Understanding what does full spectrum means and how terpenes and flavonoids work with CBD is explored in this article. We refer only to scientific published peer-reviewed articles to extract this information to be factual, un-biased and accurate to our current understanding.
Cannabinoids and their associated metabolite terpenes, flavonoids and esters play an integral role in Cannabis sativa potent ability of regulatory benefits delivered through our endocannabinoid system. It’s important to note that this complex matrix of biochemical interactions between our cells and organs that we still don’t fully understand but research is ever increasing, completing new pieces of the puzzle every year.
There is surmounting evidence on how each compound has its own ability to enhance metabolic processes in the body from antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic and anti-cancerous properties paired with enzymatic regulation and neurological protection.
The full spectrum of cannabinoids presses the issue that we need to avoid the idea of separating these compounds by using products that include as much of the plant as possible while still removing any contaminants. Full spectrum as well as broad spectrum products usually include many of the compounds mentioned in this article.
Everyone has a different biochemical makeup, so one profile of compounds (CBD + Terpenes etc…) would interact differently between each individual. So without very specific test and blood sample analysis it’s the safest to include as much of the organic compounds of hemp and cannabis as possible.
Discovering the range of benefits full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD oils have is a personal journey. Using our senses can help affirm the relationship between our favorite products and feeling better depending on what therapeutic benefits we’re after.
If certain smells, flavors and reactions spark your interest then you’re on the right path to discovering your fullest potential of using CBD as a supplement to enhance your overall health.
Read on below to get a deeper understand of the unique properties of these compounds and their applications
What Does Full Spectrum Mean and Why is it Important
Let’s start this conversation off by thinking about the world around us. It will help give more depth into the full spectrum of this topic of what does full spectrum mean to us?
There is a lot of research surrounding all the natural compounds found within Cannabis sativa both hemp and cannabis. Each of these compounds found the flower, leaves, stalks and seeds create an extensive mosaic of compounds that have a wide spectrum of therapeutic applications.
Think about the sun and the world of most plants that use photosynthesis to process light energy into usable energy. The sun emits full spectrum light, meaning the photons from the energy the sun produces reflects all the colors we see when we look at the world around us in the form of light energy. If we weren’t able to see the world around us in a full range of colors we would refer to this phenomenon as color blindness.
If our skin didn’t receive adequate light, we wouldn’t produce certain nutrients and stimulate other hormones becoming deficient. Vitamin D is synthesized by our largest organ, our skin! We use the day’s light to wake up to blue light, that stimulates our minds and helps us feel awake and focused. Producing melanin at the red spectrum of light during the evening and sunset, starting the process to become tired and get a deep restful sleep to help our minds and muscles recover from the day.
This is probably the most personal analogy we could attest to this topic, as we are dependent on the full spectrum of light to keep up with our evolutionary circadian rhythm. Full spectrum meaning “a complete range” has a very distinct meaning when it comes to full spectrum CBD.
Our lipid metabolite communication system is known as our Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and is responsible for communicating signals through the body to maintain a state of homeostasis (steady state equilibrium). We naturally produce endocannabinoids (ECs) in the form of anandamide & 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol) which binds these lipid-based neurotransmitters to G-protein-coupled receptors: CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors are largely found through the central nervous system, along the spinal cord and some peripheral tissues.
CB2 receptors are found in immune cells such as lymphocytes. These types of receptors are linked and can elicit signaling events such as adenylyl cyclase activity, opening of K+ channels, the closing of Ca2+ channels and the stimulation of protein kinase.
Ok, so what does that all mean if we already produce these ECs naturally?
Well, like anything, we are prone to deficiencies when our systems cannot simply keep up with the demand and our health is compromised.
What do we do in this instance?
We supplement, and we can supplement with phytocannabinoids produced by cannabis and hemp.
There are over 70 listed cannabinoids and over 100 terpenes. With such a wide variety of cannabinoids still largely misunderstood about their function and relationship with our health it poses for some exciting uncharted territory.
Two of the main cannabinoids of interest are CBD and THC.
CBD, being the non-psychoactive cannabinoid of the two. It has been attributed to it’s many supposedly therapeutic benefits due to the interactions between our CB1 & CB2 receptors! Its regulatory effects are impressive to say the least, attributing to systems such as our circulatory system, neurological system, lymphatic system and really all of our body!
CBDs ability to regulate inflammatory responses is truly amazing. Pain tolerance can be increased, mental clarity can be a result and even combat deeper issues related to diseases such as depression and anxiety.
