In the cannabis world, THC and CBD tend to get all of the attention.  Being the two most researched cannabis compounds, much has been studied in regards to unlocking the potential for specific therapeutic benefits within each. As such, there are a number of available options when seeking an isolated version of either compound.

But what if we were so focused on the microcosm, we closed ourselves off to the bigger picture?  Researchers have since begun asking themselves these questions. Was it closed minded to focus solely on THC and CBD?

The Entourage Effect: Explained

If you’ve ever taken the time to admire a budding cannabis plant, then you know its unique beauty is unparalleled.  Covered in colorful crystals and giving off its infamous earthy aroma, the cannabis bud is filled with hundreds of therapeutic compounds known as cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and fatty acids.  While THC and CBD offer therapeutic benefits when isolated, these benefits can be optimized by consuming a product produced with a whole plant extraction.  Opting out of isolating compounds allows all the full spectrum of cannabis compounds to work together, offering various specific therapeutic benefits.  This observed synergy within the cannabis plant has been named the “entourage effect.”

Picture this

You have to have surgery.  After much research, you have found the surgeon that you believe will be best suited for your needs.  Granted, your surgeon is the main player. She is the one that will be doing most of the heavy lifting when you go into surgery.  That said, she won’t be doing all the work alone.  Her effectiveness and efficiency are greatly dependent on the team she is working with.  Nurses, surgical technicians and hospital staff play smaller (but necessary) roles prepping the space, assisting the surgeon, cleaning up, and ensuring that everything runs smoothly.

To clarify

We are by no means discrediting the power of THC and CBD.  These two cannabinoids have been life changing for so many.  We are simply suggesting that you may be able to maximize support when you consume a whole plant extraction.

The Entourage: Cannabinoids, Terpenes, Flavonoids and Fatty acids

Life is better with an entourage.  And the one found in the cannabis plant doesn’t mess around.  Cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and fatty acids all have a role and play their parts in perfect union.  Before we dig too deep here, lets review the basics.


Cannabinoids are the heavy lifters.  They are the compounds that work with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to support health and well-being, promoting the restoration of balance to the body’s many vital systems.  THC and CBD are cannabinoids, but these are only two of the many that exist within the cannabis plant.


The cannabis plant gets it’s famous flavors and aromas from its terpenes. What often goes unmentioned, however, are the many therapeutic properties available in each individual terpene.  While the earthy scented terpene, Myrcene, promotes sleep and relaxation, the more citrus-y Limonene tends to offer mood support and promotes alertness.  As you can see, the scent is intimately connected to the therapeutic benefits available in each.  Think of it as a kind of aromatherapy.

Cannabinoids and terpenes working together

Cannabinoids and terpenes work with each other to promote optimal health and wellness.  Take CBN, for example.  CBN is one of the many cannabinoids available within the cannabis plant.  When working as a team with THC, CBN can have a sedating effect.   Myrcene is a terpene available within the cannabis plant that supports the easy passage of therapeutic compounds through the blood-brain barrier, therefore supporting therapeutic efficiency of the many other beneficial cannabis compounds. Myrcene also promotes sleep and relaxation, which works synergistically with CBD and THC to help you get your zZz’s on.

Check out these sources if you’re wanting to dig a little deeper…

Therapeutic properties of cannabinoids and terpenoids reference guide and Primary Terpenes Found in Cannabis

Let’s talk Flavonoids

Flavonoids are cannabis compounds that play roles in plant taste, scent and color.  Unfortunately, they have been a bit underrepresented.  Due to legality issues in the past, research has been lacking on their therapeutic benefits.  However, preliminary research has actually demonstrated the therapeutic value of flavonoids.  For instance, flavonoids have been shown to promote a healthy immune response.  Cannabinoids have also demonstrated this capacity. As such, flavonoids can work synergistically with cannabinoids to optimize immune functioning.

How Fatty Acids Fit in the Mix

Cannabis derived fatty acids support the body’s ability to absorb all of the constituents of the cannabis plant, offering help in the body’s ability to utilize these compounds efficiently.  Fatty acids also offer health support throughout the body in a number of different ways.  Some benefits of fatty acids include their potential to promote healthy brain functioning and a proper inflammatory response.  When consumed in conjunction with the many other compounds found in the cannabis plant, you can easily see the teamwork potential.

Why you Should Care About the Entourage Effect

Understanding the entourage effect is important when choosing which CBD product you will purchase.  In the industry, there are two CBD variations available.  You can purchase a CBD isolate product, which is purely CBD.  The other option is purchasing a full spectrum product.  Full spectrum products are whole plant extractions, and therefore should offer the benefits of the whole entourage of cannabis compounds.

Illluminent Full Spectrum CBD Products

Illuminent Full Spectrum CBD is derived from American grown and harvested Industrial Hemp.  Our products are lab tested to ensure they remain within federal guidelines, maintaining a THC concentration equal to or less than 0.3%, and are therefore, non-psychoactive.  Experience the many benefits of Illuminent Full Spectrum CBD through the use of our full spectrum tinctures, vape oils, pre-rolls, capsules, and topical products.

Wondering how Illuminent CBD measures up in a saturated market?

Check out our article on CBD quality control in a booming industry. Learn how to identify the good from the bad and the ugly.

Wanting more clarity around Cannabis, Hemp and Marijuana?

Check out our article, CBD: The Basics, to learn about all things Cannabis!

We want to hear from you!

Got questions?  Feel like sharing your CBD journey?  Connect with us in the comments below!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or ailment.  Illuminent assumes no responsibility of improper use of these products. We recommend consulting with a qualified medical doctor or physician when preparing a treatment plan for any and all disease or ailments. Illuminent does not make any health claims about our products and recommends consulting with a qualified medical doctor or physician prior to consuming our products or preparing a treatment plan. It is especially important for those who are pregnant, nursing, chronically ill, elderly or under the age of 18 to discuss the use of these products with a physician prior to consuming. 

Illuminent Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally-occurring constituent of the industrial hemp plant. Illuminent does not sell or distribute any products that are in violation of the United States Controlled Substance Act (US.CSA).  Illuminent does sell and distribute industrial hemp-based products.