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Hemp in the background with foreground text about understanding CBD's entourage effects.

Understanding CBD’s Entourage Effect

If you’re exploring the world of wellness, you’ve definitely heard of the terms ‘cannabidiol’ and ‘entourage effect.’

And if you’ve been following our blog, you probably already know what CBD is and the potential benefits it can provide.

But did you know that it is possible to enhance your CBD experience by combining it with other phytocannabinoids?

In this post, we’ll take a look at CBD’s entourage effects.

Content Overview:

What is the Entourage Effect?

The entourage effect refers to the combination of two phytocannabinoids for a more enhanced result.

To better explain it, It’s worth noting that the hemp or cannabis plant comprises about 120 different cannabinoids. And the most popular ones are CBD and THC.

So let’s use both in our example:

CBD, on its own, can provide health benefits such as giving a sense of relief from chronic pain, anxiety and stress.

It is non-psychoactive, meaning there’s no risk of abuse or dependence potential. As long as CBD is pure, you won’t experience such effects.

On the other hand, THC is most commonly prescribed for chemotherapy patients. It can help reduce nausea from the medication and stimulate appetite.

However, it is not recommended for usage beyond extreme medication due to its psychoactive properties and can cause dependency or addiction.

It attaches to your brain receptors, affecting your memory, pleasure, coordination, and sensory and time perception. 

Therefore, it can be harmful if you take it at a higher dosage without any critical health reasons. 

That said, it is illegal to use it at a higher dosage. The limit is 0.3% THC for everyday commercial use, and anything above that is not allowed.

Going back, if you use CBD and THC simultaneously, it balances our immune response, communication between cells, sleep cycles, memory, and more.

With its counter-psychoactive properties, CBD lowers the side effects that THC can bring, such as paranoia and intoxication.

The interaction of these two phytocannabinoids is known as the entourage effect.

The Background of Entourage Effect

A professor introduced the entourage effect in 1998 when he noted that the plant’s compounds improve our receptors’ activity once they work together.

As a result, it balances our immune response, communication between cells, sleep cycles, memory, and more.

Simply put, combining cannabinoids with secondary compounds, such as terpenes or flavonoids, has shown improved results. 

The best real-world example of this is broad-spectrum CBD products. Broad-spectrum products contain CBD and minimal THC (not more than 0.3%).

In this case, you can enjoy CBD’s entourage effect without the risk of abuse or dependency on the product.

What Research Says

There hasn’t been much research on the entourage effect, but here’s what we know about the phenomenon so far.

Therapeutic Benefits

CBD and THC have a list of benefits that they’re known for.

For example, CBD can treat offset anxiety, select epilepsy syndromes, and opioid addictions.

In addition, it may also ease discomfort and reduce symptoms of anxiety. 

Meanwhile, THC may reduce inflammation and relieve pain. 

However, using these phytocannabinoids with terpenes can provide additional therapeutic benefits. 

Furthermore, it can stimulate an appetite and help with weight gain for people with cancer or AIDS.

How CBD works with THC

As we mentioned, THC is the chemical responsible for all the psychoactive effects of marijuana. 

That may include euphoria, difficulty concentrating, impaired short-term memory, and more. 

It’s also common to experience anxiety, hunger, and sedation after taking THC. That is why some people are hesitant to explore THC, especially as an independent product. 

CBD may help with that. 

According to a study in 2011, CBD may help reduce the unwanted effects of THC. 

Brain Health

According to this study, combining phytocannabinoids with terpenes or flavonoids can also improve brain health. 

Certain flavonoids and terpenes offer pro-cognitive, neuroprotective, anxiolytic, and anti-inflammatory effects, according to research in 2018. 

This research was proven on models of cerebral ischemia and Alzheimer’s disease. These secondary compounds may improve the therapeutic benefits of CBD mentioned above.

You can consume them through fruits, vegetables, tea, and wine. 

Tips for Trying CBD and THC Together

Here are a few tips to keep in mind before trying CBD and THC together. Keep in mind that only products with 0.3% THC or less are federally allowed.

Start Low

The first tip to keep in mind while trying CBD and THC together is to start low, especially if you’re a beginner.

You can take the first step with a low dose and increase it slowly and over time, only if needed. 

