When Less Is More…

It’s not the number of CBD milligrams, but the kind and quality that matter.

I had a call the other day from a customer who had been using our tincture until a family member convinced him that “it was about the milligrams” and had him switch to a 3000 mg tincture. The reason he called? The 3000 mg tincture wasn’t working and was making him “feel sick”.

Like so many products on the market today, this high milligram tincture wasn’t full spectrum whole plant like Imbue. It was ISOLATE!

For those not familiar with the term, much of the CBD in the market today is in the form of what we call ISOLATE, which is a purified, powdered form without the other cannabinoids or terpenes. This isolate is then mixed with carrier oils, etc., to formulate products. And it’s not that they are all bad, or don’t work at all, they just don’t work anywhere near as well. They’re cheaper to make, and easier to hype by convincing people that “more must be better.”

For those of you who’ve followed Imbue Botanicals from the very start, you know how passionate we are about using the terms “whole plant” and “full spectrum” to describe our products. Everything we make, everything we sell can be defined by those terms (with the exception of our ZERO THC products which are whole plant, broad spectrum). And it’s not by accident. And they aren’t just clever catch phrases we use to market our products. Rather, they are a reference to a very important concept with respect to cannabinoids and CBD. For some time now, researchers and practitioners have believed that a more unrefined extract taken from the plant itself provided more benefits due to what’s called the entourage effect.

First described in 1998 by Israeli scientists Shimon Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam, the entourage effect supposes that the multiple cannabinoids and terpenes found within Cannabis Sativa actually work in unison and harmony to produce a better outcome than if they were employed solo. In other words, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” when it comes to cannabis.

A presentation given at the International Cannabinoid Research Society Symposium in Montreal in 2017, seems to leave little room for doubt that this is the case. Dr. Fabricio A. Pamplona, Scientific Director of Entourage Phytolab in Sao Paulo, Brazil compared studies of epileptic patients between 2013-2016 that had used either CBD rich extracts or a purified CBD isolate. What he found was that CBD isolates showed a 43% efficacy in reducing seizures, while CBD rich extracts almost doubled this at 78%. He also discovered that almost 3 times the amount of purified CBD isolate was needed for seizure reduction compared with CBD rich extracts, and that herbal CBD had less than half the amount of reported side effects compared to its isolated alternative. Like I said, CBD isolates just don’t work as well!

But it’s not just companies like Imbue that are raising the alarm over isolate. I ran across this the other day from a well-known physician and expert in the cannabis space:

My Biggest Concern…Very concentrated isolate preparations are sold in local markets for every conceivable medical condition. I despise seeing these “profit only” efforts.

I stand by my belief that whole-plant CBD is incomparable, unparalleled, and clearly the far superior medicament. I am very concerned that as higher and higher doses of distillates/isolates are used, we will begin seeing more drug interactions. If this happens, what sort of risk does this pose for the future of medical cannabis?

When the dust settles, I want to be on the side of the “smelly cannabis plants.” I want to be on the side of “whole plant medicine.” If you love the plant as I do, please don’t isolate it. Use the whole plant. - Allan Frankel, MD

So that’s why we make our product using whole plant, full spectrum extract from the aerial parts of organically-grown hemp plants. But we don’t stop there. We extract using our proprietary low-temperature, low-pressure technique that preserves the cannabinoids and terpenes in a way other processing methods don’t. We formulate them for the most effective levels of CBD. And what we end up with isn’t run-of-the-mill CBD; we end up with the finest CBD products available. And if you’re using them, we think you’ll agree.

With all our best,

Tom