You’ve probably heard about the remarkable synergy of compounds in cannabis, known as the “Entourage Effect.” It’s like a symphony of nature, where each instrument plays a crucial role in creating something truly extraordinary. But can you experience this effect through cannabis-infused topicals? Let’s embark on a journey to uncover the science and practicality behind it.
understanding the entourage effect
We must break down its components to truly grasp whether topicals can engage the Entourage Effect. It’s like understanding the players on a winning team—they each bring their unique strengths to the game.
Endocannabinoids vs. Phytocannabinoids
“Endo” means within, and that’s precisely where these cannabinoids come from. Our bodies naturally produce them. They serve as messengers, helping to regulate various physiological processes like mood, pain sensation, and immune responses. Think of them as the in-house coaches, ensuring everything runs smoothly. However, sometimes, our natural balance of endocannabinoids can get a little out of whack, and adding back in cannabis-derived cannabinoids can be a game changer!
That brings us to phytocannabinoids. “Phyto” means plant, and that’s exactly where these cannabinoids come from. These are the superstar compounds found in the cannabis plant. Think of them as the MVPs of the squad. The most famous ones are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). These phytocannabinoids interact with the receptors in our body’s endocannabinoid system, influencing a range of bodily functions.
Generally, when we talk about “cannabinoids” we mean phytocannabinoids. From here on out, we’ll just use the shorthand.
Now, let’s talk about the aromatic playmakers. Terpenes are found not only in cannabis but in various plants. They’re responsible for the distinct scents and flavors we associate with different strains. But they’re not just about aroma—they offer potential therapeutic benefits, too. For instance, the calming scent of lavender or the zesty aroma of citrus isn’t just pleasant; it can also have a soothing effect on our senses.
These are like the unsung heroes of the Entourage Effect. Flavonoids are antioxidants found in plants, and they contribute not only to the vibrant colors but also to potential health benefits. They’re the defenders, helping to protect the plant from environmental stressors. And when we interact with them, they can offer their protective benefits to us as well.
What’s Inside a Cannabis Topical
Alright, let’s take a peek inside the potion, shall we? We have to know what’s inside a topical to fully understand whether or not we can reach the pinnacle of the Entourage Effect. Here are the critical components in most topicals.
- Carrier Ingredients: These form the foundation of the concoction. Think of them as the stage upon which the other elements perform. They provide a silky texture and serve as the canvas for the cannabinoids to get where they need to go to offer relief.
- Cannabinoids: Of course, you can’t have a cannabis topical without the star players—THC, CBD, and their cannabinoid crew like CBG, CBN, CBC, and more. These compounds are carefully extracted from the cannabis plant and play a crucial role in engaging the Entourage Effect.
- Terpenes from Essential Oils: Here’s where things get aromatic. Essential oils like lavender, cedar, and bergamot aren’t just for their pleasant scents. They bring their own set of terpenes to the mix, adding depth to the Entourage Effect.
Through careful extraction processes, the precious cannabis compounds make their way into a concentrated oil perfect for infusing into a topical. At Escape Artists, we prefer to slather something creamy (never greasy or oily) onto our skin. So, we’ve developed an incredible water-soluble formula that sinks into the skin. The cannabinoids and terpene-rich essential oils homogenize beautifully to create a moisturizing, effective topical that you’ll love to use liberally.
How Topicals Engage the Entourage Effect
Now, here’s the million-dollar question: do topicals really get the full benefits of the Entourage Effect?
When you smoke or vape cannabis, the Entourage Effect is palpable. You feel the euphoria, the relaxation, the whole shebang. But what about topicals? They don’t induce that familiar “high.” So, are you missing out?
No way! Here’s the fascinating part. When you apply cannabis-infused topicals, you’re not seeking the psychoactive effects. Instead, you’re tapping into something more precise and localized. The goal isn’t to feel something in an altered sense. The goal is to feel better, which happens when the Entourage Effect occurs below the surface. Here’s how the topicals play their part.
When you apply a cannabis-infused cream or lotion, it’s not just sitting on the surface. The skin is an incredible organ that can absorb these compounds. Once absorbed, they start interacting with the endocannabinoid receptors in the local area.
Unlike ingesting cannabis, where it travels through your bloodstream, topicals deliver cannabinoids directly to the specific area of application. The combination of THC and CBD work together to amplify each other’s effect and provide targeted relief right where you need it.
Enhanced by Essential Oils
Remember those essential oils we talked about? They’re not just for show. Essential oils like lavender and cedar, rich in natural terpenes, add an extra layer to the Entourage Effect. They work in harmony with cannabinoids, amplifying the overall impact.
So, does the Entourage Effect work with topicals? Without a doubt. It’s a nuanced dance between science and nature, offering targeted relief and a chance to experience the profound benefits of cannabis in a whole new way. Much like everyone has an endocannabinoid system, everyone can use topicals. With the right approach and our meticulously crafted topicals, you’re not just applying a product—you’re embracing the full power of the Entourage Effect. So, go ahead, let nature’s symphony play on.