The phrases terpenes, CBD and entourage effect are becoming more popular by the day, with millions of consumers incorporating alpha pinene and linalool bio enhanced CBD products into their daily lives. With the surge of the cannabidiol industry, we hear a lot of terms getting tossed around that consumers may not fully understand yet.
What are terpenes, and what do they have to do with the Entourage Effect? Why is a CBD product called full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or an isolate? We hope to break down the answers for all these questions and more with our guide today.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is just one of the 560+ compounds found in industrial hemp plants. The most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid, it offers similar medicinal properties to THC without the head-high, the paranoia, or any of the other negative psychoactive symptoms.
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD and other industrial hemp-derived products were made legal, with the new legal definition of hemp becoming any cannabis plant that contains 0.3% THC or under.
Now, we see a tremendous range of different CBD products on the market; full spectrum CBD gummies, broad-spectrum tinctures, even CBD isolate powders. How does CBD play a role in these different types of CBD products, though? Let’s look deeper.
Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and Isolates: What’s the Difference?
CBD isn’t the only thing you can extract from the hemp plant. In fact, when you extract CBD from the hemp plant, it’s rare that you can extract just CBD. To get to a CBD isolate, which is a purer form of cannabidiol, you must refine and remove all the other cannabinoids and compounds that were in that hemp strain.
For some CBD brands, they understand there’s value in what the hemp plant has to offer that goes much further than CBD – but at the same time, they don’t want to risk the chance of having too much THC in their formula. This leads them to go for a broad-spectrum approach, which means hemp extract undergoes a refining process to be rid of all THC, chlorophyll, and any other undesirables from the bunch.
Finally, full-spectrum products is where the full brunt of the Entourage Effect lies, and it’s what we’ll be talking about the most today. The entire spectrum of the hemp plant is utilized with a full-spectrum CBD product – thus the name. This means not only CBD, but also under the 0.3% limit of THC, as well as other cannabinoids like CBN, CBC, and CBG.
There aren’t just cannabinoids other than CBD and THC in the hemp plant either. On the contrary, each hemp strain is unique in its profile for cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other phyto cannabinoid compounds.
What are Terpenes?
CBD and other cannabinoids aren’t the only compounds in the hemp plant that have medicinal and beneficial properties. Terpenes, or terpenoids, are aromatic molecules, not just found in hemp plants but in a variety of herbs, vegetables, and other plants. They’re organic compounds that are meant to provide flavor and aroma, and they certainly do their part in hemp. Strains carry their unique, pungent fragrances thanks to the spectrum of terpenes in that plant.
Altogether, there are around 200 terpenes found in cannabis plants, and different combinations are found in different strains. Only a few of these terpenes appear to have any noticeable effects on the human body that we’ve gotten to study so far.
The British Journal of Pharmacology published a report in September 2011 by Dr. Ethan Russo that discussed a wide range of therapeutic attributes of terpenoids.
One of these terpene examples is Beta-caryophyllene, which is found in leafy, green vegetables, the essential oil of oregano, black pepper, and other edible herbs, as well as some cannabis strains. This terpene is known to be able to bind directly to the CB2 receptor, which can trigger a positive response for auto-immune disorders, inflammatory conditions, and even treating ulcers.
Gastro-protective, it’s easy to incorporate this terpene into a full-spectrum CBD oil so you can get the benefits from this terpene and from CBD at one time. That combination, working in perfect synergy, is just one example of the Entourage Effect in action.
What is the Entourage Effect?
When you utilize the full spectrum of compounds the hemp plant has to offer, you get the most effect thanks to the Entourage Effect. But what is it? The Entourage Effect is the synergy of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other hemp compounds working together to amplify the effect considerably.
Instead of relying on just one component, you get the benefits from CBD and a handful of other cannabinoids, potentially a long list of valuable terpenes, and much more. The Entourage Effect is what experts recommend for patients that have severe or chronic conditions, as it helps enhance cortical activity, increase blood flow, and even kill respiratory pathogens like MRSA.
Dr. Russo’s published report states that a cannabinoid-terpenoid relationship with proper interactions could produce the synergy needed to provide some form of treatment to fungal and bacterial infections, cancer, epilepsy, addiction, anxiety, depression, inflammation, and certain types of pain. The variation of terpenes in each hemp strain may play a huge role in what that strain can do for you.
It’s not just any terpene that can help with any medical condition, just like CBD can’t provide all the medicinal properties consumers think it can because they’re using a full-spectrum product that has stacking benefits. The synergistic antitumor, anti-cancerous effect that some strains can provide, for example, is thanks to α-pinene and β-pinene.
What Terpenes Help with an Entourage Effect?
Terpenes give hemp plants their aromatic diversity. To get the most out of your cannabidiol experience, you’ll want a full-spectrum or even broad-spectrum CBD product that contains the other components you need to feel at your best. Let’s look at the most beneficial and some of the most abundant terpenes that could be found in a full spectrum CBD tincture.
Myrcene, for example, is not just found in some hemp strains but also in thyme, lemongrass and even mangoes. It’s an anti-inflammatory compound that can produce a soothing effect. In addition, it may also help relieve muscle tension. This combination is a powerful force to go in combination with CBD to tackle your body’s hardest issues.
As another example, linalool is often found in lavender, and found in hemp strains and CBD product formulas that are often geared towards sleep. Linalool can provide pain relief as well as anxiety relief – but it does come with a little sedation, which is why some CBD oils can make you feel tired.
Pinene, on the other hand, can stimulate alertness. Found in the more sativa-dominant hemp strains, it’s also found in parsley, basil, rosemary, dill, and even pine needles. This is the compound that some researchers believe can counteract some of THC’s negative psychoactive effects. It also helps with memory retention and as an antiseptic, so it’s a versatile terpene to have in your arsenal.
Finally, limonene is most commonly found in fruit rinds, peppermint, and carefully engineered hemp strains. Antifungal and anti-bacterial, it’s a terpene that can enhance your mood, act as an anti-carcinogen, and even help dissolve gallstones. It almost sounds like a superhero terpene, given its versatile properties!
The Whole Plant Matters
The hemp plant is beneficial on a variety of levels, but you won’t find the same nutritional value or compounds in a hemp seed and the actual bud. Likewise, there’s value in the stems that you can’t find from the leaf. Using the entire hemp plant to extract CBD and all the other beneficial properties that can be extracted is why whole plant extracts are so important.
Rather than a lesser quality product that doesn’t contain everything it could, using the whole plant allows brands to take full advantage of industrial hemp. Every vitamin, nutrient, terpene and cannabinoid is carefully extracted in a whole plant extraction process.
Full-spectrum CBD products lead the charge when it comes to whole plant extraction helping consumers with the Entourage Effect. By optimizing your chances to experience the full spectrum that a hemp strain has to offer, you’re not just getting the beneficial properties from CBD. You’re amplifying those properties through other cannabinoids, terpenes, and so much more.
As a final takeaway from our guide, we don’t want to deter those that have to use CBD isolates from taking advantage of those products as well. CBD isolates have their place in the cannabidiol industry. When it comes to what can provide an Entourage Effect that stacks the benefits CBD already has to offer, though, a CBD isolate can’t cut it. If you haven’t tried cannabidiol yet, you may want to start with a full-spectrum product, so you know you’re not missing out on any of the other valuable compounds that strain could’ve offered.
We hope this guide helped you better understand what terpenes are, what the Entourage Effect is, and how terpenes play a massive role in providing that effect to us when we enjoy CBD products. To get the most out of what you’re spending on CBD, use a full-spectrum product to take full advantage of what the Entourage Effect can do for you.