Cannabis culture has its own vocabulary, and you probably heard about the infamous entourage effect. It may sound dangerous, or just remind you of the short-lived show on HBO about a Hollywood star. What is it really?
The science chitchat
The entourage effect is the mechanism by which cannabis compounds act synergically to modulate the overall effect of CBD.
Those are certainly all words — but are you catching on?
A good analogy to understand the entourage effect is to imagine how much harder it would be for a cashier at a fast-food restaurant to get all orders out while being the only person working. If there is a full team behind them getting all the items ready, everything goes more smoothly.
How does it work?
First, it’s important to highlight that if the entourage effect is supported and described by a big number of CBD enthusiasts and users, the research behind it is still ongoing.
Dr. Ethan Russo, neurologist and pharmacologist describes the theory in a review and still actively conducts research on cannabis and its compounds.
Cannabinoids affect our bodies by interacting with our endocannabinoid system and more precisely the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. Both receptors manage different parts of the body and answer to different cannabinoids.
The human endocannabinoid system is designed to link with cannabinoids produced by the body, but compounds found in cannabis plants can bind with these receptors just as efficiently. Although each receptor has its speciality, the source of some issues like sleep and anxiety can overlap on both receptors. Therefore, working the ensemble of your endocannabinoid system can only do good for you.
You hate it when your doctor tells you that “lifestyle changes could improve this or that condition”? Well, that’s kind of the same principle here. The same way exercising and a good diet usually improve wellness and overall health, cannabis compounds work together to restore balance on many levels in your body which can secondarily improve problems you were encountering.
How does it feel?
Not high, let’s get that out of the way.
Users describe the entourage effect as a general feeling of wellness and a sense of calm and control.
Can I experience the entourage effect with all CBD types?
The short answer on this one is, no.
The entourage effect requires the presence of a multitude of terpenes and cannabinoids. Therefore isolate CBD, by definition composed of only CBD, would not produce an entourage effect.
Broad spectrum CBD typically doesn’t contain THC, which strips it from part of the cannabinoids responsible for the entourage effect. Although, some users have reported the effect while using broad spectrum CBD. On this point both users and researchers are divided. Let’s remember the general consensus with CBD; different bodies have different needs and react differently to all cannabinoids.
Full-spectrum CBD is the big star of the entourage effect. It contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids of the cannabis plant in different concentrations.
Forms of CBD
While seeking the entourage effect, you may need to pay attention to the bioavailability and the form of CBD you choose.
Vaping is a great solution if you already vape on something throughout the day. It’s easy to take on the go and since the CBD is absorbed through the lungs, the effects set in faster.
Edibles and softgels are great for a long-lasting effect, but there is a kicker! They may take up to an hour to set in. BUT they it will last longer.
Oils typically have a high bioavailability since they are partly absorbed sublingually and provide effects slightly slower than a vape.
When you break it down, the entourage effect sounds way less magical than it sounds. But let’s be real for one second, “a general feeling of wellness and a sense of calm and control” sounds pretty darn good right now!