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The entourage effect is a theory that different compounds in cannabis work synergistically to create uniquely beneficial effects. By taking the cannabis compounds together as whole-plant extracts rather than alone, there's an increased likelihood that the product will produce benefits.
Cannabis research is very much so in development, but the early results are promising. Here's what we know to date.
Broad spectrum hemp extract is a type of cannabidiol (CBD) that contains almost every compound in the cannabis plant, including cannabinoids, flavonoids, and trace amounts of terpenes. The one compound that broad spectrum doesn’t have is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), meaning it won’t get you “high.” This is what differentiates it from full spectrum hemp extract, which does contain the psychoactive compound (in a low concentration of less than 3%, per the legal limit).
Because full spectrum CBD contains this additional phytocannabinoid, it allows for a maximization of cannabis’ benefits via the entourage effect; however, one of the side effects of THC is feeling "high." That’s why, for sleep we recommend formulations with broad spectrum CBD, which captures the array of other phytocannabinoids naturally present in the hemp plant (e.g., CBN, CBD, and CBG) that also have synergistic effects and are believed to contribute to the entourage effect.
Terpenes are a diverse class of anti-inflammatory organic compounds produced primarily by plants and select insects. As the primary constituents of essential oils, terpenes are what give everything from pine trees to orange peels their distinct aromatherapy scents.
They play a role in the entourage effect by either altering the way CBD binds with cb2 receptors in the human body’s endocannabinoid system or producing an effect that compliments that of the CBD.
There are countless terpenes (Myrcene, Terpinolene, Linalool, Limonene, Pinene, etc), but it’s Beta-Caryophyllene (or BCP, for short) that receives the most attention when it comes to the entourage effect since it’s one of the only known terpenes that binds to cannabinoid receptors (1) (the same ones that THC binds to) and may provide some of the benefits associated with CBD’s entourage effect. (2)
Benefit: Easy to incorporate as part of your wellness supplement routine—and ideal if you’re looking for CBD sleep support.
What to look for: High-quality supplements formulated without added fillers or binders, as well as supplements tested for potency and purity. You should also be able to access the certificate of analysis.
Benefit: This type of sublingual (aka under the tongue) product may be felt faster than edible products, which means it may support quicker results.
What to look for: CBD oil that's third-party tested for safety and contains no fillers or isolated plant compounds.
It's also possible to purchase cannabis products as edibles and topicals; however, they won't provide the benefits of the phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effect.
What is hemp extract?
Hemp is a non-psychoactive compound derived from the cousin of the marijuana plant.
Is hemp legal?
Yes. Hemp can be legally cultivated, processed, and sold across the country if the THC level is at or below 0.3%.
What's a Certificate of Analysis?
A third-party document from an accredited laboratory verifying the cannabinoid quantity in each specific product batch.
What are the side effects of CBD?
Outside of drowsiness and fatigue (which some believe is related to the dosage), no notable side effects have been observed, leading researchers to conclude that CBD is well-tolerated among adults.
What should I look for when selecting a CBD supplement for better sleep?
- Hemp sourced from a responsible, vertically-integrated supplier for seed-to-shelf quality control and traceability
- Supplements that are THC-free (this is the substance that gets you “high”)
- Supplements with clinically-studied, non-hemp ingredients at dosage levels proven to promote quality sleep
- Tested for purity and verified free of heavy metals, microbes, and pesticides
- U.S. manufactured and produced in an FDA-approved, "Good Manufacturing Practices"-compliant facility
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