Cannabis Lab Testing and Analytics

Is Full Spectrum CBD Really Better?

Bethan Jenkins
Written by Bethan Jenkins

Over the last few years, cannabidiol (CBD) has emerged as a popular natural alternative to widespread medical treatments. Widely studied for its therapeutic efficacy [1], CBD may provide relief from epilepsy [2],pain [3] and even cancer-related symptoms, such as nausea and appetite loss. [4]

Although there is substantial information available for patients who may be considering using CBD, one question continues to plague the minds of new consumers:

“Is full spectrum CBD really better than CBD isolate?”

To answer this question is, “Yes.”

Before we delve into the reasons why products made from full spectrum CBD are often more medically effective for the treatment of various ailments, let’s learn more about what makes full spectrum CBD so special.

What exactly is full spectrum CBD?

If you hear CBD being referred to as “whole plant” or “full spectrum”, you will know that it comprises a broad range of cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis or hemp plant, including CBD, CBC (cannabichromene), CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol) and THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin). These compounds do not get destroyed when they are extracted into oil form. In fact, they remain wholly intact. Considering the fact that scientists have identified more than 100 cannabis compounds thus far [5], you have the advantage of consuming a whole lot of goodness when you use this type of extract.

Cannabinoids aside, full spectrum CBD also contains a vast assortment of minerals, essential fats and proteins, including the nine essential amino acids, vitamins A, C & E, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

Let’s not forget about terpenes, too. These aromatic chemicals give each individual cannabis strain its unique flavor and scent. When cannabinoids work in synergy with terpenes, the “entourage effect” happens.

This list does not represent all molecules found in full spectrum cannabinoid medicines, but offers a sample of the complexity of this type of product.

What is the “entourage effect”?

The entourage effect is used to describe the amelioration of therapeutic efficacy that occurs when cannabis-derived molecules and phytocannabinoids are combined. Studies have demonstrated clinically useful effects from phytocannabinoids like CBG, THCV and CBC, minus the intoxicating effects. [6]

One scientific study conducted in 2015 at the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem revealed how full spectrum CBD maintains its effectiveness over time. [7] The same could not be said for CBD isolate, proving why whole plant extracts are often preferred over other forms of cannabis extract.

References:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5289988/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26976797

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430692/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4791148/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740396/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820295/

[7] http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=53912

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Bethan Jenkins

Bethan Jenkins

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