The Entourage Effect and CBD: Why You Don't Need THC
There are millions of online debates happening right this second. They range from the most pressing issues of our times to the frivolous – like whether or not pineapple is an acceptable pizza topping.
The answer is yes. Pineapple absolutely belongs on pizza, you killjoys.
But among CBD enthusiasts, one debate that rules them all.
Is THC a vital part of hemp extract supplements? Does it contribute to the “entourage effect?”
Wait. What’s the entourage effect? Is that what happens when a famous basketball player rolls up in the club with his crew?
No, it’s not.
Like most issues, the debate about THC and the entourage effect is more complicated than many “experts” on social media would have you believe.
Besides, we’re talking about advanced biochemistry here. So let’s take a step back and look at the information we have from a wider angle.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil Vs. Broad Spectrum CBD Oil
First, “CBD oil” is a catch-all term for an endless range of products that contain hemp plant extracts. It would be more accurate to call them CBD-heavy hemp extract products, or CHEPs, but that probably won’t catch on.
In other words, there’s more in play than CBD alone. Many CBD products, particularly full spectrum and broad spectrum formulas, contain dozens of noteworthy compounds.
Full spectrum CBD oil is also described as whole-plant CBD extract. It contains large amounts of CBD plus extremely small amounts of THC (not enough to make you feel high), a range of minor cannabinoids, essential oils, and plant terpenes.
Generally speaking, broad spectrum CBD oils contain a similar chemical makeup, but are refined to remove all detectable levels of THC.
But there’s a drawback to traditional full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD. While properly made products in these categories have a consistent amount of CBD, the other compounds vary from batch to batch.
Hybrid broad spectrum products, like cbdMD’s Superior Broad Spectrum formula, can serve as an alternative. These are more refined products which contain consistent compound levels across all product batches.
What is the Entourage Effect?
The meaning of the term “entourage effect” has changed a bit over the years. At first it was a way to describe how certain chemicals produced naturally in our bodies may have a cooperative effect. Today, people generally use the term to describe how a range of cannabinoids achieve a similar benefit when introduced to the human body together.
The possible synergistic effects of terpenes and cannabinoids are also part of the entourage effect.
Many people believe the entourage effect is crucial for people who want the greatest benefits of hemp extracts. In this point of view, you need at least tiny amounts of all the substances in cannabis to experience CBD to its fullest.
But there’s a catch.
In this context, the entourage effect is only a theory.
To be fair, it’s an idea that many experts embrace. But other researchers are skeptical, and believe the theory is both unfounded and overused in the marketing of cannabis products.
That doesn’t mean the entourage effect doesn’t exist, though. It just hasn’t been proven to everyone’s satisfaction.
However, it’s also worth mentioning that most of the research on the effects of CBD uses an isolated form of the substance.
Is THC Necessary in CBD Products?
Some people also claim that THC, even in incredibly small amounts, is vital to the entourage effect. But again, this idea is unproven to date.
That doesn’t mean that THC doesn’t have value. Researchers and clinicians have clearly demonstrated the power of THC in certain situations.
But the question remains: “Does THC enhance the effects of CBD? And are there any drawbacks to THC in hemp extract products?”
In the United States, federal laws limit THC in hemp to 0.3% or less. Otherwise it’s considered illegal marijuana. The same is true for products made from hemp.
That means that if you take a 30 mg serving of CBD from a full spectrum CBD oil, you’re only getting about 0.09 mg of THC at most.
Does that 0.09 mg of THC make a significant difference in how your body absorbs and uses CBD? The truth is, no one knows for sure. And we won’t know until more research is completed.
At the same time, there’s no research that suggests THC at these levels can cause harm.
But there is one problem with THC in hemp extract products – drug tests.
Several news stories have documented how people who use full spectrum CBD oils have been fired from their jobs or denied employment after failing a drug test. If you plan to start taking any hemp-based supplement, this is an issue you must consider carefully.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of the entourage effect without THC, you should look for broad spectrum CBD products.
But be sure to research any product you intend to take carefully. Some companies claim their products do not contain THC, even if they do.
All CBD companies should provide independent lab reports – also known as certificates of analysis. These documents allow you to see all of the cannabinoids present in the product.
You should also be able to match the batch number of the product to the batch number on the report. If the company doesn’t provide these documents or you can’t match batch numbers, you can’t be certain the product is THC-free.
cbdMD’s Superior Broad Spectrum Formula
In early 2020, cbdMD unveiled their new Superior Broad Spectrum formula. It was a game changer for people who carefully track their supplement intake.
With cbdMD’s Superior Broad Spectrum blend, all CBD, CBN, CBG, and terpene levels remain consistent across each new product batch. That way, you can know exactly what you’re putting into your body, each and every time.
All cbdMD products are THC-free.*
In other words, you can enjoy elements of the entourage effect through precise serving sizes, but without worrying about THC content.
It’s important to note that cbdMD makes its products in facilities that are audited regularly for good manufacturing practices. Each product batch is also third-party tested, and lab reports are available on cbdMD’s website.
Which cbdMD Products Use the Superior Broad Spectrum Formula?
cbdMD uses its Superior Broad Spectrum blend in a few key product lines. These can help you experience the entourage effect without ingesting THC.
When people talk about CBD oil, they’re often talking about classic CBD oil tinctures. They’re a simple mix of Superior Broad Spectrum hemp extracts and MCT oil. However, there are also options with flavors like berry, orange, and mint.
cbdMD Capsules and Softgels
Capsules and softgels are the perfect way to add Superior Broad Spectrum hemp extracts to your daily supplement routine. Our selection of CBD oil capsules are also based on hemp extract and MCT oil, but include polymers to create the solid form.
CBD PM Sleep Aids
cbdMD sleep aids combine the Superior Broad Spectrum formula with melatonin and a range of soothing botanicals for optimal sleep routines. CBD PM is available as a tincture and in softgel capsules.
If you’re looking for fast, targeted relief from aches or want to enjoy the skin care benefits of CBD, look no further than cbdMD topicals.
cbdMD Freeze and Recover formulas are suitable for anyone who deals with occasional joint, muscle, or back soreness. cbdMD Revive is the perfect light moisturizer for daily use.
Final Thoughts on the Entourage Effect and THC
Researchers are still working out the details on all the ways hemp extracts can enhance healthy lifestyles. But for now, there are a lot of unanswered questions.
The entourage effect is based on sound reasoning, but it's still an unproven theory.
Further, there’s no conclusive proof that a small amount of THC is needed for optimal results from a hemp supplement. And many employers do not permit the use of THC. As a result, full spectrum CBD oils aren’t a good choice for everyone.
But there are plenty of options for people who want to add THC-free hemp supplements to their routine – including broad spectrum CBD oils that contain a wide range of beneficial compounds.