CBD companies that sell “Full-Spectrum” CBD products claim their product is better because of an “Entourage effect.”
But is it true?
The words “Entourage Effect” and “Full-Spectrum” get bounced around a lot by CBD companies promoting their products.
But, what really is the “Entourage Effect, ” and is the Entourage Effect Real? Let’s take a prescriptive look behind the hype and do some investigating.
Original “Entourage Effect Studies”
The original phrase “entourage effect” was first associated with cannabis in 1998 by a group of researchers at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, including “the father of cannabis research,” Dr. Raphael Mechoulam.
More recently, the phrase has been popularized in Dr. Ethan Russo’s 2011 paper Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-Terpenoid Entourage Effects, where he investigated the interactions between THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids and terpenes. Russo was looking for synergies to treat pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, and bacterial infections.
The results of Russo’s Study? “Good evidence shows that secondary compounds in cannabis may enhance the beneficial effects of THC” as well as reduce THC’s unwelcome side effects.
So, the “Entourage Effect” studies, research & publications are based on THC & CBD interactions – not on CBD interactions with other cannabinoid compounds in the hemp plant.
If this is the case, why are CBD companies using the term Entourage Effect?
Are there new scientific claims of a CBD only Entourage Effect?
Current CBD Marketing Claims of “Entourage Effect”
The basic theory behind the entourage effect promoted by many CBD companies is that by combining multiple cannabinoids with terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, and other plant material, it boosts the therapeutic effects of the CBD. There have been a variety of different studies into the entourage effect and its potential, but there have been no conclusive studies of a CBD only Entourage Effect.
As mentioned, the big problem with CBD companies claiming “entourage effect” is that all the studies so far have focused on two cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and how they interact together. These studies haven’t found any link to the entourage effect unless high levels of both THC and CBD are present together.
Of course, all CBD products available legally across the United States must contain no more than 0.3% THC – which of course no one would consider a “High Level.”
In this study, researchers looked at whether or not CBD could counteract some of the negative side-effects associated with THC, such as nausea, anxiety, stress, and paranoia. They concluded that CBD could safely counteract some of the negative side-effects associated with THC, but further clinical studies were required.
Why do some CBD companies promote the entourage effect?
There are three main types of CBD products that you’re going to encounter when you start investigating CBD. The three types are:
- Pure CBD Isolate – These are CBD products that are made using CBD isolate. During the manufacturing process, all other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, and plant materials are filtered out, leaving only pure CBD. CBD isolate products can be purchased as straight CBD isolate or as an ingredient in oils, tinctures, balms, creams, and vape liquids.
- Full-Spectrum CBD – Full spectrum CBD products contain other cannabinoids, including THC, essential oils, terpenes, flavonoids, and other plant material.
- Broad-Spectrum CBD – Broad-spectrum CBD products are relatively new. Broad-spectrum CBD products are similar to the full spectrum but have had the THC stripped from them during the manufacturing process.
Many CBD companies try to sell full-spectrum CBD products as a better alternative to Pure CBD isolate. Why? Maybe because they think Full Spectrum is better, maybe because Full Spectrum is a lot cheaper to produce.
Unfortunately with the internet, it’s easy to pick and choose data when you’re looking to try and push a product – but you won’t find a single study about a CBD-only Entourage Effect.
The most challenging & expensive CBD products to produce is Pure CBD Isolate (like Stirling). Isolates require additional processing and manufacturing that full-spectrum CBD products don’t need, making Pure CBD Isolate far more expensive to make.
If Pure CBD Isolate is harder & more expensive to make, why go through the process? Because isolates have the science, not the hype behind it.
What about “Full Plant Nutrients” or “Whole Food Benefits” claimed by CBD companies?
Stirling believes in “Full Plant Nutrients” and “Whole Food Benefits”…for things that Humans eat.
Humans never ate Hemp. We don’t need all the nutrients of the hemp plant, just the Pure CBD from the Hemp.
Similarly, Humans never at Willow Trees. We don’t need all the nutrients of the Willow Tree, just the aspirin compound the Willow Tree makes.
Humans have always found beneficial parts of plants and animals that we have used for medicines, without eating the entire plant.
So – Let’s Save the “Whole Plant Nutrients” for things people eat.
More Studies Doubting the Entourage Effect
This study carefully examined the relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes and how the entourage effect works. The research found that there were no significant interactions between cannabinoids and terpenes. The study cast doubt on the potential of terpenes to boost the results of the cannabinoids.
- “Many cannabis users believe in the entourage effect, the idea that cannabinoids and other cannabis compounds have a greater effect combined than consumed alone. But new research has cast some doubt over the entourage effect’s existence.
Published in pre-print in bioRxiv, the study from Macquarie University and the University of Sydney, Australia, investigated the possibility of a cannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effect. They studied the responses of cells transfected with human CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the presence of common terpenoids and THC.
But the researchers found that the receptors weren’t altered by any of these six major terpenoids, either when used individually or when mixed.”
New CBD products are being released, and we will keep our eyes on the research to make sure anything Stirling launches is 100% backed by science.
Recent FDA Actions & Governing Bodies Chose Pure CBD Isolate Over “Full Spectrum”
So far, the World Health Organization, the US Anti-Doping Agency, and even Big Pharma have chosen Pure CBD Isolate over “Full Spectrum.” Super Pure CBD Isolate can be used by U.S. Olympic Athletes, and the WHO has come out indicating that Pure CBD is safe & effective.
The FDA approved a CBD drug made with CBD Isolate for patient use.