Full Spectrum – What is it?
What are Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids
First off, what is a cannabinoid? A cannabinoid is a chemical compound that interacts with the cells in
your system to provide the medical benefits of marijuana. There are many cannabinoids within a marijuana plant. Commonly known cannabinoids are THC (Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol), and CBD (Cannabidiol) and less commonly known ones are CBG (Cannabigerol), and THC-V (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) just to name a few.
There is more to a marijuana plant than cannabinoids, there are also non-cannabinoid compounds that interact with the body. Two common non-cannabinoid groups are terpenes and flavonoids, both which have aromatic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Terpenes are what we commonly associate to giving cannabis its flavor and aroma, however they do have psychoactive effects as well. Even though terpenes do carry psychoactive effects like THC, they can also counteract some of THC potentially negative effects. One of these negative effects being THC induced anxiety and paranoia. Some common terpenes that have the ability to mediate this experience are Pinene, Borneol, and Myrcene. Flavonoids, just like some specific terpenes, can also balance out the effects of THC, but can serve other important roles as well. Some flavonoids, specifically Canniflavins which are exclusive to cannabis, carry properties that work as; antioxidants, estrogen regulators, anti-inflammatories, and even anti-cancer potential.
Extractions, like distillate, have the lesser known compounds removed leaving behind just a concentrated high amount of THC. After reading the important roles these lesser known compounds play, removing them as you can see would drastically change the experience your body receives. The depth and complexity of the plant are taken away. For a medical patient or a consumer seeking a regimen for symptoms like pain, anxiety, or digestive help would be at a loss smoking a distillate.
What is the entourage effect?
All of these components work together for a reason and full spectrum cannabis oils acknowledge that. Full spectrum cannabis oil has the same ratios of cannabinoids to terpenes and flavonoids as the plant began with before the extraction method took place. All cannabinoids and non-cannabinoids are respectfully preserved along with its medicinal potency. Full spectrum extracts preserve all while removing the unwanted components such as fats, lipids. This is called the ‘entourage effect.’
There are about 144 cannabinoid compounds that are interactive within a marijuana plant that are not found in any other. Each of these play a necessary role, so why would you want to remove them during the extraction method? Upwards of over 1000 non-cannabinoid compounds interact with each other in complex ways to give full spectrum extracts its ‘entourage effect.’ Terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoid groups come together synergistically to provide the most benefits than any single cannabinoid alone.
Consumers often are mistaken, thinking that the most active ingredient is all they need in order to reach the desired effects. THC being the most active ingredient within a marijuana plant is usually looked as the solution to all their problems. With a mindset the higher the percentage, the better results I will receive. This however, is certainly not the case. The full range of compounds, the entourage effect, is what gives the best desired results when using a cannabis medical treatment.
The CO2 extraction method
What is CO2 extraction? There are three categories of CO2 extraction- supercritical, subcritical and ‘mid-critical,’ but supercritical is most popular. Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction leaves no residual solvent and can permit selective extractions making it increasingly popular with essential oils, coffee beans, hops, and other botanicals. When you increase the temperature and pressure, carbon dioxide adapts properties between a gas and a liquid. In this supercritical state, there is no surface tension so the supercritical CO2 can effuse through solids like a gas, and it can dissolve materials like a liquid. Thus, it can extract the essential cannabinoids (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compounds into an oil. Not only does this supercritical method preserve THC and CBD, the full spectrum of other compounds are kept as well, all while removing the unwanted fats and lipids. This extraction method is also faster.
Subcritical CO2 extraction, however, plays an important role even though it is times slower and yields lower. Having a lower solvency power, this method allows lighter oils to be pulled and leaves behind waxes and resins. Most importantly, subcritical terpene extraction is possible. Being low in temperature allows temperature-sensitive terpenes to be preserved.
The CO2 Company’s Full Spectrum Product Line
As you must know by now, The CO2 Company uses both of these methods for its products, primarily supercritical CO2 extraction for their Full Spectrum oil that now comes in Jupiter CCell cartridges. We also use subcritical CO2 extraction to make sure we preserve as many terpenes as we can.
The CO2 Company has been working hard to create their medical grade facility using cutting edge technology and science to produce a consistent and flavorful cannabis oil. We are committed to working with local and eco-friendly farmers in southern Oregon. We are symbiotically growing with conscious farmers to meet the vast demand for cannabis oil. Ethical agricultural practices are integral for providing pure and clean medicine as well as a reflection of the many distinct flavors of cannabis. Our breeding program is intended to develop strains with the right balance of THC and CBD, as well as preserving the other compounds of the cannabis plant, to help specific ailments. We believe cannabis oil to be true medicine as we listen to the voice of our patients.