CBD, otherwise known as Cannabidiol, is a buzzword right now. What with newspapers around the world writing about its reported benefits and the WHO recently deeming CBD safe and non-toxic, it would be easy to think that CBD oil contains just that: nothing other than Cannabidiol. But that’s just not the case. In order to gain maximum benefits, it’s vital you choose a full spectrum CBD oil, and here’s why.
Is hemp oil and CBD oil the same thing?
This is an often asked question. CBD is a cannabinoid abundantly found in certain strains of the cannabis plant. Because of legal restrictions in much of the world prohibiting the cultivation and sale of cannabis containing THC, much of the CBD on the market is extracted from low-THC hemp. That’s why CBD oil is often also known as hemp oil. However, it’s important to differentiate between hemp oil obtained from seeds and used in cooking, and full spectrum CBD oil containing CBD, other minor cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, which comes from the whole hemp plant.
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What is Full Spectrum CBD Oil?
Despite CBD being a widely studied compound in its own right, scientists have realised that the cannabinoid’s effectiveness partly depends on being accompanied by other molecules that are naturally present in the plant. This is called the entourage effect and is a kind of synergy, where the different botanical elements support and balance each other. A common example of this balance is CBD’s ability to counteract the psychoactive effect of THC.
It is imperative then to employ extraction techniques preserving the multitude of compounds present in the plant material, when making full spectrum CBD oil. The current best practice method is supercritical CO2 extraction, using carbon dioxide to obtain pure plant extracts free from solvents or hazardous chemicals.
Most full spectrum CBD oils then go through the decarboxylation process, where the plant material is gently heated in order to turn the cannabinoid’s acidic precursor CBDA into CBD. Much care is needed at this stage to ensure that important elements of the full spectrum CBD oil, like terpenes and minor cannabinoids, are preserved.
In the case of Raw Hemp Oils, there is no heating process, meaning that both CBDA and CBD are present, making it the ultimate in full spectrum CBD oil.
What does Endoca Full Spectrum CBD Oil contain?
As discussed, CBD or Cannabidiol is the most abundant cannabinoid in full spectrum CBD oil. For many years, CBD was very much in the shadow of its cannabinoid cousin, THC, but as ever more scientific studies into CBD abound, we are getting to understand this fascinating and versatile cannabinoid much more.
CBD, unlike THC, does not interact directly with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Instead it activates other non-cannabinoid receptors such as the 5-HT1A serotonin, TRPV1 vanilloid and PPAR receptors. That is not to say that CBD has no effect on the endocannabinoid system: Scientists have discovered that it inhibits the enzyme that breaks down Anandamide, a key endocannabinoid, increasing what’s known as endocannabinoid tone.
Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)
If you examined freshly picked cannabis, you would find very little CBD. Instead, the most abundant cannabinoid would be its acidic precursor, CBDA. It was thought until recently that CBDA was benign with no therapeutic potential. But right now, preclinical research suggests that like CBD, CBDA might also reduce seizures, as well as having other benefits such as calming feelings of nausea. Scientists have also seen that CBDA is better absorbed in the body than CBD and quicker to take effect, suggesting that combining both cannabinoids might be more effective than just using them individually.
CBG is called the stem cell cannabinoid, as from it are derived CBD and THC. For that reason, there are only low levels of it in full spectrum CBD oil, because most CBG will have been converted into CBD. That’s not to say it doesn’t hold interesting therapeutic possibilities: Studies suggest CBG inhibits the uptake of the neurotransmitter GABA, causing a feeling of relaxation.
There is very little CBN present in hemp. That’s because it only occurs when THC is broken down through oxidation. While considered a minor cannabinoid in low-THC full spectrum CBD oil, CBN is thought to be analgesic.
Terpenes provide the distinctive smell not just in cannabis, but also all herbs, flowers and plants in nature. An average hemp plant contains about 200 terpenes, depending on the variety. Many terpenes have been found to have therapeutic benefits in their own right, as well as providing an important role in the overall entourage effect.
Myrcene is the most abundant terpene in hemp and gives a spicy and clove-like aroma. Studies suggest it can fight the effects of diabetes, is a pain reliever and a sedative.
Limonene is one of the most commonly found terpenes in nature providing a fresh, citrusy smell. It’s also one of the most therapeutically versatile, with studies suggesting it to be mood enhancing, a heartburn reliever, a blocker for the development of certain types of cancer, a cause of cancer cell death, an anti-inflammatory, as well as being antifungal and antibacterial.
Alpha & Beta-pinene
As the name suggests, pinene gives that pine-fresh smell often found in detergents. No surprise then that it’s antimicrobial, showing effectiveness even against antibiotic resistant pathogens. Pinene is also thought to be a bronchial dilator.
The predominant terpene in lavender, Linalool, is a relaxant, as well as having anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
Found in black pepper, green vegetables and of course hemp, B-caryophyllene acts like a cannabinoid by activating the CB2 receptor, therefore stimulating the endocannabinoid system. Preclinical studies suggest it can ease anxiety and depression.
With a woody, smoky aroma, Terpinolene can be found in apples, cumin and tea. It is thought to be a sedative and to be antibacterial and antifungal.
Naturally occuring in hops, basil and of course hemp, Humulene is thought to suppress hunger and is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumoral.
Who knew then that there are so many potentially health-promoting properties in full spectrum CBD oil other than just the wonder cannabinoid, Cannabidiol. Why not try thinking of our hemp oils as an orchestra, with each section working in harmony to create the perfect botanical symphony for our bodies.