Full spectrum, phytocannabinoid rich (PCR) hemp oil is also referred to as "whole plant extract." It contains all the beneficial elements of the plant, including cannabinoids, terpenes, chlorophyll, flavanoids, fatty acids, etc. Of the 80+ cannabinoids, the most abundant cannabinoid found in hemp is the non-psychoactive element known as cannabidiol or CBD. Unlike another well-known cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, CBD will not get you high.
CBD is a naturally occurring chemical compound (cannabinoid) found in the cannabis plant. CBD has the same chemical formula as THC, with the atoms in a different arrangement.
There is a tremendous amount of information being discussed on the internet on what CBD is used for and how it is consumer (e.g., sublingual, vape, water soluble, edibles, patches, etc). We created a blog post highlighting the 4 main ways to consumer hemp. Additional information can be read in this World Health Organization PDF. DISCLAIMER: Vitalibis did not participate in this World Health Organization study in any way.
THC is also a naturally occurring cannabinoid within the cannabis plant. THC, however, is th main psychoactive component. It is the primary agent responsible for creating the ‘high’ associated with recreational cannabis use. This compound works, in part, by mimicking the effects of anandamide and 2-AG. These neurotransmitters are produced naturally by the human body and help to modulate homeostatis.
Full spectrum oils usually contain trace amounts of THC (less than .3%). Also, they contain other cannabinoids and terpenes found in the plant. Terpenes are compounds which are potentially therapeutic even in trace amounts and are responsible for the flavor and scent of various hemp strains.
CBD isolate is a pure, crystalline powder that contains only CBD. All the plant matter contained in the hemp plant, including oils, waxes, chlorophyll, and more are removed during the extraction process, offering a finished product that's CBD and nothing more. CBD Isolate products are typically clear / odorless and can be infused with terpene mixes and flavoring.
Broad spectrum is a bit of a mix between Full Spectrum and CBD Isolate. Like Full Spectrum, the other compounds found within the plant are preserved in the extract; however, like CBD Isolate, THC is completely removed. It is found in research that trace amounts of THC help agitate the cell receptors in the Endocannabinoid System for improved "entourage effects".
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a network of receptors (called CB1 and CBD2) spread throughout the body – in the brain along with the central and peripheral nervous systems. This network of receptors controls many vital life functions, including the immune system, anxiety, memory, appetite, sleep patterns, mood, stress, inflammation and pain sensation.
This critical system wasn't discovered until the 1990's. Anandamide was the first, naturally occurring endogenous cannabinoid, or endocannabinoid. It was found by Raphael Mechoulam as well as NIMH researchers William Devane and Dr. Lumir Hanus.
The body’s ECS promotes biological balance in every cell, tissue and organ supporting brain, immune, nervous and overall health and wellness. Experts believe that its overall function is to regulate homeostasis, or balance.
Endocannabinoid deficiency can be present as a result of poor diet, lack of exercise, drug abuse, environmental toxins, genetic factors, chronic stress and compromised health. A deficiency within the ECS can manifest itself into different issues: anxiety, sleep issues, pain sensation, etc. And when deficient, the ECS can be supported by full spectrum, phytocannabinoids from the hemp plant.
Due to its full range of elements, full spectrum oils work in conjunction with the human Endocannabinoid System to produce what is known as the "entourage effect".
This is a phenomenon when the many components within the cannabis plant interact with the human body to produce a stronger influence than any one of those components alone – it’s a synergistic effect. Kinda like 2 + 2 = 8.
When we combine multiple compounds in their natural state, we don’t end up with the sum of each part; instead, we get a multiplying effect. The different compounds can amplify each other’s chemistry, making the overall plant more effective in addressing unwanted symptoms.
The entourage effect is best achieved with whole plant, full spectrum oils. After reading research in this area, it shows the small amounts of THC are important. Full spectrum oils have small or trace amounts of THC - not enough to cause a psychoative effect however.
It was previously believed that CBD in its isolated state was more effective than full spectrum CBD; however, in 2005, this theory was challenged by a study from the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem.
In the study, researchers found that test subjects administered with full spectrum CBD were provided with higher levels of relief, compared to subjects administered with CBD isolate. In addition, the results showed that full spectrum CBD provided enhanced effects with higher dosages, while the effects of CBD isolate maintained consistent with increased dosages.
While CBD isolate is somewhat effective, the whole plant extract provides faster, better and longer lasting benefits. This is why an increasing number of companies in the CBD industry are selling full spectrum oil with naturally occurring CBD.
- Full spectrum oil undergoes less processing than CBD Isolate or Broad Spectrum oil
- Full spectrum oil has a more natural / authentic flavor vs CBD Isolate and some Broad Spectrum oil
- Full spectrum oil includes .3% or less (trace elements) of THC which are critical to agitating the cell receptors in the Endocannabinoid System
- Full spectrum oil may impact a drug test