Beyond CBD: Exploring the Virtues of Full-Spectrum or Broad-Spectrum Extracts

By Jason Mitchell, NDThinkstockPhotos-578579104.jpgI ’m sure by now you have at least heard of CBD (cannabidiol), and more than likely have either used a CBD supplement or thought about it. CBD is a nutrient that is part of a class of compounds call “phytocannabinoids.” These plant derived compounds are very similar to endocannabinoids, substances produced naturally by your body.

Phytocannabinoids are most commonly derived from hemp, which is a plant in the cannabis family. Hemp is primarily different from its cousin marijuana in that it is legal and does not elicit the psycho-active effect that is more commonly associated with marijuana. The psycho-active effects are primarily derived from a phytocannabinoid called THC. Hemp derived phytocannabinoid products that contain CBD will not get you “high;” but they do offer a lot of nutritional benefits as well as support balance in the body.

The reason CBD has become so popular is because researchers have identified a new system in the body called the endocannabinoid system, which has a primary job of supporting balance, or “homeostasis,” in the body. This system is the central processing hub that acts in a regulatory manner, supporting virtually every physiological system of the body (organ function, memory, appetite, digestion, stress response, sleep, inflammatory response, and so much more).

Some scientists have referred to this system as the endocannabinodome, which aims to illustrate the interconnectedness of all systems in the body and how the endocannabinoid system acts in a manner to restore and maintain balance in the body. Now CBD is getting a lot of attention because researchers have identified that it has a positive effect on this system. In fact, CBD as well as many other phytocannabinoids and terpenes, have revealed themselves as nutrients that are unlocking many medical mysteries that have virtually eluded the medical profession for decades.

Many of the CBD products out their make a claim of being full- or broad spectrum hemp extract, which implies that they contain more than just CBD. In fact, it should mean that they contain a very broad array of common nutrients in hemp other than CBD, including other cannabinoids like CBC, CBG, CBV, CBDV, CBDA; as well as terpenes like pinene, caryophyllene, limonene; and omegas like omega 3, 6, 9, and so much more.

Research clearly shows that CBD alone is limited in what it can do for you, but if what is consumed contains more than CBD (cannabinoids, terpenes, omegas, and more) then you will find it to be a great deal more effective. If it is truly a full- or broad-spectrum product, all additional contents should be clearly displayed on the label.

Many individuals coping with issues related to stress, sleep, pain, and inflammation, are seeking products containing these active compounds sourced from hemp. The good news is, research on hemp-derived cannabinoids and plant-based terpenes shows great promise in helping us support this vital system in our body. However, keep in mind that in order to receive the most benefit, you must consume a truly full- or broad-spectrum product. Otherwise, the result may not only vary, but in many cases be ineffective.

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