Has understanding a plant led to a better understanding of ourselves? Yes, in fact, “Better Together” would make a great campaign slogan for a popular theory called “The Entourage Effect.” the phrase describing the outcome of numerous components in the hemp plant interacting with one another, creating greater health benefits. In other words, The Entourage Effect is the theory that CBD, THC, Terpenes, Flavonoids and other compounds combined work better together, rather than isolated. A broad range of desirable effects on numerous systems throughout our bodies are being credited to The Entourage Effect.
CBD and THC – The Power Players
The most researched phytocannabinoids found in the hemp plant are Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These are two of at least 100 compounds naturally occuring within the plant together, however, they can be isolated for separate use. CBD binds to receptors in the human endocannabinoid system keeping our bodies at balance. This is achieved by utilizing a complex network of cannabinoid receptors and neurotransmitters located in the brain, central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and immune system. Understanding the endocannabinoid system is vital to modern medicinal research. Cognitive function, mood regulation, memory, pain perception, stress management and immune response are all controlled by this network.
There’s knowledge that CBD can act in at least 14 different ways on the nervous system. For instance, conditions like epilepsy, depression and psychosis could be greatly improved with CBD use. Some decades-old uses for THC are treatment of conditions like nausea, chronic pain and glaucoma. The effectiveness of anti-inflammatory properties of CBD and THC are comparable to over-the-counter pain medicine without unwanted side-effects. Another common CBD use is to balance effects of THC some consider undesirable such as anxiety and inability to focus.
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CBD can make sex better by reducing anxiety and lowering inhibitions. See CBD and Sex
CBD can stay in your system from 48 hours up to one week – or longer.
CBD may reduce your anxiety and relax your body making it easier to fall asleep.
Terpenes and Flavonoids – Engage your Senses with The Entourage Effect
In all plants, terpenes are present and make it known. Terpenes are the compound of aromatic essential oils that give a plant it’s distinct smell and taste. Two of the most recognizable Terpenes are pinene which gives conifers the sharp, fresh smell of pine, and linalool which gives lavender blooms their relaxing scent. These species-specific compounds are also part of a plant’s survival nature. The combination of scents in a plant’s essential oils can repel predators and act as a defense system as well as lure pollinators, encouraging reproduction. Terpenes have medicinal properties for humans, such as anti-inflammation and relaxation. In fact, results of the study of terpenes led to the discovery of aromatherapy.
Flavonoids create the bright, non-green colors displayed in plants. Aiding an apple’s red skin or banana’s yellow peel in luring pollinators, repelling pests, and protecting plants from UV Rays and diseases. Specifically, “Cannaflavins” are special Flavonoids that only the Cannabis plant produces. Scientists believe these specific flavonoids have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-bacterial properties. The synergy between terpenes and flavonoids creates the unique odor and flavor of cannabis strains.
Isolate vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Full Spectrum
In Full Spectrum Extracts all naturally occurring phytochemicals in a plant are present. It contains CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, and even trace amounts of THC. Combining all Phytocannabinoids, terpenes, fatty acids, enzymes and essential oils from the hemp plant, also known as “Full Plant Extract,” presents an opportunity to ramp up the beneficial properties of each individual cannabinoid. People who want to reap all of the benefits of the plant without psycho-active effects might prefer Full Spectrum extracts. Broad Spectrum CBD Oil is very similar to Full Spectrum with the exception of those trace amounts of THC. So, even with the THC extracted, you still benefit from the other 100+ compounds working to deliver the Entourage Effect.
Removing a compound from its natural environment and purifying it of any other substances leaves an isolated compound, or isolate. CBD isolates do not give the benefits of the Entourage Effect but do have an affordable price tag. For this reason, isolate may be preferred for people beginning a relationship with hemp or those prescribed large daily doses.
In addition, there’s no THC in isolate, making it safe in states or areas with very strict THC regulations and for people taking a THC drug test.
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The End Result – The Power in the Entourage Effect
CBD, hemp and medicinal marijuana research is really getting warmed up. Findings about cannabinoids led to the discovery of an entire network in the human body, the endocannabinoid system. Scientists are studying how cannabinoids bind to receptors within our brain and bodies, keeping us in balance. Cannabis, contains the same essential oils, terpenes and flavonoids found in common fruits and vegetables, like leafy greens, lavender and lemons. Have we found a power-plant whose strains may replicate anti-oxidants found in the grocery aisle and calming effects found behind the pharmacy counter? Is the Entourage Effect real? Do the enzymes and fatty acids found within hemp help the CBD and THC achieve the coveted, known affects? The hemp plant could impact the human body in an infinite number of ways. With more research, we will understand more about how we connect with nature and how we can work better together.