With nearly 4 million Americans currently using CBD for various reasons, it’s clear that people are really starting to understand the efficacy of this powerful, therapeutic cannabinoid. Whether they are using it to help reduce stress, improve their mood or treat another unwanted symptom, people are turning to CBD as an alternative to traditional treatments that may have unwanted risks or side effects.
Although there is a lot of broad information available about how to incorporate CBD into a healthy lifestyle, the finer points can help you improve your experience even more. Learning about things like CBD terpenes, hemp terpenes and the entourage effect can make a big difference.
What Is the Entourage Effect?
The entourage effect is a process that enhances the effects of CBD after consuming it. The term was originally introduced in the late ’90s by Raphael Mechoulam and his colleague Shimon Ben-Shabat to describe what happens when cannabinoids and terpenes are consumed together through whole-plant oil. In their research, they discovered that an isolated cannabinoid is less effective than the full spectrum of cannabinoids. This means when multiple cannabinoids are taken together, a synergistic interaction actually improves the efficacy of the oil or CBD product. This discovery created the potential for understanding cannabis as a multifaceted plant with many untapped compounds for healing.
How Does the Entourage Effect Work?
Let’s take a look at what the entourage effect looks like in a practical sense. When you consume hemp oil, your body’s endocannabinoid system takes in and processes all of the cannabinoids and terpenes in it. As the oil interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, your body processes all the compounds available. CBD oil that includes more than just the isolated cannabinoid is considered full spectrum and will include other cannabinoids that enhance the effectiveness of the CBD. Think of it like a boost to the naturally therapeutic characteristics of CBD.
Most people are already familiar with THC and CBD because they are the most popular and best-known cannabinoids in cannabis, but there are many others. In fact, there are over 100 different cannabinoids in cannabis, including minor cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC) and cannabigerol (CBG). These minor cannabinoids are considered the next cannabis frontier, as they offer new opportunities for medical cannabis and the future of alternative medicine.
CBD vs. CBG
Cannabigerol (CBG) is starting to gain some major attention as possibly the next big thing after CBD. Similar to CBD, CBG does not have any psychotropic effects. In studies it has shown some promise for inhibiting tumor growth, killing drug-resistant bacteria and decreasing inflammation, particularly for inflammatory bowel diseases (including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis). It may also have the same potential as CBD to reduce the psychotropic activity of THC, alleviating paranoia and other feelings that may come with being high. Unfortunately, there is not very much scientific information or research available on this minor cannabinoid, but what is there is encouraging.
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in cannabis and other plants commonly used for essential oils and herbal remedies. Like cannabinoids, terpenes interact with the endocannabinoid system (although in a different way) and have an influence on your cannabis experience as well. Some of the most popular terpenes include limonene, pinene, myrcene and linalool. There are over 200 different types of terpenes found in the cannabis plant, and each of them offers different characteristics, from calming and relaxing to energizing and uplifting.
Choosing the Right Products
When it comes to buying products that will provide the entourage effect, it’s important to look for those made with CBD-rich broad spectrum hemp oil (which is what we use here at SHEbd). These products will include cannabinoids and terpenes that are naturally found in the hemp plant, but contain 0.0% THC, meaning they won’t cause the mind high commonly associated with cannabis. It’s important that these bioactive compounds are present in the product in order to ensure that you receive the most benefit from consuming it.
On the flip side, you should avoid products that isolate CBD, as all of these beneficial compounds will have been stripped out. If you see a term like “pure” or no mention of “broad spectrum” cannabis on the label, steer clear.
Though the benefits of CBD are extensive, it’s just one of the major cannabinoids found in cannabis plants like hemp. The other cannabinoids and terpenes in hemp also contribute to the overall experience, and play an integral role in helping your body achieve a healthy balanced state. Consuming cannabis oil that contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids (but no THC) is the best way to get the benefits of CBD. Broad spectrum hemp oil products will help to achieve the entourage effect by providing a range of cannabinoids and terpenes that interact with one another to enhance the efficacy of a product.
This is exactly why at SHEbd we only use the highest-quality broad spectrum hemp oil in our products. We’re dedicated to helping women live the healthiest, fullest lives possible naturally — and won’t ever strip out beneficial compounds to do so. That’s why not all CBD is SHEbd.