Full Spectrum Cannabis
An examination of phyto-cannabinoids, terpenoids, and herbal synergy with the consumer
For millennia, people have utilized cannabis for any number of reasons; only recently have we begun to develop an understanding of our body’s reactions to it. Now, we know that the human body, like all mammals’ bodies, is wired to work with cannabinoids inherently. The Endocannabinoid System allows for THC and all the analogues of it found in nature to have a powerful impact on a great number of systems within the body.
While there has been much research and study done on Phyto-Cannabinoids, most especially THC, there are many more compounds that are present within Cannabis that are yet to be understood. The most prevalent and impactful of these compounds are the terpenoids.
Terpenoids, or terpenes, are what give each cultivar the unique experience and characteristics that have come to define the cannabis experience.
This blog will try to explore these synergies on the surface of the premise that Cannabis is better with all the natural compounds present and not merely a delivery mechanism for THC.
What are some other Cannabinoids besides THC?
Cannabinoids themselves have seemingly endless pharmacological effects. With over 100 known Phyto-cannbinoids, science has only just begun to explore the physical effects caused by ingesting these compounds. The most well-known cannabinoid, THC, is best known for its psychoactive effects; however, it is also a bronchodilator, a muscle relaxant, and an antioxidant among other pharmacological classifications. Some of the lesser-known minor cannabinoids have intriguing impacts on the body as well.
Cannabichromene has been shown to work as an anti-depressant in studies
Cannabidivarian can act as an anticonvulsant in the hippocampus
THCV can help to mitigate the psychoactive impact from THC
Cannabinol (CBN) is a sedative and has been shown to effectively combat MRSA.
The opportunities are endless, but on their own these cannabinoids are being shown to be infinitely less effective than when compared to their natural state in the pharmacologically complicated landscape of the natural plant.
Essential Oils and the Science of Terpenes
Essential Oils are a 'survival mechanism’ for plants. They exist for several reasons, including attracting pollinators or fighting pests. These terpenoids can interact with the body in an astonishing number of ways.
They can penetrate cell membranes of all kinds, interact with nerve endings in muscles or the central nervous system, create the olfactory sensations of the plant, and even help to facilitate the creation of important enzymes within the body. But how does this make cannabis work for the consumer? What are the real implications and why does it matter?
Well, there are thousands of terpenes present in the world. Let’s look at a few of the more common terpenes and what science has shown them to do.
What are some of the most common terpenes and what do they do?
D-Limonene is one of the most noteworthy terpenes as it is instantly recognizable and present in so many widely known fruits. The citrus smell that is associated with oranges and the like is largely due to D-Limonene. In several clinical studies, the presence of these citrus aromas has been shown to have a significant impact on the production of serotonin in the prefrontal cortex, leading to a reduction in depression scores. Within cannabis, this could help explain the ‘head-high’ and ‘uplifting’ experience that many people attribute to the ‘sativa’ class of cannabis. Instead, think of what those sativa cultivars smell like. Generally, they are extremely high in D-Limonene and have a pronounced citrus flavor to them.
On the opposite end of the experiential spectrum, Myrcene is often recognized as a sedative, working as a muscle relaxant in various animal studies. Myrcene is found most in hops, providing that distinct peppery and pungent smell that often is representative of traditionally described as an Indica experience. Interestingly, Myrcene degrades into a compound called Hashishene when exposed to light and photo-oxidized, which is the classic ‘hashy’ smell that is often found in dry cannabis. The evidence would support the hypothesis that Myrcene is partially responsible for the ‘couch-lock’ experience that is so prevalent in the modern cannabis plant.
The list goes on and on. Linalool, found in lavender, can be described as an anti-anxiety compound and has a calming effect. Again, it is chiefly found in ‘Indica’ plants. Pinene is responsible for the instantly recognizable ‘pine tree’ scent and is shown to be anti-inflammatory and a bronchodilator. Plants high in pinene are very relaxing and promote a feeling of wellbeing as they relieve pain extremely well.
We’ll provide a rundown of all terpenes and their effects in future posts.
Beyond Indica/Sativa: The Future of Chemovar Based Production
For as long as Cannabis has been present in the mindset of the populace the traditional description has revolved solely on a single question. “Is it an Indica or a Sativa?”
As science has developed, it has quickly become apparent that this singular expression of the unique chemovars - the individual plants terpenoids, Phyto-cannabinoids, and other compounds – as well as their pharmacological properties is woefully inadequate in describing the expected effects of any given product. As research continues to become more available and accessible, it is paramount that the knowledge of terpenes and their impact takes center-stage in the conversation surrounding cannabis.
Cannabis is so much more than these arcane descriptions of genus and geographical origins. Each individual plant may come from one of these species but,based on the unique chemovar, is able to have a completely unique pharmacological impact on an individual basis. Just like each plant, no two people are the same and it is critical for the individual consumer to begin to understand their body and how the terpenes present in their favorite cannabis products guide their experience of cannabis.
Why are terpenes important to my experience with Redbud Roots products?
Here at Redbud Roots, we are dedicated to advancing the industry to a terpene-centric landscape. We believe that through education, understanding, and access to high-terpene products, we can provide a superior cannabis experience for anyone and everyone.