That’s because THC has psychoactive effects, which can become unmanageable if the dose is too high. 

Meanwhile, the ideal dose for CBD is anywhere between 5 to 15 mg. You may combine these doses for an enhanced result. 

Dosage Timings

Secondly, you can experiment with the times of your dose to see what works best for you.

Try switching between morning, noon, and night time to track what is creating better results.

Furthermore, you can try to take both CBD and THC simultaneously.

If that doesn’t seem to work, it will help to take CBD after THC or vice versa. 

Delivery Methods

You can also experiment with different delivery methods, depending on what is most convenient, beneficial, and enjoyable for you.

You’ll find that CBD and THC are available in many various forms.

That includes capsules and gummies. While it’s best to take any kind of capsule in the morning, gummies are a better option for those that want to add guilt-free sweets to their diet. 

CBD and THC can also be consumed in snacks and tinctures form. You’ll mainly find CBD snacks at Walmart and Target in the form of granola and protein bars. 

Lastly, you can also consume CBD and THC through vaping, but we definitely wouldn’t recommend that method.

Vaping

Although vaping is a better option for those trying to quit cigarettes, it is still not a healthy way to consume

THC or CBD. There are many risks associated with vaping, especially those related to your lungs. 

CDC strongly advises against vape products since they can irritate the lungs’ delicate tissues and air sacs.

If you’ve chosen to consume CBD and THC through vaping, we’d recommend practicing moderation and keeping a close check.

Once you notice any signs of a cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain, you should contact your doctor immediately. 

Nausea, fever, and weight loss are a few other side effects to look out for.

Overlooking these warning signs can result in EVALI (E-cigarette or Vaping use Associated Lung Injury)

The Ideal THC to CBD Ratio

The effects of any cannabis derivative may vary from person to person, especially since everyone has different reasons for cannabis use.

That’s why it’s important to use CBD and THC in the correct way for your specific condition. 

You should also consider your existing health problems while figuring out the correct ratio of CBD and THC for you.

We’d recommend talking to your healthcare provider. Not only will they advise you of the proper ratio for you, but they’ll also warn you about any drug interactions in case you’re already on medication.

Before deciding on the ideal ratio for yourself, consider each compound’s side effects.

For example, THC may cause slow reaction times, short-term memory loss, and anxiety. 

Meanwhile, CBD’s side effects can include weight changes, nausea, and diarrhea.

FAQs

Is CBD still beneficial without THC?

Due to its psychoactive effects, it’s understandable that some people are hesitant to try THC. Not to mention, THC is a substance that is illegal at high dosages.

However, that doesn’t mean CBD is off-limits too. Cannabidiol is still beneficial enough to take as an independent product. 

We’d recommend opting for a CBD-isolate product instead of a full-spectrum CBD product if you plan on trying it without THC.

That’s because full-spectrum CBD products can contain up to 0.3% of THC, which may show up in a drug test. 

However, only 0.3% THC is not enough to cause psychoactive effects.

Does broad-spectrum CBD get you high?

No, broad-spectrum CBD cannot get you high.

That’s because broad-spectrum CBD is typically free of THC, which is the chemical responsible for any psychoactive effects of cannabis.

While there may be small traces of THC in broad-spectrum CBD, it’s not enough to get you high. 

Is the entourage effect real?

Ultimately, it’s true that there isn’t a lot of research done on medical cannabis, let alone the entourage effect.

And researchers have never done a double-blind clinical trial to investigate the interaction between phytocannabinoids and secondary compounds.

There’s much that’s left to be found to prove the entourage effect’s credibility since there isn’t any hard evidence proving it.

So right now, the entourage is simply a well-supported theory.

However, this doesn’t disprove the existence of the effect entirely.

It only means more research needs to be done on the combination of CBD and THC along with secondary compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids.

Conclusion

While cannabinoids and terpenoids interact with your brain’s receptors, they also interact with each other.

The ‘entourage effect’ is simply a name for this interaction. It’s believed that combining CBD and THC will provide better results than using them independently. 

However, it’s important to remember that the entourage effect is still only a theory. There isn’t enough research done on the cannabis plant and its derivatives to determine the credibility of this phenomenon.

We recommend ensuring that the CBD products you consume have no more than 0.3% THC. Consuming a higher dosage of THC is federally illegal.

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