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Optimizing the benefits of CBD: Bioavailability and the Entourage Effect explained.

Updated: Jul 25


If you’ve been part of the cannabis community for a while, you may be familiar with a few wacky cannabis-optimizing tips that have been passed through the grapevine… eating mangoes, chewing on black pepper, or have you ever wondered why multiple cannabis recipes use coconut oil with CBD?


So what is this all about?


Let’s break it down. There are two ways in which CBD is believed to become more effective:


(1) increasing its bioavailability, or

(2) amplifying its effects by using cannabinoids with other cannabis-plant compounds (this can be ascertained by the notion of the ‘entourage effect’).


Bioavailability


- a scientific word that is thrown about regularly in the pharmaceutical/nutrition space. In a nutshell, bioavailability refers to the ability of a particular substance to be absorbed into your bloodstream and become part of your systemic circulation.



So how can you make sure you’re optimizing bioavailability with your CBD?


You want to increase the likelihood of CBD being absorbed by your gut. This can simply be done by ingesting CBD with a carrier oil...


Since CBD is lipophilic (fat-loving), oils work best to facilitate the delivery of CBD as an active component to the body.


High quality CBD brands such as C Minor will use carrier oils such as MCT oil (derived from coconut), which is well-known for its efficacy in promoting CBD bioavailability. Take a look below at the features C Minor brings:




The entourage effect


The “entourage effect” was coined by S. Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam in 1998 after recognizing the potential of synergizing cannabinoids with other compounds within the hemp plant. Although not 100% scientifically proven, the entourage effect is a phenomenon that has had scientific attraction for quite a while - some are almost certain of it.


The premise of this theory states that: compounds of the cannabis plant work better together as opposed to individually. In other words, their strengths are heightened when they're working in tandem.


CBD - CBG interaction


This is applicable to both CBD-CBG combinations as well as CBD-terpene combinations.


Some brands such as, Proofly, offer full spectrum products for the enhanced efficacy. See the product below:



Terpenes


What are terpenes?


Terpenes are organic compounds, known for their aroma and flavor, within the cannabis plant.


It is widely believed that terpenes and cannabinoids work symbiotically (as described by the entourage effect). Recent research also suggests that the cannabinoid-terpene synergy also gives rise to the improved absorption of cannabinoids (increased bioavailability), the overcoming of bacterium’s defense system and the minimization of any negative side effects.


Remember, terpenes are found in the cannabis plant, but their chemical composition is also found elsewhere in other plants. Let’s take a look through some abundant terpenes. So, if you’re inclined to cook with cannabis, or CBD drops, keep in mind the following.


Myrcene:


- the most common terpene found in cannabis. Myrcene is known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. It's also notoriously known for feeling a higher high when taken as it may potentially increase the activity of THC, however, this does not have adequate scientific evidence behind it as of yet.


Where can you find it?

Mangoes, herbs, basil, lemongrass and thyme.


Limonene:


The citrussy one! Known for its effects on anti-anxiety, antidepressant and the usual anti-inflammatory + analgesic effects. If the user is looking for a calming effect, this is the terpene for you…Again this terpene is known to also improve the absorption of other cannabinoids.


Where can you find it?

Citrus fruits / rinds, peppermint, juniper and rosemary!


Beta-caryophyllene:


This spicy-scented terpene can be found in pepper, cinnamon and cloves. It has been nicknamed the “dietary cannabinoid” because it interacts with cannabinoid receptors to enhance positive effects of CBD, THC and CBG. Like its associates, beta-caryophyllene is anti-inflammatory, analgesic and a great antioxidant.


Where can you find it?

Pepper, cinnamon, cloves!


Amplify your CBD consumption - Incorporating C Minor CBD drops into cooking


People are taking their daily dose of CBD with their food, and CBD drops are making this easy to do. Why not choose to amplify your CBD experiences by incorporating terpenes through your food, this is becoming more and more popular nowadays. Here’s a sample recipe that incorporates CBD and some of the terpenes we’ve been talking about…



CBD pesto sauce

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 tbsp pine nuts

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 2 cups fresh basil

  • 2 tbsp high-quality CBD oil (check out C minor’s water-soluble drops that uses MCT coconut oil)

  • ½ cup parmesan

  • Salt and Pepper

Method:

All you have to do is blend all these ingredients together and pour over pasta and your desired meats/veg.



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