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What is the CBD “Entourage Effect”?

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In the past few years, CBD has managed to capture an impressively broad audience. Some consumers turn to the CBD cannabidiol for its pain-relieving properties, while others are using it to reduce inflammation. Regardless of what brought them to the plant, nearly all CBD consumers are interested in one thing: maximizing CBD effects on the brain.

When it comes to bolstering the effects of CBD, few methods can top the CBD entourage effect, a popular theory that cannabis/hemp components work better in conjunction. But, is there any truth to the idea of complementary CBD and the endocannabinoid system, or is it nothing more than a conspiracy? Let’s find out!

The Entourage Effect & CBD Explained

The entourage effect is the idea that cannabinoids “synergize” with one another, thereby enhancing the psychoactive effects of cannabis or hemp products. It was introduced as a concept in 1999 and has since expanded to include CBD’s terpenes and flavonoids as potential mediators.

Although many people swear by the CBD entourage effect, researchers haven’t reached a consensus on how it could alter or enhance CBD effects on the brain. Nonetheless, the history of CBD oil and cannabis seems to corroborate the theory.

In the 1980s, scientists brought the pure THC drug Marinol to the market, believing its THC content would carry the benefits of whole cannabis. They were baffled to discover that many patients didn’t agree and preferred using cannabis to Marinol. When surveyed, the patients often described Marinol as slow-acting and less effective.

Hoping to find an explanation for the lower efficacy of isolated THC, researchers began examining the interactions between cannabis and hemp constituents. Given that cannabis contains over 400 molecules and compounds, they certainly had their work cut out for them.

But, in 1981, one research team grew closer to understanding CBD’s entourage effect. In their paper, the researchers outlined a preliminary principle of what would later become known as the entourage effect. They concluded that “THC may account for about one-third of the activity of cannabis herb or resin,” and “a powerful synergist of THC activity is present.”

These results illuminated the idea that there were other forces at play in regards to cannabis/hemp synergy — but further research would be necessary to understand what they were.

An orange slide showing a range of biological cells.

What Modern Science Says

Today, CBD’s entourage effect is a documented but contested theory. Researchers have continued to evaluate the mechanisms of its action, but none have been able to find an exact explanation for why it seems to modulate CBD effects on the brain.

In a study published in 2019, researchers explored the possibility that terpenoids — a class of organic compounds with aromatic qualities — were responsible for the entourage effect. Upon analyzing the interactions between six common terpenoids found in cannabis/hemp and cannabinoid receptors, they found no signs of signaling. The authors then concluded that “if a phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effect exists, it is not at the CB1 or CB2 receptor level.”

However, other modern studies have successfully replicated CBD’s entourage effect of the 1980s. In a review of scientific literature entitled The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis, researchers drew attention to a meta-analysis documenting 670 epileptic patients who were prescribed a CBD-based medicine called Epidiolex. The analysis found that 71% of patients improved when treated with CBD-predominant cannabis extracts, while only 46% of patients receiving purified CBD improved, lending credence to the existence of an entourage effect.

How to Make the Most of Your CBD

While the jury is still out regarding the exact efficacy of CBD’s entourage effect or how it works, there are other ways to maximize CBD’s effects on the brain. Depending on where you get your CBD and how you use it, it’s possible to get more out of each dose.

Modify Your Dosage

If you’re not getting ideal results from your current type of CBD product or CBD regimen, it might be time to shake things up.

The first step is to determine how much CBD you’re taking. CBD products are available in a variety of product strengths which is typically measured in milligrams (mg). Note that CBD products are usually labeled with their total CBD content — a 275mg bottle will contain 275mg of CBD in its entirety, but less CBD per individual dose.

Some users will require more CBD than others, and therapeutic doses tend to be higher at upwards of 300mg or more. However, some studies suggest that if you’re looking to replicate CBD’s entourage effect through quantity, less might be more.

In a study performed in 2000, researchers found that when using CBD to treat symptoms of arthritis in mice, the lowest and highest tested doses were considerably less effective than a moderate dose.

Use a High-Quality CBD Product

As you might assume, the quality of the CBD product in question can also affect your experience. Poor quality CBD products are often less potent, which can compromise CBD’s effects on the brain.

Bioavailability is another factor that can severely undermine CBD’s benefits. Depending on the product format of CBD, its bioavailability — or its absorption rate into the bloodstream — can vary. For instance, CBD oils for sale are typically more bioavailable than CBD gels and moisturizers, meaning that your body can use more of the active CBD and waste less. This is because CBD is generally better-absorbed through the tissues of the mouth rather than the skin.

In fact, making the switch to the best CBD oils is one of the best ways to recreate the entourage effect with CBD — just make sure that the oil in question is high-quality. You can spot a high-quality CBD oil by checking for the signature golden-yellow color and ensuring that the oil is clear and free of floating plant matter.

Order Premium-Grade CBD Oils Online

At Kratora, we’re proud to provide our customers with THC-free CBD isolate oils in a variety of delectable flavors and topical solutions. Shop with us today and get same-day shipping when you complete your purchase before 3 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday and 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturdays (excluding holidays).

The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.

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