Hemp products have become increasingly popular since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, and because of its legality, there has been more research conducted into hemp to explore its potential benefits. One of these benefits is the entourage effect, which can prove to be highly effective in the medical community. In order to understand the entourage effect, you have to understand the components that are attributed to it.
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in both the hemp and cannabis sativa plants. Over the years, over a hundred different kinds of cannabinoids have been identified, but the two that are most commonly known are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
CBD and THC are both commonly associated with each other, even though they have different effects on the body. THC produces the high that is commonly associated with cannabis products, while CBD is non-psychoactive and is gaining ground for its medicinal uses.
Cannabinoids work within our body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates different functions, including in the brain and central nervous system. There are receptors within this system with which cannabinoids interact, and it is through these interactions that cannabinoids like CBD and THC achieve some of their effects.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in all plants, not just hemp and cannabis. They are most known for their ability to alter the taste and smell of hemp and cannabis. However, they also hold great medicinal value and help to determine the effects felt by the consumer. There are over 100 terpenes identified in nature, though there are only eight main terpenes we primarily see in cannabis and hemp.
What is the Entourage Effect?
Now that we know what main components work with the entourage effect, let’s dive into what exactly it is and how it can benefit you! The entourage effect is a term used to describe a phenomenon where compounds work together synergistically to boost the overall effects of their singular parts. This means that when we combine multiple cannabinoids and terpenes, we feel more benefit than when taken alone. For example, a blend of CBD flower and CBG flower would induce the entourage effect. By boosting the benefits felt from our cannabinoid-based products by leveraging the entourage effect, it may also allow individuals to use lower doses to feel therapeutic benefits.
Products to Use
In order to induce the entourage effect, you want to look for certain types of products. You wouldn’t want a product containing an isolate because that is a singular cannabinoid acting alone. Instead, look for these other options.
Cannabinoid products that are labeled full-spectrum include all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids within hemp, even trace amounts of Delta 9 THC. It maintains all of the naturally occurring terpenes and flavonoids as well, which helps provide the entourage effect.
When you are using broad-spectrum products, they are products that have all of the components of the hemp plant, except for THC. This means it has all of the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, which can help induce the entourage effect. Broad spectrum products are ideal for those looking to avoid THC completely, but still want to enjoy the benefits of hemp. Because full spectrum products involve whole plant extraction, it still carries the hemp flavor, which can be masked when added to drinks or edibles.
Whole hemp flower has all its components intact, allowing those who consume to experience the entourage effect. Whole hemp flower is truly the way to get the benefits from the whole flower.
The full extent of the entourage effect still needs more research, but the research that does exist on it has shown that it may be important to achieving milestones within the medical community.