You’ve heard about the individual benefits of cannabinoids like CBD and THC, but should you use cannabinoids on their own or combine the benefits of these Cannabis sativa compounds? In this overview, get a better idea of what cannabinoids are and the beneficial ways they interact with each other.
What are cannabinoids?

Mature Cannabis sativa flower contains hundreds of different compounds and some of these substances, such as terpenes and flavonoids, are also found in other plants. Cannabis is also home to its share of unique compounds, however, and these substances are called “cannabinoids” since they are only found in Cannabis sativa.

Dozens of different cannabinoids have been discovered, and most of them are copies or analogs of around eight core cannabinoids. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is intoxicating, is perhaps the most famous cannabinoid, and various non-intoxicating cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabinol (CBN) are rapidly gaining popularity around the world. Hemp products are no longer just CBD based—you can now purchase white label CBG and white label CBN products from a premium hemp supplier.

Scientists believe that cannabinoids interact with a cluster of regulatory mechanisms in the body known as the endocannabinoid system, and each cannabinoid appears to interact with the endocannabinoid system in a different way. Most strains of cannabis have a single dominant cannabinoid along with small concentrations of other cannabinoids, and this versatile plant can be bred to be rich in a wide variety of different cannabinoids.

Do cannabinoids work better when you use them together?
For decades, cannabis scientists examined the benefits of cannabinoids individually and paid little attention to the potential interactions between these cannabis-specific compounds.

One of the first signs that cannabinoids might work better when used together emerged when researchers discovered that CBD remained effective in higher doses when paired with other cannabinoids. Since then, multiple studies have been published that indicate a link between using multiple cannabinoids simultaneously and improved benefits, and scientists have taken to calling this observed cannabis synergy the “entourage effect.”

Regardless of its dominant cannabinoid, each strain of Cannabis sativa is accompanied by an “entourage” of additional cannabinoids, which are usually present in concentrations below 1% each. Even though they are only present in tiny quantities, it appears that each of these “minor” cannabinoids contributes something unique to the benefits of cannabis. The effects of CBD, for instance, appear to be stronger when this cannabinoid is accompanied by its entourage of minor cannabinoids.

Each cannabinoid has unique properties, and scientists are starting to suspect that these unique compounds provide individual pieces of a larger cannabinoid puzzle that only reaches its true potential once complete. If even a single piece is removed from this cannabinoid puzzle, the benefits of the remaining cannabinoids are reduced, and isolating single cannabinoids may considerably reduce their effectiveness.

Best ways to use multiple cannabinoids at once
There are lots of different ways to take advantage of the entourage effect. All you need to do to get started is to choose hemp products that combine multiple cannabinoids, look for products that are labeled “full-spectrum” or that list out the minor cannabinoids.

In most cases, cannabis extracts that only contain one cannabinoid are called isolates. In the CBD industry, isolate extracts are relatively common because they do away with the problems posed by THC, which can only be contained in CBD products in concentrations of 0.3% or less. Isolating the CBD molecule on its own reduces the range of potential effects CBD extract can offer since each of the non-intoxicating compounds in CBD-rich hemp extract contributes a unique piece to the entourage effect puzzle.

To remedy this issue, premium CBD producers like GVB Biopharma have started using broad-spectrum CBD extract, which removes the THC but keeps all the other cannabinoids intact. This type of extract is perfect for consumers looking to benefit from minor non-intoxifying cannabinoids but don’t want to consume any THC.

For consumers unbothered by small amounts of THC, the best way to enjoy the benefits of multiple cannabinoids at once is to use full-spectrum CBD extract, which contains up to 0.3% THC. Full-spectrum cannabis extract is also available with other dominant cannabinoids, and whichever dominant cannabinoid you choose, this type of extract remains the best tool for experiencing the entourage effect to the fullest.

With that said, every type of cannabinoid extract has its own beneficial attributes. Isolated cannabinoids are versatile and inexpensive, and they can offer the entourage effect when added to other cannabinoid extracts. Broad-spectrum cannabinoid extract, for its part, offers the entourage effect with nearly the same degree of fidelity as full-spectrum extract. Regardless of which type of hemp or cannabis extract you choose, make sure it’s sourced from a reputable cannabinoid producer that tests its products and provides detailed information on its processes.

Author's Bio: 

Samuel Popejoy is an accomplished CBD writer and small business consultant. With years of experience in the hemp industry, Samuel provides insider insights on CBD law, novel CBD applications, and other cannabidiol-related topics.