The Entourage Effect
Full-spectrum hemp oil refers to when the pure oil extracted from hemp contains all the same cannabinoids and compounds found in the original hemp plant. Unlike isolated or synthetic
cannabinoids, full-spectrum hemp oil contains an array of cannabinoids, as well as many essential vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, protein, chlorophyll, fiber, flavonoids, and terpenes.
Full-spectrum hemp oil contains dozens of cannabinoids. The most abundant cannabinoid found in hemp oil is cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound shown to have many benefits in studies. CBD makes up over 90% of the cannabinoid content in full-spectrum hemp oil.
Hemp oil also contains the cannabinoid cannabidiolic acid (CBDa). In live hemp, CBDa is more abundant than CBD. Often times hemp oil will undergo a heating process called decarboxylation, which changes CBDa into CBD and offers those seeking the highest levels of CBD a more ideal product.
Other more major cannabinoids found in full-spectrum include cannabigerol (CBG), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabinol (CBN). You can learn more about these cannabinoids and what studies have so far discovered by visiting Pubmed.
Vitamins and Minerals
Extracted full-spectrum hemp oil also contains a wide list of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. Present are vitamins A, C, and E., and well as B complex vitamins like riboflavin, thiamine, and niacin. Hemp oil is also a source of vitamins that are commonly not sufficiently present in many diets, including beta-carotene.
Minerals are essential for a variety of bodily functions, nerve function and metabolic processes. They’re also important for building strong bones and the health of our blood, skin, and hair. Full-spectrum hemp oil contains minerals like magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and iron.
Essential Fats and Protein
Hemp oil is a healthy source of protein, which is instrumental in building and repairing tissues. Health officials recommend refraining from regularly eating red meat because it’s higher in saturated fat, but hemp oil is a heart-healthy source of all 20 amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids that must be provided through the diet.
Essential fatty acids are necessary for maintaining heart and cardiovascular health. The two primary essential fatty acids — Omega 3 and Omega 6 — are ideally consumed at a ratio of around 3:1.
Unfortunately, in the typical American diet, that ratio is close to 25:1. Full-spectrum hemp oil offers the two essential fatty acids in the optimal 3:1 ratio.
Why is Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Important?
The health benefits of full-spectrum hemp go beyond it being a source of CBD. The array of cannabinoids and other natural constituents found in full-spectrum hemp oil work have been shown in studies to work together in what’s referred to as the “entourage effect.”
The entourage effect refers to how various cannabinoids and other natural constituents work together synergistically to magnify their potential therapeutic properties. Introduced in 1998, a study by Israeli researchers Shimon Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam, the entourage effect theory maintains that isolated or synthetic cannabinoids aren’t as effective at eliciting curative effects as when all of the natural constituents work together harmoniously.
While it’s the two major cannabinoids — cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – that garner most of the attention for their ability to provide therapeutic relief, in reality these cannabinoids work in conjunction with over 400 additional compounds to treat a multitude of medical ailments.
When cannabinoid oil is derived from the plant’s stalk and seeds, the extraction process draws out all of the plant’s terpenes, essential fatty acids, waxes, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, magnesium, iron, calcium, chlorophyll, flavonoids, and vitamins A, B, C, and E, and beta-Carotene, as well as other various cannabinoids. This “full-spectrum” oil allows you to take advantage of the whole plant and it’s natural properties.
Benefits of the Entourage Effect
By working together synergistically, the whole plant extract of cannabinoids and other natural constituents are able to affect multiple targets throughout the body. The entourage effect also improves the absorption of active ingredients. Because cannabinoids are chemically polar compounds, sometimes it can be difficult for them to be absorbed. The other natural constituents may help improve their absorbability and viability.
Cannabinoids and natural constituents that work together also are able to better overcome bacterial defense mechanisms. While cannabinoids have shown to be potentially effective for giving the plant the ability to ward off bacteria, bacteria develop defense mechanisms over time. The other non-cannabinoid constituents found in cannabis also have antibacterial properties, utilizing other pathways that gives the plant’s ability to fight bacteria.
While working together, cannabinoids and other natural constituents also minimize unwanted side effects. While THC alone can cause a euphoric response, and at times elicit anxiety and paranoia, CBD has shown it can modulate those unwanted effects.
When a complex mix of cannabinoids works in tandem with the essential nutrients and other natural components, they’re better able to provide their therapeutic and healing effects.
Together, these compounds work harmoniously to magnify their therapeutic properties. The complex mix of cannabinoids, essential nutrients, protein, and healthy fats work synergistically to encourage homeostasis and balance in our health.