For those who may be wondering, what exactly does FSE mean? FSE or full-spectrum extracts refer to the process of attempting to keep as much cannabinoid as possible when being extracted from the cannabis plant, ensuring that it is preserved within a resin. With the ever-growing advances in technology, this process is now much more possible than at any time in the past. The main driver of this advancement is a hash oil product known as the aforementioned full-spectrum extract. FSE is considered to be in the highest tier when it comes to both complexity and flavour.
Similar to a stew, which is comprised of various main base ingredients depending on one’s own personal preferences when it comes to this particular dish, cannabis extract may be thought of much like a stew. Regardless of what you put in your stew, whether it be some form of meat of lentils, carrots, potatoes, or whatever vegetables you desire it is hard to argue that the dish is not further enhanced by smaller, often overlooked additions such as seasoning. If we were to neglect adding seasonings such as salt or pepper to the stew and simply kept the main ingredients, the end product may be okay, but not nearly as flavourful as it could have been with some added seasoning. Likewise, when it comes to cannabis extraction, this analogy very much applies. With extraction, the addition or subtraction of certain bioactive molecules will largely impact the amount of flavour that is contained within. Thus, the greater the amount of extraction, the more flavour is saved creating a much better result than if certain elements were not present, leading to a bland product.
For this reason, a full-spectrum extract may be preferable because it ensures that all ingredients are included in the flavour profile of the cannabis. Like a stew, the flavour of the cannabis will be heavily influenced by the amount of seasoning that is present. Some of this seasoning will not possibly be available if the marijuana plant is not fully extracted, which in turn would leave some crucial elements when it comes to flavour behind.
Benefits of Cannabis Extracts with a Spectrum of Components
Within a cannabis plant, you can find up to five-hundred bioactive compounds, many of which are therapeutic in nature. In addition to cannabinoids and terpenes which are extremely well known among marijuana enthusiasts, there are also many other crucial components. For example, phenolic amides, sterols and flavonoids should not be overlooked as important elements as well. A typical extraction of a cannabis plant can leave out these other elements, resulting in a less than ideal final product. This is often seen in shatters and waxes that do not have the desired amount of flavour to them despite high cannabinoid levels reaching up to 70%, such as THC. The problem is that with the filtering of compounds such as flavonoids and terpenes it has a duller and more generic quality to it. To avoid this issue, a full-spectrum extract is necessary, whereby the bioactive compounds contained in a cannabis plant need to be transferred to the extract with no loss of the overall profile. Once this is done, the proper amounts of popular and lesser-known ingredients will be saved. Unwanted or unneeded elements such as lipids and fats will simultaneously be removed during the process, unlike other processes such as rosin, bubble hash and dry sift. As a result, you will be left with the proper proportions of each compound along with the filtering of undesirable ones for a better product.
Who Provides a Full-Spectrum Extract?
While the technology for an fse is on the rise, not many companies currently use or have access to it as it requires extensive scientific knowledge and is still in need of some fine-tuning. For example, there are several levels of refinement, such as a particular light hydrocarbon solution requiring a specific temperature. Moreover, the process also calls for winterization and separation periods all while maintaining a stable equilibrium among the elements. As such, it is safe to say that the procedure needed to achieve a full spectrum extraction is no easy task. One such company with this capability is Extractioneering, an American company from New England. Extractioneering has paved the way when it comes to full-spectrum extractions, providing valuable insights into how the procedure can be most effectively carried out.