What is the Entourage Effect?

What is the Entourage Effect?

The easiest way to explain the entourage effect is "the plant knows best."  The scientific theory is a hypothesis of Dr. Ethan Russo, a cannabinoid expert. He explains that the concept revolves around synergy: all the compounds in the hemp plant provide the best results when used together. When you review the benefits of phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, they share many of the same characteristics. For example, while not identical, most offer some anti-inflammatory advantages. Additionally, several offer antiviral or antibacterial properties. When working to reduce inflammation or fight viral infections, such as MRSA, research shows they work best when combined.

What is CBD?

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of the most studied cannabinoids in the plant. CBD is non-intoxicating i.e., does not get you ‘high’, safe, and legal to consume in the US and the UK. CBD is one of 120 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant along with terpenes, flavonoids, and other essential nutrients. All of these amazing compounds form in the plant's trichomes, the tiny bulb-like structures are located on hemp's stalk, stems, leaves, and flowers. The highest concentration of compounds are found in the flowers. People use CBD for numerous reasons. The most common include reducing anxiety, lowering stress levels naturally, and relieving pain or sore and achy joints and muscles. In addition, it's also a popular plant-based sleep aid.

What are Phytocannabinoids?

Phytocannabinoids are involved in the ‘entourage effect’ – CBD is one of these. Scientists have been isolating phytocannabinoids since the early 1940s. To date, they've identified 144 plant-based cannabinoids. These compounds were once thought restricted to hemp. However, they've since discovered a few phytocannabinoids in other plants, such as echinacea.

Below are some of the more typical cannabinoids found in hemp plants:

What is Delta-9 THC (Δ9–tetrahydrocannabinol)?

Delta-9 THC is the most-known compound (not to be confused with Delta-8 THC; a sister cannabinoid). It is a psychoactive cannabinoid found in small amounts, less than 0.2%, in the hemp plant. This percentage isn't enough to produce the high associated with THC-dominant cannabis plants.

What is Delta- THC (Δ8–tetrahydrocannabinol)?

Information about delta-8 THC is just emerging. The phytocannabinoids is nearly identical to delta-9 THC, but it doesn't have as potent psych activity as delta-9. Many consumers, where delta 8 THC is legal, refer to it as "THC-lite."

What is CBG (cannabigerol)?

CBG is another non-intoxicating cannabinoid in the plant. The compound's acidic form, CBGa, is referred to as the mother of all cannabinoids because it forms first in the plant's trichomes. As the flowers begin to mature, CBGa converts to CBDa or THCa. About 1% of CBGa remains when they reach full maturity. 1

What is CBC (cannabichromene)?

CBC is another non-intoxicating hemp compound that may help with inflammation related to the natural aging process and reduce acne breakouts. It was isolated in 1966 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam and his research team. More research is necessary to verify these results. 1

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are also involved in the ‘entourage effect.’ You can thank terpenes for the array of aromas of hemp flowers. There's nothing new about these compounds. Unlike cannabinoids, these are found throughout the plant world. Brands use them in hundreds of common household cleaners, beauty products, and foods. Over 20,000 have been identified throughout nature. More than 100 are found in hemp. Terpenes play a significant role in the entourage effect because of their vast concentration in the trichomes.

Below are some of the more typical terpenes growing in the plant's trichomes:

What is Myrcene?

Myrcene is the most abundant terpene found in hemp. It's also in citrus fruits, such as mango. Research shows some plants contain up to 65% of myrcene in their terpene profile. Some potential benefits of the compound include stress and inflammation relief.

What is Caryophyllene?

Caryophyllene is commonly found in black pepper and cinnamon. It has a spicy aroma and is often used to reduce stress naturally. Like myrcene, caryophyllene also has anti-inflammatory characteristics.

What is Pinene?

Another terpene that has a name that matches its scent is pinene. The plant chemical is also located in pine needles. It has a woodsy aroma that's reminiscent of a walk in a pine forest. Pinene is a bronchodilator with anti-inflammatory advantages.

What is Limonene?

Limonene, as the name suggests, is also found in citrus peels, including lemons. It has an intoxicating fruity aroma and contains anti-fungal and antibacterial characteristics. Limonene is also the second-most abundant hemp compound.

What is Humulene?

You may notice humulene as the terpene responsible for hops. Humulene may improve appetite, and like most of the other compounds found in hemp, it has anti-inflammatory benefits. Humulene is also found in cloves and basil.

What are Flavonoids?

Have you ever wondered why hemp flowers have an array of colours and shades? Flavonoids are responsible for the plant's light and dark greens, blue-greens, and deep purple leaves and flowers. 

The colorful compounds, similar to terpenes, are found in thousands of other plants. There are over 6,000 distinct flavonoids. At least 20 are commonly located in the hemp plant. Although they're not studied as extensively as terpenes, a few are well-researched for their wellness effects.

What is Cannflavin-A and Cannflavin-B?

Cannflavin A and B are unique to cannabis. This group of flavonoids is known for anti-inflammatory activity. Research shows it might be over 20 times stronger than aspirin. Cannflavin A and B are a class of flavones. Additional advantages of flavonoids include neuroprotective and antioxidant properties. 1

What is Cannflavin-C

This flavonoid shares many of the characteristics of the other two flavones found in hemp. All three were discovered in 1985. Plant yields of Cannflavin A, B, and C, are low in the trichomes. More research is necessary to learn the full role flavonoids play in hemp's wellness properties.

How to find the right CBD products

Finding which CBD products will best benefit your body and mind, can be a complicated process, here is a rundown:

Full-spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD is the most natural form of CBD oil because it contains all naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes within the hemp flower. The idea behind the entourage effect is that all of the cannabinoids and terpenes combine to create synergistic effects on the endocannabinoid system. Thus, full-spectrum CBD promotes a broader range of supportive effects compared to other types of CBD products.

Broad-spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD is exactly like full-spectrum CBD with one difference — it doesn't contain THC. Therefore, it can be said that broad-spectrum CBD products produce the entourage effect, albeit without any THC.

CBD isolate

CBD isolate is a pure form of CBD because it does not contain other cannabinoids or terpenes. During the extraction process of CBD isolate, cannabidiol is stripped from the oil and isolated from the rest of the cannabinoids and terpenes. Therefore, CBD isolate doesn't smell or taste like anything. Even though CBD isolate does not benefit from the entourage effect, significant studies show CBD's inherently supportive effects for both the mind and body. Also, these products as they guarantee only CBD can give peace of mind to any sports athletes who are worried about even trace levels of THC in their system, due to frequent drug testing. Our premium range of CBD gummies contain 14% recommended daily intake of Pure Isolate CBD that is extracted from organically grown hemp plants.

Entourage effect - Final thoughts 

When choosing between an isolate, full-spectrum, or broad-spectrum CBD oil, consider the entourage effect. A whole-plant product or a broad-spectrum product with zero THC provides the best response of all formulas for relieving stress, anxiety, body aches, and improving sleep quality. These hemp extracts contain the highest concentrations of the plant's naturally occurring compounds and contribute towards the entourage effect.

Join the Mission

We believe in open, honest, and balanced communication, we tell people everything they need to know about CBD. All information is trusted, vetted, and backed by scientific evidence. If you want to learn more about CBD and have any further questions, please reach out through our contact form on the website or contact@missionc.com.  Above all else, we’re human. Our team is made up of real, contactable people who are on hand for anything you might need.

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