Scientists have realized that the CBDs effectiveness partly depends on being accompanied by other molecules that are naturally present in the plant. This is called the entourage effect and is a kind of synergy, where the different botanical elements support and balance each other. A common example of this balance is CBD’s ability to counteract the psychoactive effect of THC.
The entourage effect refers to hundreds of natural components within a plant interacting together and with the human body to produce a stronger impact than with any one of those components used alone. The combination of these multiple compounds in their natural state is what produces a synergy.
Consider this compared to conventional medicines that focus on extracting single compounds from a plant and isolating or producing the active ingredient in a laboratory then selling it to you as in the form of pills and powders.
The dichotomy also exists when it comes to the manufacturing and marketing of CBD.
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of 120 cannabinoids (naturally occurring compounds) found in the cannabis or hemp plant. But CBD also refers to the product itself.
Two common forms of the product marketed as CBD extract are full spectrum and CBD isolate.
Isolate as the name implies, isolates cannabidiol (CBD the cannabinoid). This is done through a refining process that strips out any additional cannabinoids,terpenes (unsaturated hydrocarbons that exist in the essential oils of plants), and plant components found in the hemp plant. The final product is a fine white powder that contains 99 percent cannabidiol. This is CBD in its purest form.
Full Spectrum extract CBD, on the other hand, keeps the full properties of the hemp plant intact. In addition to CBD the cannabinoid, this extract includes terpenes, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, phytonutrients and any other materials that are extracted from the hemp plant, including 99 other cannabinoids that provide their own unique benefits.
Full Spectrum oil
A growing body of evidence shows a greater efficacy of whole plant medicines over isolates thanks to the entourage effect – something herbalists and holistic practitioners have known for a long time.
For example, a 2015 groundbreaking study from Israel documented the superior therapeutic properties of full spectrum CBD-rich cannabis extract as compared to single-molecule cannabidiol (isolate).
Ethan Russo, M.D., a neurologist who has long studied cannabis compounds and their role in the body. In his study “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects,” he details how cannabis compounds influence each other’s mechanisms. We aren’t just talking about the well-known THC-CBD tag team here – even small amounts of terpenes (fragrant oils that give cannabis its smell) can make a difference.
The terpene myrcene, for example, can reduce resistance in the blood-brain barrier, enabling easier passage of other beneficial chemicals. Pinene helps counteract compromised cognition and memory caused by THC. A combination of terpenes pinene, myrcene, and caryophyllene help unravel anxiety. Mixing terpenes linalool and limonene with the cannabinoid CBG shows promise in the treatment of MRSA. THC plus CBN yields enhanced sedating effects. Linalool and limonene combined with CBD is being examined as an anti-acne treatment.
These examples only scratch the surface of all possible synergies made available to us by way of whole plant therapies. Think of all the medical possibilities waiting for us as the combinational potential of these compounds are unlocked. The thought of how many lives could be changed for the better by such discoveries is almost overwhelming.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that plants aren’t the only living things with cannabinoids. Humans have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that consists of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the brain, bones, liver, nervous system, immune system, muscles, pancreas, and adipose tissue (fat). The receptors regulate these tissues by producing the chemical compounds known as cannabinoids.
With too few cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system works less efficiently, which can lead to a whole slew of health problems such as arthritis, obesity, anxiety, auto-immune disorders, depression, autism, hyperactivity, stuttering, ADHD, OCD, and eating disorders.
Once consumed, full spectrum CBD acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system to promote homeostasis and is a vital “cellular-signaling system” that is involved in modulating pain, appetite, mood, memory, and cellular life and death cycles.
Full Spectrum CBD Tincture
Looking deeper, cannabinoid receptors, located throughout the body, are part of the ECS. There are currently two known subtypes of cannabinoid receptors, termed CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptor is expressed mainly in the brain, but also in the lungs, liver, and kidneys. The CB2 receptor is expressed primarily in the immune system and in hematopoietic cells. Receptor pathways can eventually slow down or even stop altogether, therefore, compromising the holistic function of receptors in your own body. CBD can slowly help heal those receptors.