Chiropractic Economics

Understanding the entourage effect of CBD

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:

Cannabis terpenes

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:

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:

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.