One of the most important things for consumers to keep in mind while shopping for cannabis products is a scientific concept referred to as the entourage effect.
Simply put, the entourage effect is a synergy that exists between various cannabis compounds, like cannabinoids and terpenes, that work together to produce a variety of therapeutic effects. These effects wouldn’t be as beneficial if those compounds were individually isolated, so many industry and medical practitioners recommend buying products that combine some amount of CBD and THC together, even if one compound is heavily favored over the over.
This concept is extremely important when considering CBD products, in particular, because much of the available market is centered around CBD isolate, which contains no THC. “Whole plant” and “full-spectrum” are the terms that are used to describe products that take advantage of the range of therapeutic effects that can be found in the cannabis plant. In some cases, like with pain management, for example, using just CBD alone may not have the optimal effect without the presence of THC.
Admittedly, it’s a bit of an abstract concept. One helpful way to think about it is to consider the uncomfortable feeling that occurs when too much THC is consumed, whether it be by smoking, eating or any other medium. A trusted way to combat this is to consume CBD (ideally by smoking, which is the fastest-acting ingestion method), which counteracts the THC high and brings the user back to equilibrium. This is one concrete example of the entourage effect at work.
The exact science behind the entourage effect is inexact at this point in time, but for consumers looking to buy high-quality, potent CBD products today, a little homework is required. Not all CBD products are created equally, which means that not all are able of producing the desired or optimal entourage effect after processing. Sticking to those that boast “full-spectrum” and “whole-plant” on the label is the best place to start for anyone seeking the most out of the cannabis plant.