When you hear the word entourage, what first comes to mind? Well, it’s likely to think of an entourage as a group people who constantly surround, travel and work with a very important or famous person. In plant medicine or more specifically ‘whole plant medicine,’ the idea is somewhat different. In this article, we will take a look at what the entourage effect is and how it applies to CBD.
What is Whole Plant Medicine?
Most of the drugs or medicines we use today naturally hail from plants. Yet rarely do we ingest them in their natural form. Lots of these drugs rather come in the form of balms, serums, pills and other forms that have undergone massive transformation. However, some people believe – backed by a growing base of evidence – that should these transformed forms of medication be ingested or taken in their plant form, they will have a far greater influence on the body.
This is because the plant extracts are being taken as a whole in their natural which offers a more powerful effect than if taken alone in processed form. This is the basis for the term known as ‘whole plant medicine’.
What is The Entourage Effect?
When we talk about the entourage effect, what we are simply talking about is the combination of all the components of a cannabis plant interacting together to produce a greater and far better effect on the user than if any of these components had been used alone. In cannabis, there are over hundreds of compounds including cannabinoids of which CBD is inclusive.
By bringing these compounds to work together, their overall effect is multiplied and amplified to a greater degree. The term ‘entourage effect’ was coined by Israeli researcher Raphael Mechoulam in 1999 and is used to refer to this synergy that happens when multiple cannabinoids work in tandem with one another.
Why The Entourage Effect matters
When it comes to CBD products, what usually differentiates one from the other is how they are formulated. Synthetic, single-molecule CBD like CBD isolate for example, have been found by users to be somewhat ineffective unless ingested in large doses (as it contains purely CBD and nothing else). This is to a large extent based on anecdotal reports.
In contrast and in typical or in full-spectrum CBD products for instance, contents are made up of CBD in addition all sort of different ingredients including other cannabinoids, fatty acids and flavonoids found in the hemp plant. Possessing therapeutic value of their own, these combine with CBD to produce a very powerful effect.
For example, in a study, it was found that one the terpenes in cannabis known as pinene could help bring improvement to cognition and memory that has been affected by THC. By working together with other terpenes like mycrene and caryophyllene, pinene in addition to these can help provide better relief from anxiety.
Countless factors affect how effective CBD becomes in the body of the user. The physiological make-up of users, how the product is administered, dosage intake, etc. all play vital roles in making the product effective for the user. Yet could it also be that many users do not find some products effective simply because these products lack the ‘entourage effect?’
For all you know, whether or not the product you are using is made with CBD isolate or with whole plant extraction may be having a hand in how efficacious the product is in your system.
Of course, research is still in its infant stages but the general belief is that cannabinoids work better and more effectively when they are teamed up than when they are used individually.