Cannabidiol (CBD), terpenes, and flavonoids represent three notable constituents of the cannabis plant that have attracted considerable interest in recent years due to their potential health advantages. Numerous scientific studies have been conducted to investigate their therapeutic properties, and when combined, they generate a synergistic impact that is even more potent.
CBD, a non-psychoactive component found in cannabis and hemp plants, is extensively researched for its broad spectrum of therapeutic benefits. According to studies, it exhibits anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-anxiety properties (Blessing et al., 2015; Burstein, 2015). It has been considered helpful in addressing conditions like chronic pain (Mücke et al., 2018), epilepsy (Devinsky et al., 2017), and anxiety disorders (Blessing et al., 2015). CBD can be used as a standalone supplement or in conjunction with other compounds to augment its effects.
Terpenes, a category of organic compounds, contribute to the distinct aroma and flavor of the cannabis plant. Over 200 individual terpenes have been identified in the plant, each exhibiting its unique characteristics. Some terpenes display anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, such as beta-caryophyllene (Gertsch et al., 2008), while others possess anti-anxiety and sedative effects, like linalool (Russo, 2011). When combined with CBD, terpenes can amplify CBD’s therapeutic properties through the entourage effect (Russo, 2011).
Flavonoids, a group of compounds found in numerous plants, including cannabis, have been studied for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties (Kumar & Pandey, 2013). They are also considered beneficial in treating conditions like hypertension (Mackraj et al., 2008), diabetes (Yao et al., 2004), and heart disease (Larson et al., 2012). When combined with CBD and terpenes, flavonoids can enhance the overall therapeutic effects of the cannabis plant.
The “entourage effect” is an intriguing aspect of CBD, terpenes, and flavonoids. This concept, first proposed by Dr. Ethan Russo in 2011, suggests that the cannabis plant’s compounds work collectively to produce a more potent effect than any single compound in isolation (Russo, 2011). This is why many people believe that full-spectrum CBD products, which contain a diverse array of cannabis compounds, are more effective than CBD isolate products containing only CBD.
For instance, the terpene myrcene has been demonstrated to boost CBD’s effectiveness (Russo, 2011). Myrcene possesses sedative properties, which can enhance CBD’s efficacy in treating conditions like anxiety and insomnia. Similarly, flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempferol may amplify the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD (Boots et al., 2008).
In conclusion, CBD, terpenes, and flavonoids are three compounds found in the cannabis plant that have gained considerable attention in recent years for their potential health benefits, as supported by scientific research. The combination of these compounds in products can be beneficial for addressing a wide range of conditions, from chronic pain and anxiety to hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.