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Contributed by Humboldt Apothecary
There are many benefits of using a whole plant extract vs. single molecule extracts. Whole plant extract is a Cannabis extract that has been made from the resinous (sticky/sap-like) flowers and smaller leaves of a Cannabis plant. In contrast, single molecule extracts of CBD that are frequently seen online, and featured in natural food stores, are primarily derived from the stalks and seeds of industrial hemp plants – hemp plants are a non-psychoactive member of the Cannabis plant family. While hemp is an extremely useful plant, the single molecule extracts are lacking the naturally occurring plant compounds that work with the Cannabinoids to enhance the therapeutic value.
Humboldt Apothecary, for instance, uses a solvent-free CO2 extracted whole plant extract in their formulas because it’s free of potentially toxic ingredients and safe for human consumption. Aside from safety, the benefit of this type of extract is that it contains a suite of different cannabinoids, terpenes, and other organic molecules that work together synergistically in the human body.
When we refer to synergy, we’re speaking of a scientifically documented effect in medicinal plants, where the different constituents work together to maximize the potential healing benefits within the plant, so that the sum of the “whole” is greater than the individual parts. In the case of Cannabis, CBD and THC work synergistically together with a multitude of other cannabinoids, along with unique terpenes, flavonoids, and other organic compounds that the plant produces. This creates a benefit to the patient that is more pronounced and effective than simply taking an isolated extract of CBD or THC.
While there is still a great need to study the science of Cannabis, a recent study in Israel that was published in The Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacy confirmed that whole plant CBD extracts are more therapeutically effective than an isolated CBD extract. This means that while both extracts hold therapeutic value, the whole plant extract offers more benefits at lower doses and was found to be “more efficient at alleviating pain and for treatment of various inflammatory conditions”, (Gallily et. al., 2015). In another study published in 2017, it was concluded that “synergistic relationships of terpenoids and cannabinoids include complementary roles that boost therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of pain, psychiatric disorders, cancer, and many others”, (Russo and Marcu, 2017).
In summary, while single molecule medicine is frequently considered to be more concentrated or effective than whole plant extracts by pharmaceutical companies, it is not the only way to administer Cannabis and it is not necessarily the optimal way to benefit from Cannabis therapy or herbal therapy in general. That is why Humboldt Apothecary has created a line of whole plant Cannabis tinctures, with the addition of other medicinal herbs, to bring you a line of safe and effective remedies and hopefully inspire you to breathe more deeply, take time to relax, sleep well, and take care of your body.
We hope that you find empowerment in knowing that taking good care of your body and mind can feel incredible! Making simple, healthy choices in your life right now will impact your well-being for the rest of your life!