The phytocomplex gives cannabis its distinct properties and aromas.
But what is a phytocomplex?
And why is it important for hemp extraction?
This article will answer your questions on the topic.
A cannabis phytocomplex definition
The phytocomplex is the whole range of molecules and compounds found in the Cannabis plant.
Among these are phytocannabinoids, the most famous of the group, but also terpenes and flavonoids that, in the last few years, are gaining a lot of attention from researchers for their properties.
All combined, these molecules trigger the entourage effect.
Let us analyze each class of hemp molecules and, in the final part, you will realize how crucial a role the phytocomplex plays in hemp extraction.
Phytocannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds that interact with the endocannabinoid system and include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabinol (CBN).
They are called -phyto to differentiate plant-based cannabinoids from those naturally produced by the human endocannabinoid system.
Of course, the most famous one would be THC, but we will not talk about it as it is only present in small quantities in industrial hemp.
However, bear in mind that each phytocannabinoid plays its role, like an orchestra.
Without further ado, let’s take a brief tour of the most important, non psycho-active, phytocannabinoids:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) – the second major cannabinoid, has been widely studied in the last 10 years. Its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-seizure qualities are the key features of any hemp extract.
- Cannabinol (CBN) – a minor cannabinoid, studies show that it could increase sleep quality as well as reduce muscle spasms due to multiple sclerosis (MS).
- Cannabigerol (CBG) – a not-so-minor phytocannabinoid, CBG is presently understudied but it could turn the industry around as it bears a lot of promise, especially for its anti-microbial properties, that, according to some studies, could even surpass those of CBD.
The list could go on for miles, as there are hundreds of cannabinoids in the hemp plant, and many of them are still unknown to researchers.
The plant world is full of terpenes, which are chemicals that give plants their smell. But you probably know them by another name: flavor! Terpenes give basil and vanilla their characteristic smell.
If you are a veteran of the hemp industry you have always associated terpenes with the scent that different cannabis varieties radiate all around. For this reason, terpenes have mostly been associated with the hemp flowers industry.
However, this is changing, radically. Recent studies show that terpenes are not just important for the smell they give to hemp strains, but they come with a lot of potential benefits for the human organism.
Just like phytocannabinoids, terpenes’ efficacy is boosted when they work in tandem with the other molecules found in hemp.
That is why it is vital to preserve terpenes during the extraction process, otherwise, their huge potential would be tossed in the trash.
Our breeders created a high CBD strain whose terpenic profile has been carefully developed to produce a high-quality entourage effect.
It’s called Enectaliana and you should take a look at it, as it’s the first hemp strain specifically designed for the extraction market.
What are flavonoids?
Flavonoids are a group of phytochemicals that are found in plants. They’re responsible for the pigment in fruits, veggies, and plants, and they give those foods their color, and they have various health benefits.
Most importantly, their anti-oxidant properties, meaning they could help neutralize free radicals in the body. However, more research is needed before we know exactly how these compounds work in our bodies!
What we do know is that flavonoids help extracts achieve a better entourage effect and are thus a vital part of a full spectrum CBD oil.
Hemp contains many different flavonoids, including kaempferol, quercetin, catechin, epicatechin gallate, myricetin, and naringenin. These help to protect the plant from UV radiation and other environmental stressors.
The entourage effect
The entourage effect could be summarized as: the sum is more than its parts.
Specifically, this means that phytocannabinoids, together with terpenes and flavonoids, interact to produce different effects than if you had just taken pure CBD isolate.
The most important phytocannabinoids for the entourage effect are CBD, CBC, CBG, and CBN. Not only do they have their own unique benefits but they also work together to increase each other’s effectiveness.
This is why it’s common to find full-spectrum extracts that contain all of these compounds in equal ratios.
However, until a few years ago, terpenes and flavonoids were not considered as important as cannabinoids, all the rage was on CBD and THC, neglecting the crucial role that all actors play in triggering the entourage effect.
We are trying to change that with our new line of real full spectrum extracts made from our flagship CBD variety: Enectaliana.
So, why is the cannabis phytocomplex so vital for hemp extraction? In a sentence, it has a lot to do with how well you can preserve hemp’s properties. By using more of the plant, you get more of its benefits without additives or anything artificial added in. This means that phytocomplex-based products are natural.
Also, since there’s nearly no THC in them, they won’t make someone high when ingested or applied topically either! Something that happens quite a lot with low-quality and super cheap extracts (usually coming from non-EU countries).
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