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full spectrum cannabis

Full Spectrum Cannabis

What is full spectrum cannabis?

Full spectrum products come from the whole cannabis plant, including all naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds. This means that they contain a wide range of different chemical compounds, each with their own unique properties and potential health benefits.

In contrast to isolated cannabinoids or refined cannabis extracts, full spectrum products aim to preserve the natural complexity and synergy of the cannabis plant. This is because research suggests that these compounds work together in the “entourage effect,” which means that they can enhance each other’s effects and provide a more complete and well-rounded therapeutic experience.

Full spectrum cannabis products often contain a significant amount of THC, which is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, as well as other cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, and CBN. They also contain a variety of terpenes, which are aromatic compounds that give cannabis its distinctive smell and taste, and may also have their own unique health benefits.

Overall, full spectrum cannabis products has shown to be one of the most natural and effective form of cannabis medicine. This may be because they offer a broad range of therapeutic effects. Full spectrum may be more effective than isolated compounds or synthetic alternatives.

full spectrum cannabis
Photo Credit Flikr

What are some examples of full spectrum cannabis products?

Full spectrum CBD oil

For CBD oil to be considered full spectrum, it must contain all naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds found in the hemp plant, including a significant amount of CBD.

Full spectrum THC oil

This product contains all naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds found in the marijuana plant, including a significant amount of THC.

Live resin

Live resin is a type of cannabis extract made from freshly harvested, flash-frozen cannabis flowers. This preserves the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes, resulting in a highly aromatic and flavorful product.

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)

This is a type of cannabis oil created by using a full spectrum extraction process. This involves soaking the cannabis plant in a solvent such as ethanol or butane to extract all the plant compounds. The resulting oil contains a full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes, including THC and CBD.

Whole-plant cannabis

This is the most basic form of full spectrum cannabis, which involves using the entire plant, including the flowers, leaves, and stalks. This is often used for making cannabis-infused edibles or as a raw material for other types of cannabis extracts.

What is not considered full spectrum cannabis?

Full spectrum cannabis products contain a range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds, whereas other cannabis products may be more refined and contain only specific cannabinoids or other components. Here are some examples of cannabis products that are not considered full spectrum:

Cannabis isolate

As mentioned earlier, cannabis isolate is a pure form of cannabis extract that contains only one cannabinoid compound, usually either THC or CBD.

Broad-spectrum cannabis products 

Broad-spectrum cannabis products contain multiple cannabinoids and terpenes, but with the THC component removed. This is often done to produce a product with the benefits of multiple cannabinoids, but without the psychoactive effects of THC.

THC distillate

THC distillate is a highly concentrated form of THC with an absence of all other compounds. This results in a pure, potent form of THC that with endless applications.

CBD isolate

Similar to cannabis isolate, CBD isolate is a pure form of CBD extract that contains only the CBD cannabinoid, with all other components removed.

Hemp Seed oil

Pressing the seeds of the hemp plant creates hemp seed oil, and contains no cannabinoids. It is often used as a carrier oil for other cannabis extracts, but is not considered a full spectrum product.

What is cannabis distillate?

A cannabis distillate is a highly concentrated form of cannabis extract produced using a distillation process. This process removes all impurities and unwanted compounds from the cannabis plant, leaving behind a pure, potent product with a high level of THC or CBD.

During the distillation process, the cannabis extract undergoes heating, then cooling, causing the different compounds to separate based on their boiling points. The resulting distillate is then further processed to remove any remaining impurities, resulting in a clear, colorless liquid with a very high potency.

Cannabis distillates are often used in the production of cannabis-infused products such as edibles, tinctures, and vape cartridges, as they can provide a consistent and precise dose of THC or CBD. They are also sometimes used for dabbing, a method of vaporizing and inhaling cannabis concentrates.

Read our article on distillate here.

cannabis isolate
Photo Credit WikiLeaf

What is cannabis isolate?

Cannabis isolate is a pure form of cannabis extract that contains only one cannabinoid compound, usually either THC or CBD. Creating an isolate involves isolating and refining a specific cannabinoid from a full-spectrum cannabis extract, which contains a range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds.

Isolating a cannabinoid involves further refining the full-spectrum extract to remove all other compounds except for the desired cannabinoid. This results in a highly concentrated form of the cannabinoid, often in the form of a white crystalline powder or a clear liquid.

Cannabis isolate is commonly used in the production of cannabis-infused products such as tinctures, edibles, and vape cartridges, as it allows for precise dosing and consistent effects. Cannabis isolate is often used in the production of cannabis-infused products such as tinctures, edibles, and vape cartridges, as it allows for precise dosing and consistent effects. Isolate is also used to create custom cannabis blends. 

Check out this documentary from PBS for more information.

What are the benefits of full spectrum cannabis versus not?

Full spectrum cannabis products contain a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds. Non-full spectrum products are typically more refined and may contain only specific cannabinoids or other components. Here are some potential benefits of full spectrum cannabis products compared to non-full spectrum products:

Entourage effect

Cannabis products contain different cannabinoids and terpenes that work together to produce the entourage effect. This means that these compounds can enhance each other’s effects and provide a more complete and well-rounded therapeutic experience.

More complete therapeutic experience

Due to the range of different compounds, full spectrum products may provide a more complete therapeutic experience. This may be especially true for conditions that require a range of different cannabinoids and terpenes to be effective.

