Spectrum of the Absurd

Flowers are Cool

Our understanding is premature to responsibly market isolate, narrow and broad spectrum CBD products. Yet, many brands package manufactured formulations as plant based science solutions.

Visit your local head shop or bodega, ask about their CBD products and count how many times the salesperson says, “I hear it works” or variation of “it works”. Visit a more sophisticated dedicated “CBD” retailer, they might show independent testing, a published quality criteria (organic, non-GMO, ethical standards, vetting process etc.), and perhaps include mention of whether it’s isolate, broad spectrum, or full spectrum / whole plant extract. Based on casual observation, a high percentage of popular brands offer different types of CBD ‘across the spectrum’. One of the most difficult questions we had to ask ourselves while building DankeSuper was where we fell within the range.

The answer was far from obvious, but we eventually settled on Full Spectrum. I personally began to lean towards exclusively full spectrum / whole plant hemp extract after reading about how cannabidiol enriched Cannabis sativa L. or full spectrum extract can limit the bell curve dosage response that occurs with cannabidiol isolate. A ‘bell curve dosage response’ indicates that the efficacy of cannabidiol isolate towards conditions such inflammation, anxiety, or pain is not linear or asymptotic. Rather, there is a potentially dynamic ‘middle ground’ effective dosage, but cannabidiol might not perform any better than a placebo if the dose is not within that range. A helpful reminder that more is not always better when it comes to CBD concentrations.

For DankeSuper, it served as reminder of how far science is from fully understanding of how our body interacts with cannabidiol, hemp’s 130 plus other cannabinoids, and various combinations of phytonutrients or phytochemical compounds. In essence, we do not yet have the insight to develop a product that takes a specific cannabinoid, combine it with specific terpene profiles and have clinical basis for marketing it as designed to generate specific effect or claim it to be a “scientifically driven” formulation. In fact, outside of maintaining the integrity of the cannabidiol molecule or deriving it from cannabis plant ‘designer’ products of this nature bring to mind the engineered phenomenon of synthetic marijuana and “bath salts”.

We’re not arguing against the benefit of combinations of plant based ingredients with a rich history of recorded health benefits. In fact, it’s the foundation of our products. We just believe in combining ethnobotanical ingredients in their pure, original form rather than marketing “blind precision” as a calculated science. We agree the future of cannabis experiences may be in understanding what’s often called “the entourage effect”, but the science has not reached a point where one combine some cannabinoid isolate, terpenes, and phytonutrients for a predictable effect. Until we have a more complete understanding of the complex interaction between cannabis and our bodies it’s premature to begin fabricating “spectrums” in good taste.

We’ll continue to share our views on this topic and provide more detailed discussions of hemp extract related topics such as extraction, strain selection / genetics, what is currently understood about the entourage effect, and the interaction of various phytochemical / phytonutrient compounds with cannabinoids. In the interim, feel free to explore some of the published research below.

The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain

Corrigendum: Potential Clinical Benefits of CBD-Rich Cannabis Extracts Over PurifiedCBD in Treatment-Resistant EpilepsyObservational Data Meta-analysis.

Overcoming the Bell-Shaped Dose-Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol