CBD has gained considerable traction recently as a food supplement. As a result there has been an increase in the amount of CBD products on the market. However, not all products are made equally. It’s important to do your research and consider your options carefully, ensuring you are buying the most beneficial product for your needs. In order to get the most out of your CBD oil, one important factor to understand and consider is the ‘entourage effect’.

What is the Entourage Effect?

Cannabis plants have more than 100 different phytocannabinoids. When you take a CBD product these phytocannabinoids interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). A healthy and balanced ECS supports your body across a wide range of functions such as appetite, sensation, memory, and mood.

Currently the most common and well researched phytocannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  However, there is research to suggest that taking these two compounds together along with the range of other phytocannabinoids (CBG, CBC etc..) and smaller aromatic molecules known as terpenes can be more effective than taking CBD or THC in its isolated from. The scientists who discovered this phenomena coined it the ‘entourage effect’.

How does the Entourage Effect work?

When the range of phytocannabinoids and terpenes work synergistically, this improves the overall effectiveness of the CBD in comparison to when CBD is taken in an isolated form. The entourage effect takes place when the compounds are absorbed, where they work with the body as nature intended.

Full Spectrum Extracts

The entourage effect is only possible with oils containing a full spectrum CBD extract. Full spectrum means the full array of phytocannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant have been left untouched and are included in the product. It is the most natural CBD extract available.

How to identify if a CBD product is full spectrum?

Firstly check the labelling and product description, all reputable products should be labelled by the type of CBD extract used. This could be full spectrum (all naturally occurring phytocannabinoids included), broad spectrum (THC has been removed) or CBD isolate (just CBD). You should also check the certificate of analysis or lab report for the product. This will help you identify if multiple cannabinoids exist within the product. At ethos, all our CBD oil products are made using cold pressed full spectrum extracts.

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‘The “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders’.  2020 Feb; 18(2): 87–96.