Using the Whole Plant – What is the Entourage Effect?

Using the Whole Plant - What is the Entourage Effect image

As we all know, cannabis has numerous beneficial qualities. Throughout history, people used it for medical, recreation, and even spiritual purposes. It can relieve pain, reduce inflammation, help anxiety, insomnia and much more. This is why ever since scientists have recognized that cannabis might hold beneficial health-related qualities they started isolating the numerous elements that naturally exist in the plant. The main focus was on the two most famous cannabinoids, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) vs Cannabidiol (CBD)

Tetrahydrocannabinol

THC is probably the most known cannabinoid, it is responsible for the psychoactive element that is associated with cannabis. But it can do much more than just getting you high. A good example of THC efficiency is the FDA-approved drug Marinol. It was approved in the mid-1980s and since then it helps people with severe diseases to overcome their loss of appetite, severe nausea and vomiting.

Cannabidiol

CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive, meaning that it will not get you high. In cannabis, the CBD has a role in balancing the influence of THC. This places the CBD in the position of a modulator. CBD can be found both in marijuana and hemp.

Isolating CBD From Hemp

Although CBD can be found in marijuana, nowadays it is mostly isolated from the industrial hemp plant. The reason for this is legal and practical; Hemp has a high amount of CBD and a 0.3% average of THC. This is why in 2018 the US government has officially legalized hemp as a part of their 2018 farm bill.

So what is CBD Isolate?

It is CBD in its purest form, it comes as a white powder. You can add it to drinks or food or even use it as a topical. It’s important to mention that most people prefer to consume CBD isolate when it’s mixed with other substances such as olive oil or hemp seed oil since it is more convenient for consumption and easier to know how much CBD are you acctualy taking each time.

Using the whole plant

Ever since Doctor Raphael Mechoulam had isolated CBD and THC in the 1960s, scientists were trying to make these cannabinoids to do their job on their own. However, no matter what they tried it seems that cannabis works better as a whole. A good example is that when people are prescribed with Marinol – an FDA-approved drug that is based on synthetic THC, they still prefer to keep on using marijuana instead.

So why Using the whole plant is better?

Well, although most of us are aware only to CBD and THC, there are more than 480 natural components found within cannabis (marijuana and hemp).

A list of Elements That are Naturally Found in Cannabis

 

Main cannabinoids
Cannabigerol (CBG)
Cannabichromene (CBC)
Cannabidiols (CBD)
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
Cannabinol (CBN)
cannabinodiol (CBDL)
Cannabicyclol (CBL)
Cannabielsoin (CBE)
Cannabitriol (CBT)

 

Other elements which are not cannabinoids but exist in the cannabis plant are
terpenes, nitrogenous compounds, amino acids, proteins, glycoproteins, aldehydes, enzymes, sugars and related compounds, hydrocarbons, ketones, simple alcohols, simple acids, fatty acids, simple esters, lactones, steroids, flavonoids, vitamins, non-cannabinoid phenols, pigments, and other elements.

What Is the Entourage Effect?

There is an old phrase: “The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts”. When the whole plant is being used together it appears to work better than in its isolated CBD form.

The Entourage Effect is the name given to this phenomenon and although scientists are still not sure what other specific elements within cannabis encourage the CBD to do a better job, you can definitely feel the difference.

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

As opposed to CBD isolate, this is a different approach to how CBD should be extracted. In full spectrum CBD, most of the elements which are naturally found in the plant are being extracted (All other cannabinoids, terpenes, and other elements).

Wait, so what about THC? 

Well, most of the Full spectrum CBD oils are extracted from the industrial hemp plant which has a low amount of THC (0.3%) this is why you don’t need to worry about any psychoactive effects. Using full spectrum oil is safe and you have nothing to worry about.

In conclusion

There are still many open questions that science is trying to answer. Although cannabis was used by humans for thousands of years, only now we’re starting to realize its huge potential. Some people might say that the entourage effect symbolizes the fact that nature has its own holistic balance and if we want to harness the healing power of nature we should respect its rules. We don’t have an answer to why “The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts” but we are happy that we are aware of this phenomenon.

 

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