Exploring the Entourage Effect: What It Is, Why It Works, and Things You Need to Know

Cannabidiol, or CBD, was recently legalized with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. As a result of this legal change, many Americans are exploring CBD. However, many remain ignorant of some of the important differences between types of CBD. One such example is the Entourage Effect, an important part of CBD.

What Is the Entourage Effect?

According to Kats Botanicals, the entourage effect is what happens when the entire plant of a cannabis plant is used and all of the compounds found in hemp oil are present and act in conjunction with one another in such a way that the results are amplified beyond what they would be if not all of the compounds were present. Typically, the Entourage Effect results in a more impactful and positive experience with CBD. It also means that the CBD is consumed in its most natural, unfiltered state, and with as many naturally occurring products as possible. This includes THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical component of CBD, which is commonly associated with intoxication.

Why It Works

The reason the Entourage Effect works can best be summarized by this old axiom: “The sum of the parts is greater than the whole.” Individually, the various chemical components of CBD may have a certain impact. However, THC, other naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes have a synergistic effect with each other. As noted by websites that study the impact of CBD, certain components of the compound can only achieve therapeutic relief when they are present together. It is also worth noting that the Entourage Effect works best when the entire plant of a cannabis plant is used, not just the leaves or stems.

Terpenes and Cannabinoids

Terpenes and Cannabinoids are an important part of the Entourage Effect. Both are naturally occurring compounds found within the whole plant. Cannabinoids occur both within the body and are found in CBD, and they interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system to alter your body’s regulation of a variety of functions, including sleep, pain, appetite, body temperature, and more. Terpenes are commonly associated with a citrus smell and flavor—they too, are naturally occurring compounds that are in CBD.

Entourage Effect and THC

For the Entourage Effect to truly work, the CBD product must contain THC. This means that it must be “a Broad Spectrum” type. This is the kind of CBD, which is processed as little as possible, meaning that it contains all naturally occurring products, including terpenes, cannabinoids, and THC. Full Spectrum CBD is relatively similar to Broad Spectrum CBD; however, it contains no THC. For a variety of reasons, including personal preference, staying within the confines of the law (in some countries) or concern about drug testing, Full Spectrum CBD may be preferable to some users. However, it will not give an individual the full Entourage Effect.

Benefits of CBD Without the Entourage Effect

CBD without the Entourage Effect can be useful, but the primary benefits are for people who do not want to ingest any THC into their bodies. In some countries, any THC use remains illegal, and there are also numerous jobs (such as law enforcement) where THC consumption remains an offense that can cost someone their position, despite the current legal status of the substance. Consuming CBD without all of the naturally occurring products may also be preferable for individuals who are concerned about potential food allergies, or people who consult with their doctors and are advised to consume only certain types of CBD out of fear that Full Spectrum CBD may result in a negative reaction with other medications they are taking.

The Importance of 3rd Party Testing and the Encourage Effect

Some forms of CBD may claim to induce an Entourage Effect when that isn’t the case at all. Unfortunately, the relative lack of labeling requirements in many countries can put consumers at a disadvantage. As such, it is always highly preferable to use CBD that has been tested by a third-party and labeled as such. According to Botanacor, this process involves examining the product in a lab and providing the most accurate analysis. This ensures that you are actually consuming what the company says is in the CBD.

Other Types of CBD

In addition to Broad and Full Spectrum CBD, there is one other type of CBD called Isolate. Isolate is typically found in a powder form and is essentially the complete opposite of Full Spectrum CBD. All cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds have been removed from the product, leaving behind a powder substance that is only cannabidiol. It is also THC free, so users who are concerned about consuming THC can use this product. Isolate can then be used on its own, rubbed onto the body, or processed by users into their own balm or lotion.

Legal Questions

As noted earlier, CBD is legal in the United States and, according to Hempika, in many other countries throughout the world. However, not all CBD is legal. To be purchased and consumed in the United States, CBD must contain less than 0.3% THC. Furthermore, it is still possible to test positive on a certain type of drug test if you consume CBD that contains THC, depending on your metabolism, the sensitivity of the drug test, and how recently you ingested the THC. As such, though CBD is legal, it can still result in employment problems for the user.

Check With a Medical Professional First

Thankfully, numerous reports have suggested that CBD is medically safe and non-addictive. However, it is still possible to have a negative interaction between CBD and other medications you are taking, or an illness you may have. As such, it is highly-advised to check with your doctor or other medical professional before you consume CBD. Furthermore, make sure to ask your doctor whether or not you can expect a difference if you take Full or Broad Spectrum CBD, and what impact the Entourage Effect will have on your body. Based on countless anecdotal reports and current understanding of how the Entourage Effect works, it seems apparent that whole-plant CBD can encourage the Entourage Effect and its various benefits. This results in users having a more powerful, positive experience with CBD.

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