Cannabidiol or CBD has traveled far from its roots (and buds). The CBD industry has rapidly evolved over the years with the increasing popularity of CBD with the masses due to its health benefits and the rise in sales of CBD products. CBD manufacturers have come a long way in trying to refine the CBD oil which gives rise to a big question: purity or potency? In trying to bottle this medical wonder, researchers have concluded that the magic of CBD does not come from CBD alone and that other compounds coming from the parent plant are also important in bestowing CBD with its beneficial properties, which is why ‘full spectrum cannabis’ is now deemed more important than ultra-refined cannabis.
So What, Basically Is Full Spectrum Cannabis?Being full spectrum means that CBD retains all the compounds and properties of the original plant. In general, the bud of the plant is considered to be the richest in all the compounds which is why CBD is usually extracted from these flowering buds. The virgin oil that has just been extracted from the plant contains virtually all the plant components, not merely CBD, and is termed ‘full spectrum cannabis’. As opposed to the full spectrum cannabis, cannabis isolates (or the distillates) contain only CBD obtained after a meticulous process of extraction and isolation via different solvents. Such isolates are stripped of all other plant components and contain CBD only.
Which Plant Components Are Included In Full Spectrum Cannabis?
Contrary to the common misconception that CBD alone delivers all the health benefits, there are other components that lurk in the dark and play their role silently. There’s a variety of other beneficial compounds extracted from the plant along with cannabis, the most important of which are terpenes. Terpenes, such as limonene, myrcene, α‐pinene, linalool, β‐caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, nerolidol, and phytol, are hydrocarbons that are specific to every hemp plant strain and are hailed as one of the most important components that contribute towards the medicinal properties of cannabis. These terpenes are what contribute to the specific odor of cannabis. Other phytocannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabigerol, and cannabichromene, found in hemp plant also constitute the ‘full spectrum’ of raw cannabis and exert additional therapeutic effects. Apart from that, vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, essential proteins, and the omega fatty acids are also a major part of the whole bigger picture and contribute significantly towards the benefits derived from the full spectrum cannabis.
What Makes Full Spectrum Cannabis Better Than the Isolates?During the last few years, rigorous research has unearthed the secret behind using full spectrum cannabis, coming up with the conclusion that full spectrum cannabis has a big edge over the cannabis isolates due to the ‘entourage effect’. The term was first coined in 1998 by a group of Israeli scientists, working together to study the biochemical effects of cannabis and stumbled upon the fact that cannabis is not a one-man show. In simpler words, the entourage effect means that all the components of full-spectrum cannabis work synergistically to deliver its effects. The idea that phytocannabinoid‐terpenoid synergy exerts better and more potent therapeutic effects than any of these components alone, has been reinforced through years of different studies. It is considered that secondary compounds found in cannabis extracts are equally important and that their effects combined are, in fact, ‘greater than the sum of their parts.’
How to Distinguish Full Spectrum CBD from Refined CBD Distillates?
The first thing to hit you is the color. Distilled CBD oil is light colored. The light yellow color is a clear indication that the oil is thoroughly refined. On the other hand, full spectrum CBD oil has a concentrated look and has a darker color. Another distinguishing feature is the odor. The terpenes, particularly limonene, present in full spectrum CBD oil impart a peculiar odor to it. Distilled CBD oil is devoid of such an odor, as even though terpenes are later added to the distilled CBD oil, these terpenes are plant-based rather than cannabis-based. Do not fall for the trap. While the fine color and lack of odor do indicate that the oil has been purified after rigorous distillation, it is way less potent than the full spectrum oil as it lacks that entourage effect delivered by the other key components present in full spectrum CBD oil.
Two Are Better Than One; Full Spectrum Is Definitely the Best
Full spectrum cannabis promises full potency and the entourage effect. CBD isolates or the distillates lack these properties and fail to deliver the full therapeutic potential. Full spectrum CBD is nothing short of a miracle due to its health benefits in alleviating pain and inflammatory conditions. Isolated CBD oil undermines the full range of the positive effects of the plant. While investing your time and money in CBD, always make sure that you are getting the most out of your money by choosing full spectrum CBD oil. Choose wisely.
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