Cannabis is being seen as a boon for many illnesses. It has helped people to live a normal life even though they have been inflicted with some disease or the other. After witnessing the beneficial effects of this product more and more people are interested in choosing cannabis products to manage their conditions. These are the reasons why even producers are coming up with brand new cannabis products. But these new products, particularly the single compound isolates and the full-spectrum ones are creating an atmosphere of confusion among consumers as they are unable to decide which product they should go for?
Well, as we all know there are many compounds present in the cannabis plant. Of which 66 are different cannabinoids. Based on some studies with the cannabis plant it has been increasingly proposed by the scientific community that it is the full-spectrum cannabis plant extract that produces greater beneficial effects. This phenomenon has popularly termed by Raphael Mechoulam and his team as the ‘entourage effect’.
What does it mean?
In simple words, it can be said that all those components that make up the cannabis plants, i.e. the cannabinoids, the terpenoids and the flavonoids
The terpenoids are the small compounds which are responsible for imparting fragrance in the cannabis plant. For example, limonene is a terpene which produces a citrusy smell. The cannabis researchers are of the opinion that these compounds have a role in enhancing or diminishing the effects of THC or CBD’s therapeutic properties.
This knowledge has also led the manufacturers to use terpenes and flavonoids in varying proportions to create specialized effects of the cannabinoids.
In some ways, it is similar to consuming tablets of single vitamins or minerals and not having the entire fruit which actually has a whole range of vitamins and minerals that proves more nutritious for health.
Cannabinoids plus the terpenes
CBD and THC are the most popular cannabinoids of the cannabis plant and we are already familiar with the team of CBD and THC. CBD which comes with a host of medicinal properties has been found to diminish the psychoactive effects of THC.
Apart from the popular team of CBD and THC, research is also being done on the interactions of different cannabinoids with terpenes. Limonene, pinene, myrcene, and linalool are some of the terpenes. These volatile aromatic substances when coming in contact with cannabinoids have been found to produce synergistic effects.
As a result, the producers have also started including them with the cannabinoid products to help people suffering from pain, inflammation, cancer, anxiety, and acne.
Single Isolates versus full spectrum
Today we get the CBD only and THC only products. For example, Marinol and Cesamet are THC only medicines. But, according to a 2011 survey, it was found that people preferred to use the natural counterparts rather than the synthetic form of just THC or just CBD.
From this survey itself, it was clear that the synergistic effect or the entourage effect which is now backed by research was felt by the consumers and produced more efficient results in them compared to the single isolate medicines.
Right now CBD isolates too are sold along with full-spectrum CBD products. Claims are also made that the two produces the same effects but in reality, the full-spectrum CBD products which preserve the other plant properties demonstrates greater effectiveness.
The future prospects for the Entourage effect
It is only recently that the many beneficial effects of the cannabinoids are coming to light. In such a situation studying their synergistic effects with other plant extracts still seems to be a long journey. With cannabis getting the legal status it will make things easy for scientists to carry out the necessary research to fully acquire knowledge on the entourage effect. Till now what is known is that you should opt for the full-spectrum product rather than single isolates to see good results.