Cannabidiol (CBD) is arguably the most widely-recognized and most sought-after cannabis compound that we’re currently aware of. Other than Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is the most prominent cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, and its ability to promote wellness without being intoxicating makes it an incredibly versatile supplement. But despite recent strides in cannabis research and education, most folks are still unaware that CBD is only one of the hundreds of cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds that make up the cannabis plant.
Every cannabinoid has a role to play in the wellness efficacy of cannabis and hemp plants. The entourage effect is a term that describes how several cannabinoids and terpenes work together in synergy to elicit a different effect than that produced by a single cannabinoid. Here we’ll break down the role of the entourage effect in the wellness properties of cannabis, how cannabinoids work in the body, and how a full spectrum of hemp compounds may be of more value to you than CBD alone.
How CBD Works
CBD and other cannabinoids interact with the body through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a biochemical communication network made up of messenger molecules (endocannabinoids), receptors that they bind to, and enzymes that break them down to produce a chemical reaction.
The ECS plays a central role in regulating our physiology, mood, everyday experiences, and overall health. It’s present almost everywhere in the body, regulating the central nervous system, digestive system, many vital organs, and other bodily functions. Endocannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors like a key fitting a lock, helping the body reach homeostasis, or internal regulatory balance.
CBD and other cannabinoids can act as mimicking keys and bind to these same receptors. The two most well-studied cannabinoid receptors in the body are referred to as cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB2) and type 2 (CB2). CB1 receptors are most prominently expressed in the brain and central nervous system, which is why THC's psychoactive and euphoric effects are often attributed to the cannabinoid's CB1 affinity. CB2 receptors are mostly found in the immune and other peripheral systems. CBD was previously thought to have non-intoxicating, immunoregulatory effects because it had a special affinity to CB2 receptors. However, more recent studies indicate that CBD binds to CB1 receptors, CB2 receptors, and several other receptor systems, including opioid, dopamine, and serotonin receptors, which may account for its extensive range of potential uses.
Other Cannabinoids and Terpenes
CBD and THC may be the most prominently expressed cannabinoids, but they’re far from the only compounds that contribute to the chemical profile of cannabis. And though we still have a lot to learn about the individual effects attributable to these compounds, we know it makes a difference when they are absorbed together.
Terpenes are also heavily present in cannabis and exist just about everywhere in nature. Plants and flowers develop terpenes to both repel predators and attract pollinators. You can thank the terpene pinene, for example, for the sharp, refreshing scent of pine trees, and humulene for the potent bite of black pepper. Hundreds of different terpenes are present in cannabis, which accounts for the different smells and flavors of different cannabis strains, from mint to lemon to pine. Terpenes play an important role in the way cannabis interacts with our bodies, contributing ancillary effects that may help target specific ailments.
Understanding the Entourage Effect
Think of the entourage effect as the full sound of a whole orchestra playing together instead of one or even two instruments playing independently. The notes are the same, but you feel the full force of a composition when a full orchestra plays and each instrument contributes its part. Similarly, the soothing or balancing effects of CBD, CBG, and other prominent cannabinoids in hemp may be stronger than the effects of CBD alone because they are instigating a calming sensation in tandem with one another. Terpenes may also contribute to the entourage effect by triggering similar reactions in tandem with cannabinoids, only at different receptor points in the body.
Take Advantage of the Entourage Effect with Full-Spectrum Hemp
The entourage effect is a powerful demonstration of the unique, all-encompassing wellness properties of cannabis. So how does one best take advantage of it?
Though relatively few cannabis compounds are responsible for the cannabis high, a lot of people turn to CBD isolates to avoid even the slightest chance of experiencing an intoxicating effect. While CBD isolates can be a perfectly viable wellness-promoting option to achieve these ends, it only contains the benefits of a single cannabinoid.
If you’re in the market for CBD but want to make sure you experience everything the hemp plant has to offer, seek out products made from full or broad-spectrum hemp extracts. Full-spectrum hemp extract (FSHE) concentrates on preserving the entire cannabinoid and terpene profile of the plant. Broad-spectrum extract (BSHE) offers a slightly less robust cannabinoid profile because it’s subject to an additional refinement process that reduces trace amounts of THC.
Because the CBD industry is relatively new and still lacks proper regulation, always prioritize buying full-spectrum CBD products from companies that offer certificates of analysis (COAs) on their website. A COA from an accredited lab should always verify a product's cannabinoid content, as well as demonstrate that it is free of common harmful impurities.
For a full spectrum CBD-rich hemp extract that comes with a certificate of analysis, treat yourself to MyRemede CBD Oil today!