Let’s assume that, if you’re reading this, you’re not terribly new to the wonderful world of CBD. Maybe you’ve tried a few different products, experimenting with tinctures here or gummies there, shopping around for the best deals and online reviews. If that’s the case, you’ve probably noticed that not all CBD products are created equal –some may produce noticeable effects, while others are more subtle. With some, you may wonder, “Is this doing anything at all?”

Those differences can be chalked up to a lot of different factors, from the quality of ingredients to the potency of the CBD itself. But one thing consumers rarely consider is how a well a given product might actually activate existing systems in their own body. To figure that out, it’s important to understand a remarkable scientific phenomenon known as “the entourage effect.”

So what is the entourage effect?

No, it’s not the latest bingeworthy TV reboot. Put simply, it refers to a biological process by which different molecules work together to activate various receptors in your brain and body synergistically. And here’s why it matters.

Illustration of ECS

How CBD Works in the Body

To understand the entourage effect, you first have to understand that your body is home to a complex network of transmitter molecules and receptors known as the endocannabinoid system(or ECS). Cannabinoids –which can be produced naturally by your own body (“endocannabinoids”) or derived from the cannabis plant (“phytocannabinoids” like CBD and THC)–stimulate biological receptors to help regulate natural functions like sleep, stress management, appetite, and more.

For example, let’s say you’ve had a super stressful day at work. You’re home now, but your shoulders are still tense, and you can’t seem to unwind. That’s because your central nervous system is still sending distress signals to your brain, keeping you alert and on your toes for whatever crisis you may have to manage next. So let’s say you turn to your favorite CBD product for relief–maybe a delicious Wana Wellness Hemp Gummie. The cannabinoids in those gummies (in this case, CBD molecules) will bind to the receptors in your body that regulate your fear response to say, “Hey! We got the message! You can stop sending those stress signals now.”CBD and other cannabinoids (including the ones your body produces itself) may act in similar ways to disrupt other signals, including those related to pain, inflammation, or sleeplessness.

So Where Does “The Entourage” Come In?

Because there are many different kinds of receptors in your ECS, different molecules will stimulate them in different ways–sometimes all at the same time! For instance, CBD taken along side another phytocannabinoid, like CBN, CBG, or THC (if that’s your jam), may produce different or more powerful effects than just CBD on its own. That’s the entourage effect at work.

But when it comes to CBD products, the entourage effect can happen even when other cannabinoids aren’t a factor. That’s because the hemp plant (where CBD comes from) also contains hundreds of chemical compounds called terpenes, as well as other beneficial molecules that can join forces to super charge the effects of your CBD.

For example, there’s a terpene called “linalool” which is found in lavender (as well as many strains of hemp)and often associated with feelings of calm.By virtue of the entourage effect, a product containing both CBD and terpenes like linalool is likely to have stronger stress-relieving effects than CBD on its own could provide!

What This Means for Your CBD Shopping

Ok, so you understand how the entourage effect works. But how can this newfound knowledge help you choose a better CBD product?

Well, for one thing, you now know that a high CBD content is not the be-all-end-all of a product’s efficacy. Many gummies and tinctures are made with CBD isolate, meaning the CBD is extracted from the hemp plant without any of the other good stuff Mother Nature intended. These products are unlikely to produce an “entourage effect” and probably won’t provide the best bang for your buck.

On the other end of the spectrum are products made with “full-spectrum hemp oil,” which contains naturally occurring CBD, as well as terpenes and other plant compounds. This blend of hemp-y goodness is much more likely to produce an entourage effect. The only drawback: full-spectrum products have a legal THC limit of .3%. While that may not seem like much, it’s relative to the weight of the gummie or tincture itself –which means it could be enough to actually make you feel impaired (or put more formally, “high.”)

Your best bet for achieving an “entourage effect” without any kind of high is to look for a product made with broad-spectrum hemp oil, such as Wana Wellness Hemp Gummies or Fast-Acting Tinctures. These products contain all the terpenes and other compounds to complement CBD’s effects on your endocannabinoid system –minus any THC.*As an added bonus, some Wana Wellness Tinctures –like the “Rest” and “Relax” blend –also contain functional ingredients like melatonin or rose oil to further enhance their stress-relieving effects.

Wana wellness gummies on counter next to books, Mortar & Pestle and clay jug

At the End of the Day…

There are many things worth considering when selecting which CBD product to spend your hard-earned money on. But one of the most crucial –and, ironically, the least known –is making sure you choose a gummie or tincture with hemp-derived ingredients can work together in harmony. When it comes to the entourage effect, it really is like theyd say: team work makes the dream work!

*Wana Wellness products contain fewer than 5 parts THC per million.