Unlocking the Entourage Effect: Full Spectrum CBD Capsules Explained

When first starting to take CBD 6 years ago, capsules seemed like the best starting point for me. They’re easy to dose, convenient to take and seemed to have much fewer drawbacks than the other pills I was taking for my problems. Since then, I’ve tried various methods of consumption for CBD that work better for myself but havent had a bottle of capsules in some time now. The CBD market today offers a broad spectrum of products (pun intended) at a wider variety of dosage levels and consumption methods, leaving some first time customers unsure where to even start with CBD. That being said, today I’ll be discussing what full spectrum CBD capsules are and why they could be a good introduction into CBD for you.


The Science Behind Full Spectrum

The term “entourage effect” was hypothesized by Ben-Shabat in 1998 in a study funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse after noticing increased activity of 2-AG and anandamide endocannabinoids with the addition of other inactive cannabinoids. In cannabis terms, this means certain cannabinoids present in the plant that have little to no effect in their isolated state could work more effectively when combined with other compounds in the plant. With over 100 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, there is a lot of talk as to what benefits these other compounds have in store..

When discussing plant-based remedies, all of them function by introducing phytocannabinoids to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which can play a crucial role in how the other systems in our body regulate themselves. These phytocannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) can have a wide range of effects and have been known to help certain individuals with issues such as sleep, anxiety, and pain. Newer studies however have been showing that CBD, when combined with THC and other cannabinoids could be even more effective in treating these issues than CBD alone. In a 2010 parallel group study carried out by Dr. Jeremy R. Johnson at Severn Hospice, an end-of-life care program based out of the United Kingdom, tested a total of 177 patients who were dealing with neuropathic pain from cancer and who also were not receiving relief after consistent opioid usage. They tested the effectiveness of THC alone, THC and CBD mixed together, and a placebo. Out of all the control groups, the individuals who consumed the combination of THC and CBD scored the lowest on the numerical rating scale for pain. Comparing that to the group who consumed only THC during the study who experienced no statistically significant change in pain, it’s clear that having more of the hemp plants full extraction has the potential to alleviate certain conditions more so than just an isolated compound from the hemp plant.

The Controversial Cannabinoid


Historically, tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, has faced large amounts of scrutiny from the federal government in the past. Despite the stigma surrounding the compound, THC is something that has been used medicinally around the world since the late 19th century. According to “History of Cannabis and the Endocannabinoid System” published by the National Library of Medicine, Queen Victoria of England consumed cannabis to help deal with severe menstrual cramps. J. Russel Reynold, the physician who recommended the Queen to use cannabis, was appointed as Queen Victoria’s personal physician in 1878 and was able to publish 30 years worth of cannabis experience in the Lancet in 1890. Some findings from Reynold’s research over 130 years ago are still agreed upon to this day in the world of medical cannabis research, in particular how THC is known to help with pain. However with the introduction of over the counter medications such as aspirin and increased regulations on marijuana since the 1930’s, the use of even smaller doses of THC for medical purposes were stigmatized. Today, we are finally learning more about how this compound benefits people while the tides of medical cannabis seem to be changing worldwide.


My Thoughts on Full Spectrum CBD Capsules

Like I previously mentioned, CBD capsules were my introduction into the world of CBD, but other forms and methods of consuming CBD that I tried ended up being more effective than the old capsules I was taking. For this product review, I ended up trying Active CBD Oil’s full spectrum CBD capsules. They come in a 30 count bottle with 30mg of CBD per capsule and are priced at $79.99. After a long gap of not taking capsules, I was excited to see what a new brand and formulation of CBD could do for me. 


Within the first week, I began to notice some mild effects the CBD was having on my sleep and anxiety. I tend to get anxiety throughout the day and sometimes into the night which can have a toll on the amount of sleep that I'm getting. When taking the capsules, I noticed what I can best summarize as turning the volume down on my anxiety. It wasn’t muted or gone, but subdued just enough to hear over the noise in my head. However, when looking at these effects on anxiety and sleep side by side with the tinctures or even the old capsules I used to take, they don't come close. The main issue I have with these capsules is that they didn’t help my overall pain like I wanted them to. My chronic illness has me dealing with pain flare ups throughout the day and night so when taking CBD, pain relief is a large factor into if I want to buy it or not. Unfortunately these capsules didn’t do the trick for me. Personally, I preferred Active CBD Oil’s broad spectrum capsules. Although they don’t contain THC like the full spectrum option, these are utilizing something known as water soluble technology, which is known for making CBD faster acting and more effective per milligram than a typical oil based CBD product. For more information on what water soluble is and how it works check out our other blog here. Considering these are the same price for a 30 count as the full spectrum capsules, broad spectrum would have to be my capsule of choice going into the future. 

That being said, I'm still a big fan of mixing my CBD with THC and full spectrum CBD products. Sometimes a product that works for an individual very well has little to no impact on the person next to them. Everyone, including myself is going to react differently to CBD so trying new formulations or methods of consumption is critical to having a successful journey into the world of hemp. 

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