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Cannabinoids

Understanding The Spectrum of Hemp

By Cannabinoids, CBD, Endocannabinoid System No Comments

With the rising popularity of hemp derived CBD products, the number of choices and options for consumers can seem overwhelming at times. This article aims to shed some light on one of the key variables to help demystify the terminology of “spectrums” surrounding these hemp products.

You may have heard the terms full-spectrum, isolate, non-isolate and broad spectrum thrown around, but many customers don’t fully understand the significance of these descriptors.

The meaning of these variations is an important factor in choosing the hemp or cannabis product that is right for you.

The spectrum being described by these terms refers to the molecules derived from the hemp plant known as cannabinoids. While there are more than 100 known cannabinoids identified in hemp and cannabis plants, the spectrum which is most often analyzed and discussed focuses on a more narrow range of typically 10 cannabinoids.

These plant molecules, also known more specifically as phytocannabinoids, interact with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). The human endocannabinoid system is one of the most important discoveries in recent medical history and it has been found to regulate multiple critical functions in the human brain and body.

The interaction of the exogenous phytocannabinoids with receptors of the internal ECS help balance and regulate any potential deficiency or excess of naturally occurring endocannabinoids (endogenous neurotransmitters such as anandamide & 2-AG) to promote homeostasis within the human brain and body. This interaction is a key reason why so many individuals experience benefits from hemp derived products across a wide range of issues.

When it comes to hemp derived products the key molecule to discuss is Cannabidiol – commonly referred to as CBD.

CBD Isolate
CBD Isolate refers to a single molecule product where the Cannabidiol molecule is extracted from the plant to remove all of the other cannabinoids and plant material to produce a white, crystalline powder that is as high as 99.9% pure CBD. This crystallized powder is then formulated into various products including gummies, tinctures, edibles, topicals and more.

Benefits of CBD Isolate include rapid absorption, consistent and accurate dosing and shelf life stability.

Full Spectrum
Full Spectrum CBD Oil usually refers to oil that contains a wide range of cannabinoids and plant molecules. Full-spectrum CBD Oil will typically contain anywhere from 15% to as high as 80% cannabidiol with smaller percentages of other cannabinoids such as CBN (Cannabinol), CBG (Cannabigerol), CBC (Cannabichromene) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).

Many users find Full-Spectrum Oil to be more beneficial since there are multiple cannabinoids working together with plant molecules such as chlorophyll, vitamins and terpenes to produce synergistic effects commonly referred to as the “Entourage Effect”. Since each person’s biochemistry is unique, a wider range of cannabinoids can potentially offer a better potential outcome for a larger number of users.

To be legally defined as Hemp, the levels of delta-9 THC must be not more than 0.3% according to the 2018 Farm Bill legislation. Similar to CBD Isolate, the full-spectrum extract is formulated into various products such as tinctures, vape cartridges and topicals.

Broad Spectrum
A new terminology has emerged recently to describe a distillate oil that falls somewhere in between isolate and full spectrum, which is called Broad Spectrum CBD Oil. Broad Spectrum CBD Oil is similar to Full Spectrum, but it is further refined to remove the THC below detectable levels while keeping the other beneficial cannabinoids in the oil.

Broad Spectrum CBD oil typically contains somewhere between 70% to 90% Cannabidiol while retaining the other beneficial cannabinoids and plant molecules such as CBN, CBC, CBG and CBDv with no detectable THC.

Broad Spectrum is an excellent choice for customers who desire the benefits of the “Entourage Effect” but do not want any THC in their product. This is especially beneficial for people who may be subject to testing for THC for work or other requirements.

Broad Spectrum oil is used to formulate CBD oil tinctures, CBD vape cartridges, CBD topicals creams and other high quality products.

While there are many other factors to consider when choosing your CBD products, hopefully this explanation of the differences between isolate, full spectrum and broad spectrum will provide some insight into which option is the best fit for your individual wellness regimen!

6 Wonderful Terpenes For Wellness

By Cannabinoids, Terpenes No Comments

6 Wonderful Terpenes For Wellness

Terpenes are a large and diverse class of aromatic organic compounds that are found in the essential oils of plants.

The integral role of terpenes in medical cannabis research has led to increased interest and recognition of the potential holistic benefits of these compounds in recent years.

The unique scents from these compounds are not only distinctive, but also functional, protecting plants from predators and environmental stressors.

Terpenes Are Everywhere
Terpenes are produced by many species of plants and even some insects. Conifers (e.g. pine trees) for instance, contain high levels of a-Pinene while citrus usually contains high levels of Limonene.

Wine connoisseurs are also known to discuss terpenes as there are over 50 terpene compounds, including Linalool that have been identified in grapes and wine.


The Most Common Terpenes
In cannabis plants, there are over 200 known terpenes, and they are the reason why every strain has a unique smell and different effects.

Some of the most interesting and prevalent cannabis terpenes from a wellness perspective are briefly described below.

  • Myrcene, which is also found in mangoes is the most prevalent terpene found in cannabis, especially indica-dominant strains and it is known to promote a sedative, relaxing effect. β-myrcene is also unique in that it crosses the blood-brain barrier, increasing potency and rapid onset of cannabinoids and synergistic terpene action.
  • Beta Caryophyllene is another terpene with unique properties as it is the only non-cannabinoid plant molecule that interacts with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS), illustrating the impact of terpenes on the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids.
    β–caryophyllene binds to the CB2 receptor found in the central and peripheral nervous system, and is thought to play a major role in managing inflammation [1].Caryophyllene is prevalent in cannabis plants as well as black pepper, cloves and cinnamon among other species.
  • Pinene has an aroma of pine and firs, with both α-pinene and β-pinene being primary constituents of pine resin. Often used to treat inflammation, α-pinene is the most commonly found terpene throughout nature.
  • Linalool has been isolated from more than 300 different plants and has aromatic undertones of floral and lavender. Users often report calming relaxing effects and it has been used for centuries as a sleep aid. Linalool is also a precursor critical to the production of Vitamin E in plants.
  • Limonene is the primary constituent of fruit rinds, as well peppermint, juniper, rosemary and many pine needle oils. This terpene with it’s citrusy, lemon orange aroma is reported to produce uplifting and mood enhancing effects in users. Limonene is also a natural insecticide to protect plants from predators.
  • Humulene is found in cloves, basil and hops and has an earthy aroma that gives beer its distinctive “hoppy” aroma. One of the distinctive attributes of Humulene is its reported appetite suppression effect. Humulene has been widely used for more than 1,000 years in Chinese medicine.

Entourage Effect
In addition to their own individual holistic effects, terpenes work synergistically with one another as well as cannabinoids like CBD to increase therapeutic potential, modulate efficacy and mitigate unwanted effects, a phenomenon referred to as the “Entourage Effect”.

Potential Holistic Benefits
When choosing CBD oil products, terpenes potentially offer a significant improvement in the overall experience for end-users.

Research On Terpenes
More research is need to understand the individual effects of terpenes and their synergistic interactions with cannabinoids and other compounds, but the early results are very encouraging for the future of terpene exploration!

 

 

 

[1] Russo https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/

[2] Bonamin http://www.aromaticscience.com/the-effect-of-a-minor-constituent-of-essential-oil-from-citrus-aurantium-the-role-of-%CE%B2-myrcene-in-preventing-peptic-ulcer-disease/