Two Terms You Should Know About CBD: The Entourage Effect & Decarboxylation

April 13, 2018

Understanding how CBD oil works to help keep your body balanced and at its best is easier once you learn about the entourage effect and decarboxylation.

As you look further into CBD and how it’s unique natural benefits can help you function every day at your peak, you’ll likely come across two terms: entourage effect and decarboxylation.

There’s a reason why so many people are seeking out CBD oil to support their diets and active lifestyle. By understanding both the entourage effect and decarboxylation, you’ll have a better grasp of how CBD oil helps your body maintain balance.

What is the Entourage Effect?

The term entourage effect is used to describe a theory about how all of the compounds found in cannabis work together as they interact with the body.

Introduced in 1998 by renowned researchers Raphael Mechoulam and S. Ben-Shabat, the entourage effect theory suggests that the natural benefits of cannabis are enhanced when it contains the full-spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other natural compounds that are naturally found within the plant.

In other words, these scientists believe that consuming full-spectrum CBD oil offers greater natural wellness properties than if you were to take isolated CBD compounds alone.

Full-spectrum hemp CBD oil refers to pure hemp oil that features all the same compounds present in the original hemp plant. Hemp contains more than just CBD. It is made up of 200-plus active compounds, including cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, fiber, protein, and chlorophyll.

The entourage effect theory proposes that when taken all together, these compounds work together synergistically to more effectively promote health.


While CBD is rightfully the star, full-spectrum hemp-derived CBD oil may also contain over 100 other trace cannabinoids. Like CBD, these cannabinoids have a molecular structure that allows them to interact with your body’s major regulatory network – the endocannabinoid system.

Your endocannabinoid system is responsible for keeping many of your functions running efficiently. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating a wide array of functions – including sleep, mood, appetite, energy balance, and immune response, to name a few. CBD and the other cannabinoids in CBD oil interact with cannabinoid receptors found in the brain and throughout the body, stimulating the endocannabinoid system and supporting its efforts to keep everything balanced.

Besides CBD, some of the cannabinoids found in CBD oil include:

  • Tetrahydrocannabivarian (THCV)
  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabichromene (CBC)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA)

Many of these cannabinoids have also demonstrated to possess their own natural health and wellness benefits.


CBD oil also contains terpenes, the essential oils in cannabis that are known for giving the plants their distinct smell and taste. However, the purpose of terpenes appears to go beyond the role they play in aroma and flavor.

There have been over 200 terpenes reported so far in the cannabis plant, and evidence shows they also can interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to support health.

hemp entourage effect


The entourage effect also includes the natural benefits of flavonoids, which are a naturally occurring group of phytonutrients responsible for the hemp plant’s vivid non-green color pigments. They also help protect cannabis plants by filtering out UV rays and preventing diseases, pests, and fungi.

Of the some 20 flavonoids thought to be in cannabis, only a few are exclusive to cannabis plants like hemp. Besides contributing to the color and overall sensory experience of cannabis, flavonoids are also active compounds that naturally promote wellbeing.


Additionally, hemp CBD oil contains a long list of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, some of which are often lacking in today’s diets.

Some of the nutrients found in hemp-derived CBD oil include:

  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • Essential fatty acids (Omega 3, Omega 6)
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • B Complex Vitamins (Riboflavin, Thiamine, Niacin)
  • Beta Carotene
  • Zinc
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorous
  • Iron
  • Magnesium

The value of CBD oil goes beyond being an ideal source of CBD. According to the entourage theory, all the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and nutrients work in conjunction to stimulate the endocannabinoid system and magnify the natural benefits of CBD oil.

You can learn more about the differences between full-spectrum CBD oil and CBD Isolate.

What is Decarboxylation?

A crucial process, if you’re someone who relies on the natural balancing properties of CBD, is decarboxylation. Decarboxylation, despite the complexity of the word, is a simple process that involves heating up CBD oil to activate the CBD and other compounds within the hemp plant.

When CBD oil is first extracted from raw hemp, it contains cannabinoid acids rather than cannabinoids. Cannabinoid acids are inactive cannabinoids that have an extra carboxyl ring attached to their molecular chain. Once cannabinoid acids are heated, or decarboxylated, the molecular structures of these cannabinoid acids shift as a carboxyl group is removed, and the compounds are converted into an active form. CBD, for example, is found in raw hemp oil as CBDa (cannabidiolic acid) before it’s converted through decarboxylation.

cbd oil decarboxylation

It’s important that CBD and any other cannabinoids are activated, because it’s what allows them to freely and directly interact with the endocannabinoid system’s receptors in the brain and throughout the body.

It’s through the interaction with cannabinoid receptors that CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system and supports its efforts to keep your body and its functions in balance where they should be. This is why the process of decarboxylation is such a crucial step. For CBD to interact with the endocannabinoid system in the way you rely on and expect, CBD oil has to undergo this chemical reaction.

The CBD oil used to make all of Dixie Botanicals® CBD products have undergone the decarboxylation process before formulation, so you can feel rest assured that the CBD you receive is in the ideal form for interacting with cannabinoid receptors.

Learn More about CBD Oil

You can learn even more about CBD oil and how it interacts with the body’s native systems to keep you at your best by visiting the Dixie Botanicals® blog.

Ready to get started with CBD? Visit the online shop of our primary distributor HempMeds® and they’ll ship your order right to your doorstep.