What Is the CBD Entourage Effect?

Updated on December 3, 2019
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Whether you’re an experienced CBD user or just dipping your toe into the world of CBD products, you may have heard of the term entourage effect. What is the entourage effect? It’s a way of experiencing CBD that allows your body and mind to potentially make the most of the chemical, to better support your wellbeing.

There are over 400 individual compounds in hemp, and CBD is just one of them. The entourage effect helps utilize those compounds that we never hear about.

Entourage Effect: What Exactly Is It?

But exactly what is the entourage effect? Put simply; it’s about experiencing more than just the CBD elements of the hemp plant in isolation. To experience the entourage effect, CBD needs some back up from its fellow phytochemicals. The idea is that the potentially beneficial actions of CBD are better accessed by the body when in conjunction with other components of the hemp plant such as:

  • Flavonoids
  • CBG, another cannabinoid also known as cannabigerol
  • Enzymes
  • Fatty Acids
  • Terpenes, which are the aromatic chemicals known to support the effect of cannabinoids

All these phytochemicals have their own effect on the body, but when they work together, they also react with each other to create a potentially more profound effect on the body. This increased effect is known as the CBD entourage effect.

The History

In 1998, two Israeli scientists postulated that cannabinoids would better affect the human endocannabinoid system when taken in conjunction with the fatty acids also present in the cannabis plant. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the scientist who first discovered that humans produce cannabinoids in their own bodies, and Dr. Shimon Ben-Shabat’s research certainly seemed to support the theory that CBD worked better in the presence of other phytochemicals than in isolation.

In 2009 G. Ulrich-Merzenich and H. Wagner took the theory a little further. They described the entourage effect as having these four factors:

  • “The ability to affect many different targets and areas of the body.”
  • “The ability to improve the absorption of the active ingredients by the body.”
  • “The ability to better overcome bacterial defense mechanisms.”
  • “The ability to minimize adverse side effects.”

CBD: The Entourage Effect Creator

CBD is the most commonly talked about component of hemp in terms of wellbeing. In fact, it’s kind of a superstar in an all-singing, all-dancing cast. Imagine CBD as the diva, with all those terpenes and flavonoids like the backup chorus. The solo is nice on its own but so much better with the whole ensemble.

How Can You Experience It?

Everyone finds their own way to enjoy CBD products, but they might not even realize that the CBD they are taking could be one of three different types of CBD.

#1 Isolate CBD

What is CBD isolate? CBD isolate is where only the cannabinoid CBD has been extracted from the plant, leaving all the other phytochemicals behind. CBD isolate is often marketed as being “pure,” however, this just means that it is CBD alone, with no other chemicals in the mix. It does not contain any of the other potentially helpful elements of the hemp plant. It is not possible to experience the entourage effect with CBD isolate.

#2 Broad-Spectrum CBD

What is broad-spectrum CBD? Broad-spectrum CBD oil contains CBD, as you would expect. But it also contains plenty of other natural components of hemp, which aren’t stripped away during the extraction process. Broad-spectrum CBD contains flavonoids, terpenes, fatty acids, and other cannabinoids. This all contributes towards a significant entourage effect. In most cases, there is no or virtually no THC in broad-spectrum CBD products.

#3 Full-Spectrum CBD

What is full-spectrum CBD? Full-spectrum CBD oil is very similar to broad-spectrum CBD; however, it may contain a trace amount of THC. In amounts of less than 0.3% THC is still not psychoactive. It is classed as a cannabinoid, CBD and CBG, so it can also help the user experience the entourage effect. Neither full-spectrum CBD nor broad-spectrum CBD can get you “high.”

Importance of This Effect

CBD is generally considered a holistic health product. It makes sense, then, to look at the most holistic way of taking it. Finding a way to keep as much of the natural plant as possible and knowing this is possibly having a much more profound impact on your wellbeing is reassuring, especially as more and more scientific research is done on the subject.


It’s clear to see that current research not only indicates that CBD may be more beneficial when used in conjunction with other elements of the hemp plant, but also that the other chemicals from hemp may hold benefits we have yet to understand fully. Check your labels when buying. A broad-spectrum CBD or full-spectrum CBD product is the best way to try and experience the CBD entourage effect. By combining the CBD with all those other phytochemicals, it may actually enhance the effectiveness of CBD.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.