When does 2 + 2 = 5?
When you're comparing a medicine's pure synthetic form to the same substance in its natural form, particularly plants.
In short, the entourage effect is the name scientists have given to describe the added benefits of using multiple cannabinoids as opposed to a single, isolated cannabinoid. CBD in isolated form can be effective, yes. But a full-spectrum CBD product that contains not only CBD but a tiny bit of THC, CBN, CBG, and other cannabinoids, has been found to be more effective with all these compounds working together.
Why is this important? Because CBD isn’t the only substance in the cannabis plant that possesses healing properties. And we’re not just talking about cannabinoids, either. Cannabis also contains beneficial compounds called terpenes and flavonoids. The plant actually has hundreds of active substances in it!
When you take a full-spectrum, or whole-plant, CBD preparation, you’re taking in a little bit of all of these compounds. Think of each little piece almost like an athlete on a sports team—maybe CBD is the quarterback, and an amazing one at that, but bringing in all the other teammates and having them play their roles is really what makes that star athlete shine. In the case of whole-plant CBD, this team—the “entourage”—of substances each works to make the others more effective. The end result is a more potent CBD product that is much more likely to address the health problems it’s used for.
You might be wondering if this is true, why do CBD isolate products even exist? Well, there are a few reasons:
- It’s much easier to standardize and quantify the exact amount of CBD in a product that only contains CBD. But again, you’re missing out on the benefits of the “entourage.”
- Certain people are very sensitive to THC, or want to be sure there is zero THC going into their bodies. Think professional athletes, etc.
- Whole-plant supplements are harder to regulate than FDA-monitored medical products. An isolate certainly “cleans up” the confusion around what’s in your botanical supplement. But if you do your due diligence, you can find full-spectrum products that are rigorously tested for purity and quality (like ours!). These products should use third-party lab testing that lets you know exactly what you’re getting.
In short, the entourage effect is a really, really good thing. Only a full-spectrum or whole-plant preparation gives you the “whole team,” so to speak. So take advantage of the entourage effect and get the most out of your CBD therapy!