Understanding the Entourage Effect for Cannabis Extraction

Understanding the Entourage Effect for Cannabis Extraction

Entourage Effect

The entourage effect proposes that the many compounds found in cannabis work in unison to create the effects and benefits of the plant. Image provided by Cure Pharmaceuticals.

What is the Entourage Effect?

The “entourage effect” is the theory that the hundreds of different compounds found in cannabis (cannabinoids and terpenes, for example) work together to create the unique effects and benefits of the plant. There are hundreds of cannabinoids and terpenes found within the cannabis plant, the most popular being CBD and THC, yet all of which are processed by the endocannabinoid system within the human body.

As the cannabis industry continues to evolve on a global scale, we are seeing more “isolate” products enter the market, claiming to be “pure CBD” or “pure THC” with all other cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds removed. Anecdotal evidence suggests that when cannabinoids like CBD or THC are isolated from these other compounds, the endocannabinoid system is not able to properly process them, thus keeping the person from experiencing all of the medical or recreational benefits that the isolated cannabinoid has to offer.

How Does the Entourage Effect Impact the Consumer Experience?

When a consumer smokes cannabis, a process called decarboxylation happens instantaneously. During this process, CBGA (the mother cannabinoid) is broken down into other cannabinoids like THC, CBD, CBG, etc. which can then be absorbed by the body. Smoking dried flower allows for a “full-spectrum” experience, where the body’s endocannabinoid system can intake all of the compounds found in the plant.

When a specific cannabinoid like CBD or THC is isolated from its “family” of other compounds, anecdotal evidence suggests that the isolated cannabinoid is less-effective at producing the euphoric, inebriating effects, or medicinal benefits than if the same amount of that cannabinoid was introduced to the body in a full-spectrum capacity (with all those other cannabinoids).

This is especially important for new users of CBD products since, as they want to avoid the inebriation caused by THC, they use CBD isolate products. These isolates can cause the consumer to sacrifice some of the potential benefits of CBD when compared to the way a full-spectrum CBD product is absorbed by the body.

How Does the Entourage Effect Impact the Cannabis Extraction Process?

It is important to note that most information supporting the entourage effect is anecdotal, and that further research must be done to fully understand this phenomenon. Once the entourage effect is proven true, real research will prove the current unverified claims that isolate products are processed by the endocannabinoid system differently than full-spectrum cannabis products (learn more about Full Spectrum vs. Isolate Distillates).

This article does not argue in favour of or against the use of cannabis isolate products. In fact, the more we learn about the entourage effect and the effects of isolated cannabinoid products, the more products can be created to help treat specific human health conditions. Moving forward, there will always be a market for THC-free products, and the evolution of the extraction industry is moving us towards a world where specific cannabinoids can be isolated or removed from cannabis distillate more easily. This is great news for the average consumer who wants to use cannabis for medicinal purposes!

extractX Mobile Labs

If you’re producing cannabis distillate, whether full-spectrum or the isolate of a specific cannabinoid, an extractX mobile lab could be right for you! Our labs are built off-site to the highest compliance standards, able to produce high-quality full-spectrum distillate or THC-free and isolate distillates through further separation and remediation processes. Instead of building your own lab, reach out to extractX today to learn more about how you can get a mobile lab installed within your facility within 4 months of contract for $0 lab CapEx.

Follow us on social media or sign up for our newsletter for company updates and more content like this.

    Subscribe to*: