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What is Full-Spectrum CBD? An Explainer For CBD Greenhorns

Posted by Eric Van Buskirk on

Your personal state of health could be the deciding factor when choosing between isolated and full-spectrum CBD

Within a single decade, the miracle cannabis compound known as cannabidiol (or CBD) has almost single-handedly invigorated research and development into natural medicine. High profile cases as well as independent testimony have propelled CBD into the mainstream, creating incredible public demand and a bustling new industry of health and wellness products.

CBD Products in a Nutshell CBD is one of two primary cannabinoid constituents of cannabis. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), CBD is non-psychoactive, and instead provides a wide range of medicinal and therapeutic benefits. In production, CBD compounds are typically isolated from cannabis extract and processed into a variety of medical, cosmetic – even confectionery productsand supplements!

Today, CBD is available in many forms including isolates, concentrates, topicals and vape oils. In this post, we're taking a look at full-spectrum CBD products in particular: what they're made of and why they could be just what you're looking for.

How is Full-Spectrum CBD Different From Isolated CBD?

While CBD is incredible all on its own, it's important to remember that it is only one of hundreds of cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, a good number of which are also non-psychoactive with beneficial properties. Full-spectrum CBD attempts to include as many of cannabidiol's naturally accompanying phytocannabinoids as possible while filtering out THC. Here are just some of the beneficial ingredients in full-spectrum CBD that are missing in isolated CBD products.

Cannabinol (or CBN) this is likely the phytocannabinoid not named cannabidiol with the most clamor for more scientific research and investigation behind it. Existing research so far suggests that cannabinol is a potent appetite stimulant and neuroleptic. In fact, just 5mg of cannabinol is shown to match a 10mg dose of many pharmaceutical-grade sedatives.

Cannabigerol (or CBG) while it is a lesser known phytocannabinoid due to its limited presence in most hemp and cannabis strains, medical research has shown cannabigerol to have a number of important benefits. Most notably, its vasodilative properties and ability to relieve intraocular pressure makes it a common recommendation for treating optic nerve-related conditions such as glaucoma.

Cannabichromene (or CBC) the very limited amount of research available on cannabichromene is consistent and conclusive enough to suggest that cannabichromene is a powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory compound with tremendous potential in ameliorating conditions such as collagen-induced osteoarthritis. It basically acts as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (more commonly known as an NSAID), but without the side effects they're known for.

Terpenes terpenes are naturally-occuring compounds found in all plants (and some animals). From a more superficial perspective, we can appreciate terpenes for the pleasant aromas and delicious flavors they impart to plants, fruits and vegetables. But their real value lies in their various curative properties. Terpenes provide anything from anxiolytic to analgesic benefits on their own, and number in the hundreds within the cannabis plant. Needless to say, terpenes have tremendous synergistic potential with the phytocannabinoids discussed above.

Different manufacturers of full-spectrum CBD products may go on to include even more than others; beneficial phytocannabinoids such as cannabitriol (CBT) cannabielsoin (CBE) and cannabigerivarin (CBGV) are just as seldom researched as CBD used to be, but their value isn't lost on the professionals. However, more complete full-spectrum products are likely to cost more, which is understandable!

Full-Spectrum CBD is About More Than Just Primary (and Non-Primary) Cannabinoids

As can be gleaned from the name, full-spectrum CBD attempts to imbue as much as possible into a single health & wellness product. It's common to see manufacturers adding vitamins and minerals – particularly the essential A, C and B-complex vitamins – into their products to add the value of a multivitamin blend. This has mostly gone over well with consumers, as we all believe the less pills you have to take throughout the day, the better.

Some manufacturers take it a step further, adding essential fats and amino acids (particularly the branch-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine) into their products to combat fatigue and soreness in their more physically active users. The addition of these wildly popular supplementary ingredients increase the appeal of full-spectrum CBD beyond the alternative medicine industry, crossing over into the fitness, health and wellness industries as well. More importantly, it expands the scope of beneficial effects beyond the Entourage Effect between cannabinoids and terpenoids.

What is The Entourage Effect? The term "Entourage Effect" was coined by the Israeli organic chemists S. Ben Shabat and Rafael Mechoulam in 1998. The term was used to describe a series of molecular interactions between compounds present in cannabis, ultimately resulting in their synergistically "amplifying" each other's effects by modulating the human CB1 and CB2 receptors.

For medical patients and individuals with serious illnesses or chronic conditions, isolated CBD is a viable method of self-medication. However, it isn't only the infirmed or handicapped who can benefit from the non-psychoactive compounds in cannabis. Anyone looking to improve their overall quality of life without getting high could try supplementing with full-spectrum CBD; they certainly wouldn't be worse off for doing so!

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