Phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) or Full Spectrum Extract
If you are interested in trying hemp products with many phytocannabinoids, including federally-acceptable amounts of THC (less than 0.3%), you should seek products classified as “full spectrum” or made with whole plant "phytocannabinoid-rich" (PCR) extract. Phytocannabinoid-rich or PCR hemp extract is just another term for full spectrum extract.
Darker extract, or what is sometimes referred to as "full spectrum" extract, tends to offer a higher concentration of terpenes, minor cannabinoids, and other plant compounds that may provide synergistic effects and potentially enhance medicinal value.
Phytocannabinoid-rich hemp extract (CO2 extracted)
Hemp varieties grown for phytocannabinoid-rich floral material can produce CBD, Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabichromene (CBC) trace amounts of THC, terpenes, flavonoids, and essential amino acids. Therefore, phytocannabinoid rich extract features most it not all of the compounds found in the original hemp plant. The phytocannabinoid profile or makeup of PCR extract is closest to that of the original plant.
The receptors in our body’s endocannabinoid system are believed to work more effectively and efficiently when interacting with the whole plant. It's important to note, however, that most research on the potential medicinal benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD), or any cannabinoid, study the isolated compound and sometimes synthesized cannabinoids.
CBD-dominant hemp test results
CBD Isolate vs. Full Spectrum
CBD must be isolated from the decarboxylated, full spectrum plant material to create THC-free CBD products. Contrary to popular belief, CBD isolate is not "synthetic" CBD; it is simply isolated CBD from the cannabis plant via chemistry. CBD isolate is often referred to as "pure CBD" and is flavorless.
Pure CBD isolate
Full spectrum extract or phytocannabinoid rich extract will vary based on the plant material used—making it more difficult to study. Some people may point to one research study which observed a bell-shaped dose response of isolated CBD for one condition (inflammation). However, other conditions were not studied, therefore we cannot make blanket statements about full spectrum being superior to isolated CBD in all cases.
Just because the study recommends full spectrum extract for one condition doesn't necessarily mean full spectrum extract will always work better for every condition or be right for every consumer. It's also possible to create higher potency CBD products by combining pure CBD with phytocannabinoid-rich extract.
Pure CBD isolate test results