So we’ve identified CBD has some potential here, so what’s the buzz about full spectrum CBD oils?
Well, CBD isn’t the only player here and neither is THC. All the cannabinoids and associated terpenes work together in a process called the “entourage effect”.
We cannot simply isolate one of the cannabis and hemp plants metabolites and expect defined results. It’s best to include the whole range of cannabinoids to get the most desired outcomes.
To read more about entourage effect & terpenes – Click Here
Full spectrum extracts come in a variety of forms. Cannabis in the form of hashish, rosin, live rosin, live resin, BHO and kief.
Hemp, now being legal in the United States due to the 2018 Industrial Hemp Bill. We can now create a variety of products from these extracts such as the popular tinctures, gummies, soft gels, pain relief products, drinks…you name it really.
Full spectrum includes all the cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds found in cannabis and hemp such as phenols, proteins, waxes, sterols, flavonoids and esters. So back to our full spectrum light analogy, we can connect the full range of plant material that can be beneficial therapeutically for our health with consumption.
You can however find products listed as broad spectrum where the product contains less than 0.3% THC but with the rest of the extracted compounds. This is a good option for those who cannot risk THC coming up in any lab related tests they may need to take for work or sports.
The quality of the extracts is important to note here as well, quality in – is quality out as the saying goes.
Certain genetics of hemp and cannabis are dominant in a variety of different cannabinoids and terpene concentrations. The United States has the largest variety of hemp strains that the FDA allows for cultivation so the level of CBD for example can be extracted at high concentrations.
Noteworthy Compounds in the Full Spectrum of Cannabis and Hemp
Cannabinoids are of the main area of study as THC has had a rich history of vilification and false research claims from propaganda led campaigns. THC being the psychoactive component of cannabis is largely used recreationally for it’s euphoric aspects however it has been shown to react through our ECS with similar effects of opioid drugs. So THC has helped people with pain relief for those who don’t care for the effects of strong prescribed pharmaceutical opioid drugs.
CBD, being the most recent famed cannabinoid is being extensively researched as a lot of data reflects CBD to have an impressive range of therapeutic benefits. Being non-addictive, deemed “harmless” by the World Health Organization, a potent analgesic and it’s lack of tolerance building attributes makes it seem like a great alternative to prescription drugs. The non-psychoactive feature of consuming CBD makes it largely more palatable to the average population, we can seek out it’s benefits without changing our mental state.
The therapeutic properties of CBD sought by people are pain management, anti-inflammatory properties, increased mental focus, mitigating the non-regulatory effects of a variety of inflammatory diseases such as diabetes and the list of potential benefits continues.
Seems too good to be true right?
However, due to the regulatory effects of CBD and it being a lipid metabolite (a fat based molecule essential for metabolism) it works in conjunction with our endocrine (hormone) system it’s no wonder it is so versatile. Fatty acids play a crucial role in the regulation of our bodies internal processes and CBD can assist in a variety of ways.
CBN is the byproduct of the breakdown of THC, as Cannabis ages THC degrades into CBN. However, it is mildly psychoactive if decarboxylated (activated through heat) if smoked, vaporized or cooked into edibles. It has immune system regulatory benefits noted in some studies but can be used as a natural sedative to help with sleep. Hemp typically has a certain amount of this cannabinoid even if naturally low in THC.
With the concentrations being low, the psychoactive effect potential is effectively non-existent especially since hemp extract products are not decarboxylated.
Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCa) & Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDa)
THCa and CBDa are two alternative forms of THC and CBD with closely associated benefits, although these two acids are both non-psychoactive as long as they are not decarboxylated to change chemical structure (THCa -> THC). THCa could be used to treat symptoms of inflammation and pain from diseases such as arthritis.
CBDa is not psychoactive and can be used in a similar fashion to address symptoms of inflammation, pain and has potent ability as a neuro-protectant, protecting neurological cells compromised in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
CBG is usually fairly difficult to concentrate as many strains aren’t high in this particular cannabinoid. However, studies show it has a promising effect on our digestive system and can help alleviate symptoms attributed to inflammatory bowel diseases such as leaky gut syndrome and Crohn’s. Strains of cannabis and hemp high in this particular cannabinoid are beneficial for those with digestive issues and can be used to treat nausea.
Although not a particularly focused on cannabinoids in modern reseach, some studies show promising results in CBCs ability to promote brain cell growth in the process of neurogenesis.
Particularly difficult to obtain and isolate in any concentration that would allow for further study. CBL in some studies has shown similar attributes as CBG in its efficacy to treat inflammatory bowel symptoms.
