Cannabis extracts are a category of products that involve pulling cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds from the cannabis plant. The processes used to make them concentrate the cannabinoids, resulting in a more potent product than the original flower. There are many extracts on the market, but a full spectrum extract offers some of the best, most balanced results.
What Is a Full Spectrum Extract?
The term “cannabis extract” refers to any one of many different types of products, including:
One of the first things you’ll notice about these products is that the label will have the words “full spectrum,” “broad spectrum,” or “isolate.” Full spectrum products are those that contain the same cannabinoid, terpene, and flavonoid profile as the original flower.
When it comes to effectiveness, full-spectrum products are considered to be the best. The compounds play off of one another, enhancing each other’s benefits, much like the original plant. That’s not to say broad spectrum or isolate products aren’t effective. They offer their own benefits as well, and many users prefer them over others. Broad spectrum products contain all of the same cannabinoids and terpenes as the original plant, with one noticeable exception – THC. Isolates, on the other hand, are extracts that contain a single cannabinoid, such as CBD or THC.
How it’s Made
There are a few ways to make full spectrum extracts. One method involves the use of solvents. Manufacturers may use butane or propane (or a mix of the two) to pull cannabinoids from raw plant matter. Other manufacturers use supercritical CO2, which, unlike hydrocarbon extractions, requires little to no post-processing.
Another method of creating full spectrum extracts requires no solvents. Instead, it requires heat and pressure to squeeze the beneficial compounds from the plant matter.
Benefits of Full Spectrum Extracts
One of the main benefits of using full spectrum extracts is that they contain pretty much the same cannabinoid and terpene profile as the original plant. As such, you get the benefits from all of the compounds within the strain. These compounds work together to provide optimal results.
The interaction of the cannabinoids and terpenes is known as the entourage effect. While it’s still only a theory right now, there is some evidence that supports it. Studies show that CBD can temper the high-inducing properties of THC, which can provide you with a more balanced overall experience. At the same time, some studies show that THC can enhance the therapeutic benefits of CBD.
Get Balanced Results
If you’re looking for optimal results with extracts, look for those with full-spectrum on the label. They’ll provide you with similar benefits to the original plant, and it doesn’t get much better than whole plant medicine. You should also keep your eye on the extraction method, especially if you’re concerned about lingering chemicals in your products. While all legal extracts get tested for contamination, you may decide to opt for a supercritical CO2 or solventless extract. You should also take a look at the original strain to ensure you’re getting a product that will best meet your needs.