By Bob Henrickson, D.V.M.
Simply put, full spectrum hemp means the hemp product preserves the cannabinol and terpene contents of the raw cannabis plant at the moment of harvest. The goal of a full spectrum product is to maintain the complete range of desirable compounds found in the cannabis plant. Common designations are FSOC (full spectrum cannabis oil) and FECO (full extract cannabis oil).
The cannabis plant (a.k.a. hemp) can produce more than 400 compounds. Aside from the well-known THC and CBD, cannabis plants produce a wide range of compounds that may have therapeutic uses. These include aromatic terpenes, flavonoids and proteins, phenols and esters. The cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids work together as a team creating what was called the “entourage effect” by Dr. Ralph Mechoulan, who first isolated THC back in 1960. The entourage effect shows why pure CBD is not nearly as effective alone as it is in the company of other compounds found in the cannabis plant.
Each variety of hemp plant produces a unique chemical composition that is greatly influenced by the environment. For example, THCA does not produce intoxicating effects until it is exposed to heat and excess stress—and then it changes into THC. Many acidic cannabinoids within hemp can change into chemically neutral forms depending on drying and storage. Acidic cannabinoids may offer therapeutic benefits that differ from that of the neutral counterparts.
Terpene, one compound in hemp can be oxidized and become a terpenoid or can be lost altogether in the drying process. If you flash freeze a cannabis plant at harvest, this will ensure none of the temperature-sensitive terpenes are lost. However if you dry and cure using traditional drying methods you lose some of the terpene.
Take a look at the chart below of different compounds found in full spectrum hemp, and their uses and actions for pets:
Robert Henrickson, D.V.M., graduated from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1983. He is now the owner & sole practitioner of Manhasset Animal Hospital (516-627-0057), and has responded to pet emergency house calls since 1986. He serves dogs, cats, birds, and exotic animals, and answers his cell phone 24/7. He’s also an artist (see his sculptures at HondoArt.com), as well as member of five athletic Halls of Fame.