore contain THC residues, but at a maximum of 0.2% to be able to be sold legally in France. This extract allows you to benefit from all the active ingredients of cannabis. CBD Isolate, for its part, is an industrial hemp extract which is defined as being the purest form of CBD, completely isolated from the other components of cannabis.
Full Spectrum CBD or CBD Isolate?
At this point, you are probably wondering which is better to consume: Full Spectrum CBD or CBD Isolate? Again, it all depends on what you're looking for! More advanced CBD users find that CBD isolate offers limited therapeutic effects. But if you're just starting out, this can be a good, subtle introduction. Indeed, Full Spectrum CBD may be a little too strong in substance to start with. We recommend moderation and step-by-step initiation!