How Terpenes Play A Large Role In The Full Spectrum of Hemp Extracts
Myrcene is an organic compound found in a variety of cannabis strains including hemp. It’s normally one of the most dominant terpenes found with a promising potential to work seamlessly with CBD to increase our tolerance of pain, especially pain associated with capsaicin (the burning sensation caused by hot peppers).
To read more about Myrcene – Click Here
Linalool is an aromatic terpene attributed for its ability to enhance the therapeutic benefits of cannabis and hemp. It’s aromatic nature is associated with it’s anti-stress and inflammation capabilities. Lavender is a commonly associated smell with this terpene as Linalool is also found in this flower.
Limonene is famously renowned for its iconic sweet citrus like aroma. Although most studies used larger amounts than found in cannabis and hemp, some attributes of limonene include anti-stress and antidepressant properties. The most interesting of characteristics is its ability to increase the absorption of other cannabinoids and terpenes through mucal membranes of our epithelial (skin) cells found throughout the body.
Beta-Caryophyllene was one of the first extracted terpenes from cannabis confirmed to bind the receptors found in our ECS. Binding to C2 receptors (largely our organs), studies show the beneficial abilities to address symptoms of pain and inflammation caused by osteoporosis, colitis, diabetes and the list continues (Hartsel et al., 2016). This powerful terpene is found in a variety of essential oils produced by plants such as rosemary and cloves.
Pinene is amongst the large list of terpenes that studies have shown to provide synergistic effects with cannabinoids to medically treat symptoms related to pain, inflammation, cancer, bacterial-fungal infections, anxiety, depression and addiction (Hartsel et al., 2016). With a strong earthy aroma similar to pine needles, it can be found in a variety of herbs used in botanical medicines.
Humulene is a terpene that is also researched for its role in hunger suppression. Studies also show that although it doesn’t activate by connection to CB2 receptors it is an effective analgesic (drug that is utilized to suppress pain) and can be applied topically to reduce inflammation (Hartsel et al., 2016).
This is only but a short list of the most commonly researched organic compounds that play a role in the entourage effect between phytocannabinoids-terpenoid molecules. Having a general understanding of what each terpene benefits are will allow us to choose products more carefully based on our desired outcome.
Want to know more about the Entourage Effect? Click Here
Other Associated Metabolites of Interest: Flavonoids & Esters
Flavonoids are natural phenolic compounds found in fruits, vegetables, bark, grains, roots, stems, flowers, tea and wine. Flavonoids benefits have been well researched in the realm of nutraceuticals.
Flavonoids are deemed an essential part of nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, medicinal and cosmetic applications, due to their wide variety of beneficial applications to our health. These applications are highlighted due to their anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic capabilities coupled with their ability to modulate key enzyme functions in our bodies (Panche et al., 2016).
Associated with a broad spectrum of health benefits it is without wonder why we’ve highlighted their importance in this article. Found in a dense variety of plants throughout the plant kingdom, you can find them in the pigments of flowers as well as cocoa (raw chocolate).
Flavoles are flavonoids with a ketone group, chemistry aside, they are well known for their anti-oxidative properties, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.
Flavonones are generally present in citrus fruits and are an important subclass. Their importance comes from their free radical scavenging capabilities. Additionally, they have anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, blood-lipid lowering and cholesterol lowering properties!
Esters are a carboxylic acid and alcohol produced by a catalyst and heat. They are found in plants and animals, such as hemp and cannabis and their therapeutic benefits are associated similarly to terpenes. These fairly well researched beneficial esters are found in flowers, fruits and even chocolate. When included they have the ability to increase your favorite topical to break past the lipid by-layer of the skin to delivery all these beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids to your CB1 & CB2 receptors found in the skin.
Full Spectrum CBD Oils and Products Suggestions
- AnuCBD Terpene Enhanced Tinctures – One of many of our terpene enhanced tinctures. A rich terpene profile is crucial to unlocking the full breadth of benefits your tincture can offer you. We have 5 terpene focused tinctures that are dominant in a variety of different terpenes such as Myrcene – Terpinolene (Energy in the photo) – B-Caryophyllen – Linalool – Humulene.
Click here to check them out!
2. AnuCBD Soothing Freeze Pain Gel – This powerful analgesic roll on for pain relief of sore muscles and joints includes a variety of other organic compounds from other plants to increase its therapeutic benefits. Green tea extract and other plant variety of the like to increase its anti-oxidative properties and some other natural compounds to increase absorption to through the skin to increase absorption for quick relief.
Click here to check them out!