Potentially more effective

Some research suggests that full spectrum products may be more effective than isolated compounds or synthetic alternatives. This may be due to the entourage effect and other factors.

Less processed

Full spectrum products are typically less processed than non-full spectrum products. This is because they contain the whole cannabis plant. This may be beneficial for people who prefer a more natural and holistic approach to cannabis medicine.

More natural flavor and aroma

Full spectrum products often have a more natural flavor and aroma than non-full spectrum products. This is because of their high content of different terpenes and other plant compounds. This contributes to the overall taste and smell of the product.

What are the benefits of non-full spectrum products?

Non-full spectrum products do not contain the full range of compounds found in the whole cannabis plant. Here are some potential benefits of non-full spectrum cannabis products compared to full spectrum products:

Precise dosing

These types of products can allow for more precise dosing of specific cannabinoids, such as CBD or THC. This can be especially useful for people who require a specific dose of a particular cannabinoid for their condition.

Reduced psychoactive effects

Isolated cannabinoid products may be beneficial for people who are sensitive to the psychoactive effects of THC. Many of these products can contain higher levels of other cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, or CBN.

Consistency 

Broad spectrum cannabis products can be more consistent in terms of cannabinoid content and quality. They are often produced under more controlled conditions.

Convenience

Oftentimes, products without a broad spectrum of cannabinoids can be more convenient to use than full spectrum products. This is because they may be available in more standardized forms such as capsules, tinctures, or topical creams.

No risk of contamination

Isolated products may be less likely to contain contaminants such as pesticides or heavy metals. This is because they are often produced under more controlled conditions and with higher standards of quality control.

Note that non-full spectrum products may not provide the same range of therapeutic benefits as full spectrum products. This is due to the lack of the entourage effect and other factors. As with any cannabis product, the right product depends on individual needs and preferences. As always consult with a healthcare professional.

How to make full spectrum products at home

Decarboxylation

Before making any cannabis product, you need to decarboxylate your cannabis, which is the process of heating it to activate the cannabinoids. To do this, preheat your oven to 220-240°F (105-115°C). Grind your cannabis and spread it evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned and fragrant.

Extraction

The simplest method for making full spectrum cannabis products at home without the use of solvents involves infusing a carrier oil such as coconut, olive, or MCT oil with decarboxylated cannabis. Start by placing the cannabis and oil in a mason jar and heating it in a water bath or slow cooker for several hours, then straining out the plant material. This will produce a full spectrum cannabis oil. Uses for this are endless.

Infusion

Once you have your full spectrum cannabis oil, you can use it to make a variety of different products, such as edibles, tinctures, or topicals. For edibles, you can simply mix the oil with a fat such as butter or oil and use it in your favorite recipe. For tinctures, you can mix the oil with a high-proof alcohol such as Everclear and let it steep for several weeks, then strain out the plant material. For topicals, you can mix the oil with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil and use it as a massage oil or skin balm.

What are some products designed to help make cannabis oil?

There are several products on the market that are specifically designed to help make cannabis oil. Here are a few examples:

MagicalButter Machine

This countertop appliance infuse herbs into butter, oil, and tinctures. It has a built-in heating unit and a blender that agitates the mixture to help extract the active ingredients from the cannabis plant.

Source Turbo

Source Turbo is a compact vacuum distillation unit that quickly and efficiently extract essentials oils from herbs, including cannabis. It uses a low-heat distillation process to preserve the integrity of the plant compounds.

Ardent Nova

The Ardent Nova is a decarboxylator that activates the cannabinoids in cannabis without burning the plant material. The Ardent Nova can decarboxylate and infuse cannabis into oil or butter for edibles and topicals.

Rosin Press

A rosin press uses heat and pressure to extract cannabis oil from the plant material. It is a popular option for those who prefer solventless extraction methods.

Infusion Kits

Many companies sell infusion kits that include all the necessary tools and instructions for making cannabis oil at home. These kits typically include items such as a decarboxylator, infusion bags, and a cooking vessel.

Here are a few books about full spectrum cannabis that you might find interesting:

“The Cannabis Manifesto: A New Paradigm for Wellness” by Steve DeAngelo

DeAngelo explores the medicinal and therapeutic properties of cannabis and makes the case for full spectrum cannabis as the most effective form of treatment.

“Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana” by Michael Backes

Backes provides an in-depth look at the different strains of cannabis and their medicinal properties. It also includes a section on full spectrum cannabis and its benefits for treating specific conditions.

“The Medical Cannabis Guidebook: The Definitive Guide to Using and Growing Medicinal Marijuana” by Jeff Ditchfield 

Ditchfield’s comprehensive guide to using and growing cannabis for medicinal purposes. It includes a section on full spectrum cannabis and its potential as a treatment for a variety of medical conditions.

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Additionally, you can find more information on the vendors we work with here.

Substance offers online ordering and curbside pickup for dabs and other fine products at all dispensary locations throughout Bend, OR and now at our newest location in Cottage Grove, OR.

More Reading:

Cannabis Cultivation Grow Styles: Indoor, Outdoor or Greenhouse?

Cannabis Genetics: Exploring the Past and Shaping the Future

Make Your Own Cannabis Edibles: Cooking Tips and Recipe Ideas

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