CBD is a cannabinoid that has demonstrated significant reductions in epileptic seizures in some users, particularly children. However, it requires the presence of other cannabis compounds in order to function optimally in the human system. This rings true, in fact, for all cannabis compounds, including other cannabinoids like THC, CBC, CBG, THCA and CBN, as well as terpenes and flavonoids. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This symbiotic relationship is called the “entourage effect”.
The term was theorized by Israeli researcher Raphael Mechoulam in 1999. He describes the entourage effect as the relationship between different compounds in cannabis working together to channel the CB1 and CB2 neuroreceptors that are natural to the human body. By binding to these cannabinoid and other receptors, cannabis compounds are able to help provide maximum relief for debilitating symptoms. Read more about this in Cannabis Science.
Cannabinoids get most of the attention but other compounds have medicinal benefits too. Terpenes, the aromatic compounds natural to most plants, are especially concentrated in marijuana. These aromatic compounds have been found to provide significant relief for many debilitating conditions just by themselves. Flavonoids are also aromatic compounds with tremendous therapeutic potential. These compounds all act together in a way that stimulates our brains and neurons to release endorphins and neurotransmitters in ways that each individual compound cannot do by itself.
The entourage effect is what differentiates medical-grade CBD oil and hemp oil - commonly found in health shops and pharmacy’s countrywide. Industrial hemp CBD products are legally distributed throughout South Africa as they contain less than 0,05% THC. These products are often made from whole plant extraction (including seeds, stalks and flowers) and are sometimes even made in China. While this okay for a child's toy, it is not something high in high medical esteem. Unlike CBD made from industrial hemp, medical cannabis CBD oils have a higher percentage of THC (around 1%), rendering them more effective as medicinal products.