Skip to main content

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Alongside THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol, it’s one of the two predominant ones in the plant’s makeup. 

CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Unlike THC, it does not have psychoactive properties that cause the ‘high’ commonly associated with marijuana consumption.

Instead, what it contains are alleviating properties for common medical conditions such as stress, chronic pain, and daily stressors. 

So what does this mean for the Entourage Effect? First, the Entourage Effect describes how these cannabinoids work together.

The theory states that the components, when consumed together, produce far more significant effects on pain management and overall health than when taken individually.

With full-spectrum CBD containing not only CBD but THC and other cannabinoids and terpenes, they all work synergistically. 

The theory promotes the concept that a single compound alone is not enough to signify the receptors in our body, an issue that’s solved when taken together.

Throughout this article, we’ll be diving into the fine details surrounding the entourage effect, explaining what it is and how it enhances the impact of CBD in the body for optimum results. 

CBD: What Is It? 

So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty.

First, we’ll provide a full-depth investigation into the history of CBD, how it’s become a popular supplement for millions on their wellness journey, and how CBD combines with other cannabinoids and phytochemicals to create the Entourage Effect. 

So we know that CBD is the most predominant cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant aside from THC.

Unlike THC, which has been continuously stigmatized and questioned due to its psychoactive and potentially addictive properties, the World Health Organization has stated in its Cannabidiol Critical Review that “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” 

Whether you’ve tried CBD products yet or not, you’ll most definitely have been made aware of the potential benefits of using them.

While there’s still room for research into the health benefits, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest CBD is a suitable helpful remedy for stress. F

or example, a study held in 2011 entitled “Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder” showed that those who received CBD experienced a reduction in their general anxiety levels compared to those who received a placebo.

It’s only in recent years that we’ve seen CBD become a primary source of conversation within the world of health and wellness, thanks to the legalization of cannabis in many states in the United States and other countries worldwide.

Not only this, but we’ve also recognized the medicinal benefits of both THC and CBD in treating many common ailments. 

As a result, we’ve seen an explosion of various CBD products flood the wellness market. These range from consumables such as oils, edibles, topics, and beverages

The Entourage Effect  

Now let’s talk about all things Entourage Effect. First, you’ll understand CBD and the different types of products available today.

Then, what does this have to do with the Entourage Effect, and why do certain products influence whether or not you’re experiencing the entourage effect? 

We’ll tell you all there is to know about the Entourage Effect. To begin with, let’s focus on what exactly it is. T

hen, further down this article, we’ll tackle the difference between products containing isolate CBD and those with full-spectrum CBD, which is more likely to create the entourage effect. 

What Is The Entourage Effect? 

We previously mentioned that the Entourage Effect is the notion that cannabinoids produce far more significant effects when consumed together than in isolated forms. 

The idea suggests that isolated forms of CBD provide far weaker effects than a broad-spectrum or full-spectrum would.

The evidence suggests that only with all other cannabinoids, such as CBG, CBN, and THC do we experience the true efficacy of cannabinoids. 

How The Entourage Effect Works

From the scientific research we already have, it’s understood that cannabinoids working synergistically help moderate the psychoactive effects of the compounds.

The most commonly used example of this is CBD and THC. CBD includes anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety properties.

Therefore, it helps to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC that can cause anxiety and paranoia without nullifying the therapeutic properties boasted by THC as a compound. 

How Does The Entourage Effect Enhance CBD In The Body? 

The reason for this boosted efficacy in the body is simple.

While each compound found within the cannabis plant has its capabilities, they’re far more advanced when working within one another to counteract and amplify various effects for an overall improved experience.


Once each cannabinoid enters our body, it travels to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our brain and nervous system.

The Entourage Effect theory suggests that unless consumed in very high doses, the signal of a single cannabinoid is not enough to interact with these receptors.

When consumed together with a full spectrum of cannabinoids, though, the interactions take place more efficiently and include the benefits boasted by each compound. 

Terpenes, for example, are the phytocannabinoids that give cannabis its distinct odor. Each strain will feature different combinations of terpenes and flavonoids that contribute to its unique flavor, smell, and taste.

Pinene is a commonly used terpene, particularly amongst Indica varieties of cannabis that produce sedative effects.

The inclusion of terpenes amongst the other cannabinoids can help influence the efficacy of the CBD you take, with full-spectrum types proving more effective. 

How Does CBD Affect The Body?  

It can be challenging to understand exactly how CBD can help you without understanding its effect on the body.

