Entourage CBD impacts are greater when components interact to create a stronger influence
CBD sales are expected to more than triple in the near future. According to the statistics compilation site Statista, U.S. consumers will spend approximately $1.8 billion on products containing CBD in the year 2022, up from $512.7 million in 2018.
Research adds that individuals are using this particular non-psychoactive cannabis plant extract for a variety of health-related reasons. For instance, one 2018 study published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research surveyed 2,409 people currently using CBD and the top three reasons cited for CBD usage were pain, anxiety and depression.
This piece of research also found that more than one in three (36%) reported that the CBD worked “very well by itself” for treating the initial underlying medical condition that prompted its usage. Yet, some cannabis experts suggest that CBD’s positive benefits can often be enhanced by what is called the entourage CBD effect.
The entourage effect
The cannabis education site Leafly explains that the entourage effect references the “interactive synergy” that occurs when taking supplements that contain more than one cannabis compound. It’s somewhat similar to taking a cold medicine that has both a cough reliever and pain reliever, providing the user a greater level of relief than medications that contain just one of these ingredients or the other.
This type of product is sometimes described as a “whole plant medicine” and can include a variety of compounds taken from the cannabis plant, some of which include cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes. Each of these has a different effect on the human body but, together, they can create a more powerful entourage CBD result.
For instance, research has found that, while CBD offers anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, THC — which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound within the cannabis plant that is responsible for the high commonly associated with marijuana — can provide relief from nausea. Therefore, individuals suffering from a condition that is neurological in nature and instigates feelings of nausea can potentially receive greater relief from a product containing both CBD and THC.
When choosing a CBD product that contains multiple cannabis compounds, making it possible to optimize the entourage effect for a specific health conditions, it helps to know what each of the individual compounds can do.
Effects of individual cannabinoids
In regard to the various cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant, here are a few of the most well-known as well as the health-related impact they can have:
- CBD. CBD is perhaps the most-studied cannabinoid, with Healthline indicating that a few of its scientifically proven benefits include pain relief, reduced feelings of anxiety and depression, alleviation of symptoms associated with cancer, clearer skin, treatment of neurological conditions, greater heart health, diabetes prevention and more.
- THC. THC is also fairly well studied and, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, can work to increase appetite and reduce nausea, decrease pain, reduce inflammation, and ease muscle control issues.
- CBG. CBG stands for cannabigerol and research indicates that this cannabinoid acts as a neuroprotectant. It also has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- CBC. Cannabichromene, or CBC, can act as an analgesic, with one animal-based study stating that this cannabinoid works by interacting with target proteins that are involved in nociceptive control.
- CBN. Psychology Today reports that the cannabis compound CBN, or cannabinol, can positively impact mood, energy levels, focus, appetite, immunity and pain.
Another type of compound found within the cannabis plant are terpenes. Terpenes are the aromatic oils, and Leafly shares that a few of the most common (and the impact they can have) include:
- Limomene – elevated mood and improved stress relief
- Humulene – appetite suppressant
- Pinene – improved memory retention and alertness
- Linalool – calming and sedative
- Myrcene – sedating and relaxing
Maximizing the entourage effect
Maximizing the entourage effect involves choosing a CBD product that includes the right combination of cannabinoids and terpenes. Here are a few cannabis extract combinations and the conditions they may help treat:
- CBD and THC – spinal injury, cramps, migraines, hypertension, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, gastrointestinal disorders
- CBG and THC – glaucoma
- CBD and CBG – anxiety
- CBD, CBG, and THC – bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder
- CBD, CBN, and THC – fibromyalgia
Understanding individual cannabis compounds and the way they work together to provide a more powerful effect — the entourage CBD effect — can benefit patients seeking to alleviate a variety of symptoms associated with one singular cause. It’s just a matter of picking the right combination to ultimately provide the best results.