If you’ve read anything online about CBD, you’ve likely come across the term “the entourage effect.” To better understand exactly what this is, it’s important to understand the various compounds in hemp that contribute to it.
While most simply associate cannabis with CBD and THC, it’s actually a complex plant composed of over 500 different compounds. Some of these compounds not only contain benefits of their own but also play a significant role in the entourage effect, which is what makes this plant so beneficial for your body.
Some of the most important compounds in hemp that lend to the entourage effect include cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Let’s take a deeper look into the entourage effect and everything it entails.
3 Chemical Compounds in Hemp that Contribute to the Entourage Effect
Cannabinoids, sometimes referred to as phytocannabinoids, naturally occur within the hemp plant. The most famous and abundant cannabinoids in cannabis are THC and CBD. To date, there have been over 100 identified cannabinoids in cannabis.
Cannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors within the endocannabinoid system and are ultimately responsible for the effects commonly associated with THC and CBD.
These well-known cannabinoids are absolutely beneficial in their own ways, but there are also other lesser-known cannabinoids that research has shown to have benefits of their own:
If you’re familiar with CBD, it’s likely you’ve heard some talk about terpenes. They’re an important aspect of the entourage effect, contributing their own unique benefits. To date, about 100 terpenes have been identified in hemp.
Terpenes aren’t just found in hemp. They exist in every plant! Terpenes are the essential oils of a plant and what gives each of them their own unique aroma and flavor. In cannabis, they’re produced in the same glands as cannabinoids.
Terpenes are known to actively affect cannabinoid receptors and are what allow cannabinoids to enter the brain through the blood-brain barrier. They’ve also shown to directly impact neurotransmitters in different ways.
The influence of terpenes can elicit various effects, as not all terpenes work in the brain in the same way. Some might help you relax, while others could give you a much needed mental and physical energy boost.
Some are more common than others. The following are a few of the most prevalent terpenes found in the hemp plant.
Myrcene: Myrcene is the most abundant terpene in hemp and has an aroma similar to that of cloves. It is known for its calming effects. It’s also found in hops, mango and thyme.
Limonene: Limonene is the second most common terpene found in hemp and gives off a citrusy scent. It is said to help increase well-being, focus, and attention. It is also found in citrus fruits, rosemary, mint, and pine.
Pinene: Pinene has the scent of pine and is known to support energy levels and concentration. Pinene can also be found in rosemary.
Linalool: Linalool is known for its calming effects. Linalool is also present in lavender oil and some fungi.
Caryophyllene: Caryophyllene contains a somewhat spicy flavor and aroma. You’ll also find caryophyllene in rosemary, hops and black pepper.
Like terpenes, flavonoids are found in all types of plants and are responsible for their color. The gorgeous greens of kale, bright hues of blueberries and deep reds of beets aren’t the only things flavonoids are responsible for. They also interact with other chemicals in the plant during various growth stages.
Research suggests that flavonoids are extremely beneficial for health, as they help support homeostasis, or balanced wellness, in the body.