Revised April 2022
Normally when we think of an “entourage,” we picture a group of people traveling with a VIP. Well, when it comes to the cannabis plant, you can consider Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or Cannabidiol (CBD) to be the VIPs. Their entourage? That would include over 120 other lesser-known cannabinoids, such as CBC, CBG, and CBN. While research is still being done on these minor cannabinoids, we do know that many of them have their own benefits and when taken alongside other cannabis compounds, the results can be particularly therapeutic.
So what exactly is the entourage effect? The prevailing theory behind it is that various cannabis compounds have a greater potential for physical or psychological effects when consumed together as opposed to when they’re taken on their own. This entourage effect can be achieved with full spectrum, whole plant, and broad spectrum CBD products, but it’s not observed with CBD isolates.
Let’s take a look at these different types of CBD oil:
- Full spectrum CBD oil is a CBD preparation that contains the majority of cannabis plant compounds, including some THC.
- Whole plant CBD oil is less refined than full spectrum CBD oil. It contains (you guessed it) the whole cannabis plant, including fats, waxes, and other fibrous plant material. (Note: It can be bitter and thus less pleasant in taste compared to full spectrum CBD.)
- Broad spectrum CBD oil is very similar to its full spectrum cousin, with the primary difference being its THC content. It still includes a range of cannabinoids, but only trace amounts of THC.
- CBD isolate is CBD that has been refined to a powder. It contains no other cannabinoids or impurities. It is pure CBD. (Note: Because there are no other cannabis compounds present, the entourage effect won’t come into play with the use of CBD isolates alone.)
What Are the Benefits of the Entourage Effect?
The Hadassah Medical School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem sought to compare the efficacy of a CBD isolate against a full spectrum cannabis flower extract (containing large quantities of CBD as well as traces of the other cannabinoids). The conclusion of the study was that the whole plant extract proved far more effective than the pure CBD in alleviating inflammation and pain sensation.
But cannabinoids only tell part of the story. In addition to the 120+ cannabinoids present in cannabis sativa, there are other chemical compounds, such as terpenes and flavonoids, that contribute to the smell, taste, color, and health benefits of the cannabis plant. As cannabis compounds, they also contribute to the entourage effect.
Will the Entourage Effect Change My CBD Regimen?
With a full spectrum product, you can typically expect your body to require a smaller quantity of CBD in your supplementation regimen. This is due to the fact that the entourage effect from the other cannabinoids creates a more effective dose. Since you need less CBD in each dose, it’s not uncommon to find that using full spectrum CBD oil reduces the cost per dose. It also reduces the chance that any one cannabinoid will interact with other natural medicines or overstimulate your cannabinoid receptors.
Does the Entourage Effect Get You High?
The entourage effect you experience with a full spectrum CBD oil won’t get you high. Full spectrum CBD oil contains only a small amount of THC. In fact, it’s thought that CBD may actually inhibit the intoxicating effects of THC, making it even less likely for you to get high from the full spectrum entourage effect.
For those who don’t want to take THC specifically, but who’d like to still experience the benefits of the CBD entourage effect, broad spectrum CBD oil is a great option.
What’s Best: Full Spectrum CBD Oil or CBD Isolate?
Oftentimes the purest version of a product is the most desirable. After all, it must be better if it’s more pure, right? However, when it comes to CBD products, this isn’t necessarily the case. Consumers who use CBD isolate will enjoy the benefits of CBD, but that’s it. On the other hand, those who use full spectrum CBD oil (or softgels, gummies, or topicals) will not only experience the benefits of the CBD and each of the other cannabinoid compounds, but those benefits will be amplified by the entourage effect.
Experience the Benefits of the Entourage Effect with NuLeaf Naturals
Do you have questions about our products, or are you not sure which one is right for you?
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More research is needed to scientifically confirm many of the anecdotal benefits of CBD and cannabis. As with any supplement, consult your physician before use if you are taking any medications.