If you are familiar with CBD, you understand that it is the active compound responsible for the medicinal benefits of marijuana. This means that CBD delivers the benefits of marijuana without the high. CBD brands process their products into either full-spectrum or isolate-based products, so you must also understand the Entourage Effect of CBD to determine which products are right for you.
What Are Terpenes?
Before we can answer the question of “What is the Entourage Effect?” we must define a few essential terms. First up, let’s define terpenes.
CBD, THC, and terpenes are all types of active compounds found in the cannabis plant referred to as cannabinoids. In high enough doses, THC gets you high, but hemp-derived CBD only has .3 percent or less of THC which is not enough to get you high. CBD delivers the medicinal benefits of marijuana and both hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD contain CBD. Terpenes are present in both hemp and marijuana, and support CBD by working with CBD to creating the synergetic effect known as the Entourage Effect. Before we get to that, let’s discuss what terpenes are.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds secreted from the glands of every plant, herb, and flower. They are what make one flower smell different than another, attracting pollinators and humans with their unique scent. When humans still foraged for food, our sense of smell was heightened, and terpenes let us know what was and wasn’t safe to consume. Also, which edible foods contained the nutrients we required.
There are more than 20,000 terpenes in existence of which around 100 can be found in most strains of the cannabis plant. It was initially thought that the only role terpenes played in relationship to cannabis was to naturally attract us to the strains of the cannabis plant that would be most effective for our unique needs. While this may be true, there’s more to terpenes than aroma.
What Is The Endocannabinoid System?
Now it’s time to learn a bit about the endocannabinoid system. Our body naturally creates cannabinoids as a type of cellular messengers that assist in the vital process of homeostasis. Homeostasis is the process of keeping our body internally balanced. This includes regulation of:
- Pain control
- Quality of sleep
- And more
Homeostasis is prompted by our two endocannabinoid systems:
- CB1 which is in the central nervous system (brain and nerves of the spinal cord)
- CB2 which is in the peripheral nervous system (nerves in your extremities), the digestive system, and specialized cells in the immune system
CBD is the only cannabinoid that connects our central and peripheral nervous systems. However, terpenes bind the two systems together. This binding is what is referred to as the Entourage Effect.
What Is The Entourage Effect?
The majority of cannabis compound research to date is on THC and CBD, but research on terpenes is what has led to the discovery of the Entourage Effect.
As mentioned above, terpenes bind the central and peripheral nervous systems together, optimizing our body’s ability to naturally heal. It is a compound that works with CBD to soothe and calm your mind and body.
However, not all CBD products contain terpenes, so you must also understand the difference between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD. If the product label doesn’t clarify if their product is isolate of full-spectrum, email to ask.
Broad Spectrum vs. Full Spectrum CBD vs. Isolate
Now that you understand what the Entourage Effect is, it is important to understand the two primary categories that CBD is processed to produce:
Full-Spectrum CBD—these are products processed using the whole hemp plant, meaning that it contains all the up to 100 types of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, including trace amounts of THC and terpenes. Full-spectrum products have a mild, but earthy aroma and flavor.
CBD Isolate—these are products that are processed to eliminate all other active compounds. While it may sound better because it’s a pure form of CBD, you miss out on the benefits of terpenes. Isolate products have no aroma or flavor, other than the oil or product they are added to.
Think of removing terpenes kind of like how forgetting to salt your homemade soup leaves it tasting bland. Or how leaving out a key ingredient in your favorite recipe makes it taste unfamiliar. The food is still nourishing and has healthful benefits, but it’s more nutritious when you add all the ingredients.
In addition to determining whether the product you are purchasing is full-spectrum or isolated, you must also determine:
- If it is USDA-Certified Organic?
- If it is pure or if it has synthetic additives and fillers?
- How many milligrams it contains per serving?
- How frequently you should use it to enjoy its benefits?
At Holmes Organics, our lab uses the CO2 extraction process to purify our products and deliver broad-spectrum and USDA-Certified Organic CBD. Our products are pure and the milligrams per serving is clearly labeled, between 10 and 30 milligrams per serving.
Does The Entourage Effect Make You Feel High?
No! THC is what delivers the intoxicating effects of the cannabis plant. CBD only contains .3 percent or less of THC, which is not enough to get you high. Some CBD brands, such as Holmes Organics, process their CBD to contain 0.0 percent of THC.
However, if recreational or medicinal marijuana are legal in your state you can choose between CBD and marijuana to promote the Entourage Effect. Be sure to inquire about how liquid marijuana products are processed to ensure they are full-spectrum.
Wondering why someone would use both CBD and marijuana? Many use both products to personalize their wellness routine. Pot shops sell a wide range of marijuana products to address your individual needs, many that even have low (but often higher than .3 percent) levels of THC. By also using hemp-derived CBD you can drive, work, and go to school without being intoxicated.
What Are The Benefits Of The Entourage Effect?
Please Note—CBD companies cannot provide medical advice and we cannot guarantee that CBD will effectively soothe your mind or body. The data we provide is for informational purposes. Consult with your physician for guidance on all dietary supplements.
Additional research is underway, but current research shows that terpenes and CBD work together to provide improved wellness benefits. A 2011 British study found that terpenes create a synergetic effect, further reducing the symptoms of:
- Fungal infections
How Much Terpenes Should You Take?
Now that you have answered the question of “What is the Entourage Effect?” you may be wondering how much terpenes your CBD contains. Currently, the milligrams per serving of terpenes are not measured, but as the benefits of this compound continue to be researched it may become a standard unit of measurement.
Since the concentration can’t currently be measured, ensure you are purchasing a full-spectrum CBD to provide the naturally occurring amounts of terpenes per serving. Nature knows what it’s doing, so the naturally occurring amount should be sufficient.
As you research terpenes you will find that you can purchase them in concentrated form. For example, to add to vape cartridges. Again, if your product is full-spectrum, there’s no need to add more. Before adding more, speak with a medical professional for advice on how to personalize your daily concentration and servings.
Can You Overdose On Terpenes?
When processed in the naturally occurring amounts found in CBD and marijuana (and many other edible herbs and vegetables), terpenes are safe for consumption. Where terpenes can become toxic is when they are processed into highly concentrated solvents, which are typically added to household and industrial cleaning products. Consuming solvents can be highly toxic and even life-threatening.
In terms of overdosing, there are currently zero studies or reported cases that have resulted in either a minor or fatal overdose of hemp-derived CBD. This includes data from around the globe where CBD is both legal and illegal
While there are zero reports of overdose, almost anything we consume can have a side effect. Everyone responds differently to plant-based dietary supplements so pay attention to how you feel once you start taking CBD. While extremely rare, and most often when taken in extremely high doses (more than 20,000 milligrams per day), side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Low-blood pressure
- Reduced appetite
- Negative interaction with prescription medications
Holmes Organics Broad-Spectrum CBD
If you are looking for a premium, USDA-Organic Certified, and broad-spectrum CBD—we invite you to browse the Holmes Organics CBD product line. We have a diverse range of oral and topical products, at a variety of milligrams per serving to personalize your wellness routine. This includes our:
Our products are pure with no additives or fillers, third-party lab tested, and we are fully transparent, sharing the lab results of each batch on our website. Check back in the Fall as we will be adding a melatonin CBD product!