Most people are surprised to know that our body naturally has endocannabinoid receptors that are impacted by CBD when consumed as it interacts with our neurotransmitters.

This is referred to as the human endocannabinoid system or ECS. 

The Human Endocannabinoid System

By Nature, the human body houses a specialized system known as the endocannabinoid system. This system regulates numerous functions such as sleep, appetite, pain, and our body’s immune system response. 

Understanding the relationship between receptors and endocannabinoids goes a long way in understanding how the endocannabinoid system functions and, as a result, how CBD affects the body.

Firstly, let’s talk about the receptors. There are two types of receptors within the endocannabinoid system: CB1 and CB2 receptors. 

CB1 receptors are located within the central nervous system and influence our coordination, mood, appetite, and memory, among other core functions.

Meanwhile, the CB2 receptors are situated in our peripheral nervous system and therefore are responsible for our inflammation and pain. 

Once CBD has entered our bloodstream, our enzymes begin to break down the endocannabinoids and bind with our receptors resulting in many of the health and wellness benefits we associate with cannabinoids. 

Isolate CBD Vs. Full-Spectrum CBD

We’ve discussed the surge in production and popularity of CBD products, but what do they contain?

Cannabidiol is commonly used in two different forms: isolate and full spectrum. Let’s look at both, explaining the difference between the two and what that can mean for the Entourage Effect. 

CBD Isolate 

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD. It’s often extracted from hemp plants that contain no THC at all. At 99% CBD, isolate is ideal for high-strength products. 

The predominant benefit of CBD isolate is its appeal to those new to the world of CBD. They prefer to test it without the effects of other cannabinoids interfering with its results.

In addition, good quality isolate will often be colorless, odorless, and flavorless, making it the perfect choice for edibles and solubles

Full-Spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD refers to CBD combination alongside other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.

These full-spectrum CBD products will also contain small, legal levels of THC at under 0.3%.

The combination of the ‘full spectrum of cannabinoids is referred to as the Entourage Effect and is believed to enhance the effectiveness of CBD in the body. 

What Are Flavonoids and Terpenes? 

Cannabis plants contain trichomes, the tiny hair-like features found on their surface.

These trichomes contain glands responsible for producing the THCA, CBDA, and other phytocannabinoids such as terpenes and flavonoids, which give each strain its own unique DNA. 

Flavonoids are another form of a compound commonly found in cannabis and hemp plants.

Like Terpenes, they’re also found in other plants, fruits, and vegetables. Each flavonoid carries its therapeutic properties. 

Terpenes increase the body’s ability to absorb cannabinoids into the bloodstream more efficiently.

There has been much scientific research into terpenes themselves. They’re found in all plants. Terpenes are believed to have therapeutic values due to their effect on the brain.

Despite not being psychoactive in the traditional sense, they are said to influence the human body’s endocannabinoid system.

In turn, confirmed by Russo’s 2011 study, they contribute largely to the entourage effect regardless of THC levels. 

It states that the Entourage Effect occurs when multiple cannabinoids work together, synergetically creating effects much more significant than when consumed individually.

Included in the research of this study was the synergy between phytocannabinoids and terpenoids in acting to tame THC.

It proceeds to conclude that “Selective cross-breeding of high-terpenoid- and high-phytocannabinoid-specific chemotypes has thus become a rational target that may lead to novel approaches to such disorders as treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, drug dependency, dementia and a panoply of dermatological disorders, as well as industrial applications as safer pesticides and antiseptics.”  

These exact terpenes and flavonoids act in harmony with the cannabidiol in full-spectrum CBD to cause the Entourage Effect. 

Some Final Thoughts

Whether or not you’ve even heard of the Entourage Effect before, you should have a good understanding now.

We love educating on the topics we’re passionate about. So we’ve presented you with all there is to know about CBD, the human endocannabinoid system, the entourage effect, and how it can enhance the effects of CBD in the body. 

When choosing the suitable variety of CBD for you, these factors should all be considered to guarantee the best outcome for your specific reason for consumption.

For example, while CBD isolate products still have health benefits that cannot be ignored, it’s deemed far more efficient to consume full-spectrum CBD to experience the benefits of all compounds found in the plant. 

Sources:

  1. World Health Organization (2018) – ‘Cannabidiol (CBD): Critical Review Report’ 
  2. Journal Of Psychopharmacology (2010) – ‘Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report.’
  3. Ethan B Russo (2011) – ‘Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects’

Leave a Reply