Cannabinoids are a large family of which CBD is a part. If the recent craze for the CBD market has focused the public’s attention on this molecule, CBD reveals its full potential only if it allows the synergy between it and the other compounds that are part of the cannabinoids – as well as other compounds, such as terpenes.
1. CBD, one of the many elements of the cannabinoid spectrum
CBD offers undeniable health benefits for the body and mind, many studies show. However, what you may not know is that the health impact of CBD can be much greater when combined with other natural parts of the cannabis plant. The combination of different components working together – the so-called cannabinoid spectrum – greatly increases the therapeutic effects.
CBD comes from the cannabis plant, one of the most versatile plants in the world. Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries and contains an enormous amount of compounds, called “phytocannabinoids” or more commonly “cannabinoids.” “Phyto” is the Greek word for plant. The best known phytocannabinoids are CBD and THC.
The plant also contains lesser known cannabinoids such as CBN, CBC, CBG, CBDa, THCa ect… There are dozens of them, each with unique attributes. They are increasingly being studied by science for the properties they are discovered to have.
Lesser-known – but equally beneficial – compounds in the cannabis plant include terpenes, aroma compounds, flavonoids, pigments, fatty acids, neuroprotectants, antioxidants, free radical scavengers and other essential vitamins and minerals.
2. The entourage effect, strongly linked to the cannabinoids spectrum
The entourage effect theory plays a very important role in linking these compounds. This theory suggests that the therapeutic benefits of CBD are at their greatest when CBD is combined with other natural compounds in the cannabis plant.
According to the entourage effect theory, when several components of the cannabis plant “work” together, they increase the therapeutic effect of the plant as a whole.
The most notable therapeutic effects occur when several extracts of the cannabis plant are combined together: the stems, seeds, leaves and flowers, all of which contain various health-promoting chemicals.
One of the most effective ways to achieve the entourage effect is to choose a full-spectrum CBD oil that includes all of the plant’s natural components.
CBD is entering a new phase of the market life cycle. It has passed the stage of general awareness and is tending towards saturation. Thus, for companies to distinguish themselves, they will have to offer innovative solutions to the consumer. It is clear that the companies that come up with cutting edge innovations will end up leading the next big wave of herbal therapies.
For example, the new trend is “enhanced CBD”. This goes far beyond regular CBD. An “enhanced CBD” product refers to a full-spectrum CBD oil, enriched with other active ingredients containing properties that enhance the effectiveness of CBD and increase the surrounding effect. Here, terpenes will have a very important role to play.
3. The role of terpenes in pain reduction when interacting with cannabinoids
In a recent study entitled “Cannabis sativa terpenes are cannabimimetic and selectively enhance cannabinoid activity,” Dr. Streicher and his team at the University of Arizona Health Science focused on four cannabis terpenes: alpha-humulene, geraniol, linalool and beta-pinene.
They evaluated each terpene alone and in combination with the molecule WIN55,212-2, a synthetic cannabinoid agonist that stimulates the body’s natural cannabinoid receptors.
Behavioral studies in mice revealed that, when administered individually, all four terpenes reduced pain sensitivity. They also produced at least three of the four classic side effects of cannabinoids: reduced pain sensation, lowered body temperature, reduced movement and catalepsy. These types of reactions are often related to the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids.
When terpenes were combined with WIN55,212-2, the researchers found a greater reduction in pain sensation compared to terpene or WIN55,212-2 alone, demonstrating a terpene/cannabinoid interaction in pain control.
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