Benefits of Whole Plant Products
The market is full of CBD and Hemp-based products claiming to unlock the potential benefits to the endocannabinoid system. However, you must be careful when it comes to selecting the best fit for your use. CBD is common when people speak about the therapeutic effects of cannabis. CBD oil is one of the major ingredients for a range of products in the health & wellness industry. You will be surprised to know that the entire cannabis plant contains 100s of active compounds with each having its own medical effect. Their synergy is often termed as entourage effect because of their importance.
We explore further to learn how this synergy works and how other cannabinoids and CBD contributes. We also look at the benefits of the whole-plant cannabis preparations.
Entourage Effect: What is it?
The entourage effect is a complex synergy among different compounds of the cannabis which includes terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, etc. The whole-plant cannabis products provide greater benefits as compared to CBD or other cannabinoids due to this synergy. For instance, we love to listen to a piano or a violin individually. However, a combined performance that produces a cohesive sound of both is pleasant and harmonious to hear at an orchestra. Likewise, a combination of all active cannabis components has larger benefits than individual parts.
Entourage Effect & Cannabinoids
Medical benefits from cannabis are sourced from Cannabinoids. There are more than 100 cannabinoids that exist apart from CBD. The perfect example of an entourage effect is seen in the synergy of other cannabinoids and CBD. Single compound may give high psychoactive effect often associated with the cannabis usage. It even causes unwanted side-effects like paranoia and anxiety.
However, a combination of the 2 cannabinoids has a different impact altogether. CBD not only helps in eliminating the side-effects but also enhances its possible medical benefits like reduction in inflammation and pain. It even adds a distinct antidepressant effect as a bonus. This is only a single example of such a cannabinoid synergy. There are several other cannabinoids providing specific health benefits. Hence, there are innumerable ways these cannabinoids could work together and help in enhancing the benefits of each other.
Cannabinoids & Terpenes
The synergy between cannabinoids and terpenes is another popular component of entourage effect. Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds inside several plants. The entourage includes the cannabis. Besides having unique aroma, they have their own health benefits. Terpene limonene in lemons demonstrates anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties. Over 100 different terpenes exist in cannabis like pinene, linalool, and limonene.
Terpene variations in synergy with different cannabinoids-CBD ratios are the reason behind different effects and flavors in cannabis strains. Besides having numerous benefits, terpenes are great when combined with cannabinoids. They are also known to improve the passage of the compounds throughout the blood-brain barrier making it easy for cannabinoids to penetrate the brain and enhance the therapeutic effects.
Whole Plant Cannabis vs. Single Compound
Both compounds interact with the endocannabinoid system that constitutes a network of cannabinoid receptors in our body. These receptors affect cellular stress and can be stimulated by administration of cannabis. However, the way whole plant interacts with the endocannabinoid system is completely different from a single compound.
CBD or single compound cannabis products are basically made of a single compound containing a cannabinoid and terpenoid profile. The presence of a single compound outweighs benefits that might be conveyed by traces of other substances. This eventually makes CBD products affect the body exclusively as a single compound formulation. In case the product is administered for a long period, it can throw off the endocannabinoid system, unbalance things and result in ineffective support.
Although the name suggests whole-plant, it does not mean grinding up the entire cannabis Sativa plant and manufacturing a pill. The term primarily refers to substantive properties of a cannabis product. Unlike single compound cannabis products, whole plant formulations utilize the entire spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenoids.
The concept of manufacturing drugs using a single compound was introduced by the pharmaceutical industry. It is completely a different idea as compared to the traditional use of whole-plant medicines by our ancestors. With years of research, there is enough scientific evidence that advocates the traditional practices to be better than single compound products because of the entourage effect. An example is the whole-plant CBD extracts that are far more effective to treat seizures as compared to the isolated CBD.
Benefits of Whole-Plant Products
After years of research, scientists have accepted the benefits of the entourage effect. Most whole-plant formulas create a synergistic relationship between flavonoids, Phytocannabinoids and terpenes. They collectively work to unlock the possible benefits of the plant. With regulations in place, reputable brands are manufacturing products with optimal ratio of CBD to THC ensuring the hemp-based supplements never get you high. They essentially support the important bodily functions while minimizing the adverse side effects that are often associated with marijuana.
Some of the important benefits of Whole-plant Products are:
- Supports a healthy GI tract and a better digestive process
- Supports and maintains the immune system
- Decreases joint discomfort due to normal day to day activity
- Supports healthy neurological functioning