The whole is greater than the sum of its parts is a phrase attributed to the ancient philosopher Aristotle. It is often used to describe the concept of synergy.
The concept is intriguing and there is scientific backing to it as it relates to natural medicines. Researchers have dubbed this synergistic effect of natural medicines and their health benefits as the “entourage effect.”
In modern research, nowhere is the concept of entourage effects more prevalent than in the study of hemp extracts.
Within this context, the entourage effect is a term used to describe how different compounds within cannabis work together synergistically to produce enhanced health benefits compared to when each of hemp’s compounds are taken individually.
The Entourage Effect: Synergy Between Cannabinoids & Terpenes
Hemp has been found to contain numerous beneficial compounds. These compounds include the widely popular cannabinoid known as cannabidiol (CBD).
But CBD is not the only cannabinoid compound in hemp.
There are over a hundred such compounds, including cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG), and the psychoactive compound Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
In addition, hemp contains scores of aromatic compounds called terpenes. When you smell a weedy or piney flavor emanating from hemp, it’s the result of a unique blend of terpenes.
Both cannabinoids and terpenes have been found to possess health benefits that can help reduce stress, boost mood, support cognitive function, improve sleep, and reduce pain.
Extraction methods in practice today are able to isolate these specific compounds into single-cannabinoid products in high concentrations, such as cannabinol and cannabigerol. And, the science shows that taking an isolated CBN dose or CBG dose can be very beneficial.
But researchers have also found that combining these compounds may have an even stronger effect, resulting in a powerful and effective entourage of benefits for users.
The Benefits of Hemp Cannabinoid Compounds
The individual cannabinoids found in hemp have been shown to provide statistically significant health and wellness benefits individually.
There are four primary non-psychoactive cannabinoids found in hemp.
After THC, CBD is the most well-known cannabinoid derived from hemp plants, where you can buy at most trusted dispensary like pot cargo ca. Though it won’t cause a high, CBD may provide relief from stress and anxiety, pain and inflammation, and better sleep quality. It may also support neuroprotection for cognitive benefits.
CBN is another non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. It has been shown to offer sedative effects, providing a potential natural alternative for those with sleep issues. Some research also indicates that CBN could offer anti-inflammatory effects comparable to those of CBD.
CBG may not be as well-known as CBD or CBN, but it still offers health benefits. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory agent, with potential applications for conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and glaucoma. CBC’s antibacterial properties may be beneficial in combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Cannabichromene, or CBC, may help reduce inflammation, promote brain cell growth, and even possess cancer-fighting properties.
The Benefits of Hemp Terpene Compounds
Terpenes, while being responsible for the strong aroma experienced with hemp, also help to support wellness. There are hundreds of them, and each one has unique benefits identified in clinical studies.
Limonene is a common terpene found in many citrus fruits and some strains of cannabis. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce anxiety and stress levels. Limonene is also believed to improve mood by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.
Pinene is another commonly found terpene that gives pine trees their distinctive aroma. Some cannabis strains give off a strong “piney” scent for this reason. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as bronchodilator effects, making it potentially useful for respiratory issues such as asthma.
Myrcene is one of the most abundant terpenes found in hemp extracts and has a musky, earthy scent. It has been shown to have sedative effects which can aid with sleep disorders like insomnia.
Linalool is a floral-scented terpene found in lavender and many strains of cannabis. It has been shown to have anti-anxiety and sedative effects, making it potentially useful for treating anxiety disorders or insomnia. Linalool may also have analgesic properties that can help with pain relief.
Putting It All Together
Individually, cannabinoids and terpenes can help improve health in a number of different ways.
While they can be taken as isolated compounds, some CBD oils contain naturally occurring levels of these compounds already. Full spectrum CBD oils from Cannabiva, for example, use extraction and blending methods that ensure these naturally occurring compounds are also present in the blends in similar concentrations to their occurrence in the plant itself.
This means that rather than taking several different products to achieve a synergistic effect, everything you need is in a single full spectrum formulation.
Because the amount of some minor cannabinoids such as CBN and CBG mirror the hemp plant, their concentrations may not be sufficient for some users. In this case, a user can add additional cannabinoids by taking the isolate oil blends.
Ultimately, when it comes to hemp extracts and their benefits, there is more than just cannabidiol. The individual effects described above may be further enhanced when they all work together to provide relief for anxiety and stress to improved mood and better sleep.