Entourage Effect: Does it really matter?
If you thought this was an article about how Vinny Chase and the boys have affected the CBD industry, then you may be surprised to learn this article is not about the hit HBO show Entourage. Wait, wait. Don’t leave because what I have to tell you may be more interesting than Drama’s latest meltdown.
I would strongly argue the cannabis entourage effect is equally, if not more, interesting than the famed show. What is the entourage effect as it relates to cannabis? The entourage effect is a term that was coined to describe the synergistic effect of having all the naturally-occurring cannabinoids and terpenes present along with CBD. CBD oils with a full lineup of cannabinoids and terpenes are usually referred to as full spectrum CBD or a whole-plant hemp extract.
Phytocannabinoids & The Entourage Effect
I know you’re probably asking yourself, “What are phytocannabinoids and how do they differ from regular cannabinoids?” Well, phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids found in plants. While cannabinoids found in the body are known as endocannabinoids. So, why does everyone just say cannabinoids? Because before the year 2000, most people outside a few select scientists even knew cannabinoids existed outside of the cannabis plant family.
Most of what we know about the active molecules in the cannabis family of plants is because of an Israeli researcher, Raphael Mechoulam. Mechoulam identified Cannabidiol (CBD) as the main active component of cannabis in 1963, and later he became the first person to isolate THC. Mechoulam and his team continued to dissect the cannabis plant into single molecules for the next couple of decades. In addition to CBD and THC, the team of researchers was able to identify other cannabinoids including Cannabigerols (CBG), Cannabichromenes (CBC), Cannabinol (CBN) and other lesser-known cannabinoids such as Cannabielsoin (CBE).
In addition to cannabinoids, Mechoulam and his team were able to identify the other synergistic elements of cannabis. These components include amino acids, proteins, terpenes and other compounds existing in minuscule amounts.
Terpenes & The Entourage Effect
The entourage effect isn’t just limited to the phytocannabinoids found in cannabis as discussed above. For those who do not know, terpenes, or terpenoids, are a family of oils that give cannabis and other plants their aroma and flavor profiles. Some of the most common terpenoids are myrcene, α-pinene, linalool, β-caryophyllene, and limonene. Ever smelled cannabis that smelled like a pine tree? Can you guess which terpene is responsible for that smell? If you said pinene, then you are correct! Does your cannabis have a sweet, citrus smell? That’s limonene!
The benefits of terpenes go well beyond making our cannabis taste and smell good. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies have labeled terpenoids as Generally Recognized as Safe. Research has shown that terpenes can have meaningful contributions to the cannabis entourage effect and in high enough concentrations can display their own therapeutic benefits.
(Photo credit: Leafly.com)
Pure Spectrum and the Entourage Effect
Pure Spectrum is proud to have products not only made from USDA certified organic hemp, but also made from a full spectrum CBD oil or hemp extract. Pure Spectrum does sell a CBD Isolate product and it’s great for adding to smoothies, coffee, acai bowls and other foods since the isolate is odorless and tasteless. The Face, Hand & Skin Lotion is made from CBD isolate as well. This is because a lotion made from an oil is not ideal for application onto a person’s face. That being said, the majority of their products are made from a full spectrum or whole plant hemp extract.
To see a full lineup of Pure Spectrum products, click here.