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Full-Spectrum Extracts: An Inside Look at This Hash Oil

May 18, 2017
(Instagram: @extractioneering)
For the hash oil aficionado, deriving value from a cannabis extract has always been a pursuit in translating the essence between a living plant and the resin itself. For extractors, the goal has been to create a product that can present a cannabis plant’s unique profile as undisturbed and preserved as possible within a resin. As extraction technology and the science behind it have pushed this pursuit forward, the achievement is now finally being realized. At the forefront of this pursuit is a hash oil product that is unrivaled in flavor and complexity: the full-spectrum extract.

Think of a cannabis extract like a well-made stew. With a stew you expect to find ingredients such as the protein, potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery, as well as the more nuanced essentials like salt, pepper, and other seasonings. These components work together to create a complex and palatable experience for the discerning stew enthusiast. But what if we were to omit the lesser-recognized elements such as the seasonings, leaving behind nothing but the essentials (the “meat and potatoes” of the dish)? What remains may still look like stew; you would still be able to identify the major ingredients. However, upon tasting the stew, you’d find it would be devoid of flavor. Sure, you could still taste the carrots and onions, but without the complexity offered by the missing elements, the experience of “stew” is simply incomplete.

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With extracts, it’s very much the same principle of building flavors. A complete suite of bioactive molecules can be the difference between a product that may either remind you of a generic and bland rendition of a strain or one with such depth of flavor, it can make you believe it was literally extracted from a living cannabis plant.

Why Cannabis Extracts Need a Spectrum of Components

Spectrum is the name of the game when it comes to giving cannabis extracts their character. Within living cannabis exists a suite of over 500 therapeutic bioactive compounds. This spectrum of molecules contains not only the cannabinoids and terpenes that are loved and recognized among cannabis aficionados, but also a plethora of other lesser-known but equally important elements such as flavonoids, phenolic amides, and sterols.

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With standard extractions, oftentimes many of these lesser-known components are filtered out, leaving behind a product lacking depth and complexity. This is often the case with extracts such as shatters and waxes that are lacking in their flavor profile. Sure, these extracts contain high levels of cannabinoids (namely THC), in many cases over 70%. However, with a low percentage of bioactive compounds such as less prevalent terpenes and flavonoids, the experience becomes flat and unremarkable.

 

On Tuesdays we mash! Pineapple Express! Warm sweet and hazy. HCFSE logs taken to shaving followed by an ah well smash. The log so does crave the smash. How else do you gram it out? Ballers don’t have one big jar of one flavor, ballers have many jars of many flavors. To many jars of many flavors! #extractioneering #HCFSE #HighCannabinoidFullSpectrumExtract #ItCameFromTheLiquid #TheLiquid #LiquidTHCa #SugarLoaf #TightandCompact #GoodShavings #PineappleExpress @behindthescenes415 dab boards

A post shared by Extractioneering (@extractioneering) on

In order to achieve full-spectrum in a cannabis extract, one must translate the profile of bioactive compounds that a cannabis flower contains into the extract itself without compromising on any aspect of the profile. This includes not only the same ratios of cannabinoids to terpenes and flavonoids, but also the complete suite of other lesser-known compounds while also removing unnecessary components (e.g. fats, lipids, etc.). Unlike cannabis concentrate varieties such as bubble hash, dry sift, and rosin, where fats and lipids remain, full-spectrum extracts remove these elements, leaving behind only what is desired. A full-spectrum extract is about preserving the natural ratios of compounds within cannabis while removing the impurities that can compromise the experience.

Where to Get Full-Spectrum Extracts

If you’re looking to get your hands on some full-spectrum extracts, you may have to look a bit harder as there are currently only a few companies out there with the technology to achieve such a product. For one, full-spectrum extracts require an extensive scientific background to master and the refinement methodology is still very much proprietary. Hash oil products such as live resins and sugar waxes are sometimes mislabeled as full-spectrum but end up falling short at creating a matching profile to the flowers they were derived from.

In order to create a full-spectrum product, there are several layers of refinement that must take place. Not only must an extract require a very specific light hydrocarbon solution administered at exact temperatures, it must also undergo additional winterization and separation phases while maintaining atmospheric homeostasis throughout the process.

Extractioneering, a US-based extraction company in New England, is perhaps the pioneer of bringing connoisseur-quality full-spectrum extracts to the market. With full-spectrum products available in most legal states, the company has done an excellent job in educating the industry on what it means to have a truly full-spectrum extract.

 

 

Blue Fuel mid separation. HT/HC up next! #HCFSE #HTFSE

A post shared by Extractioneering (@extractioneering) on

In January of 2016, Extractioneering introduced a new line of products to the market, including HT-FSE (High Terpene Full-Spectrum Extract) and HC-FSE (High Cannabinoid Full-Spectrum Extract), two full-spectrum products derived from the same base formula. HT-FSE products are clear, viscous liquids that can remain stable indefinitely and contain terpene profiles often exceeding 20%. HC-FSE’s, on the other hand, contain much higher concentration of THC and therefore take on a more sugar-like consistency. Both of these products are designed to contain the full suite of available biomolecules native to the flower, and this is what makes Extractioneering’s FSE line so unique.

How to Identify Full-Spectrum Extracts From Other Products

If you want know if you are truly receiving a FSE from a company claiming to offer one, simply ask for the lab tests. Full-spectrum by its very nature infers that a product should have the same ratio of compounds in flower form and extract form, and there is no better proof than a lab test from an accredited analytical lab. The flip side? Not all analytical facilities are equipped with the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometers required to test for the complete list of bioactive molecules within an FSE sample. These tests are often expensive as NMR machines can cost several hundred thousand dollars.

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It’s important to understand that not all extracts are created equal. Truly full-spectrum extracts may at the moment be difficult to come by, but rest assured that this technology will soon be the standard in cannabis extractions. If you find yourself in the presence of a retailer offering FSE, make sure to ask to see lab tests and look for visual identifiers associated with full-spectrum hash oils, such as their unique viscosity, opacity, and consistency. Any proud retailer who is lucky enough to carry a hash oil with such quality will be happy to show off the stats.

Patrick Bennett's Bio Image

Patrick Bennett

Patrick lives with his wife and daughter in Denver, where he spends his time writing, photographing, and creating content for the cannabis community.

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  • Mark

    Greetings all- I have Crohn’s disease and can attest to the fact that, I rarely get sick much anymore after a lifetime of weed. I’ve had all different breeds and like the sweet taste and medicins in Indica. Got Crohn’s at around 17 years of age and am 62 goin on 63 in a couple month’s. there is something truly miraculous about weed. I’m pretty healthy and still active in every other respect because (I think anyway) of weed. Sure wish we could get it legally in NYS(Buffalo area). I can get it madicinally but my doctors would drop me like a stone. Why is it accepted in just parts of USA, and not all?? I just dont understand it’s acceptance mainly because most doctors today grew up in the famous hippie day’s. Like myself. Harder to connect these days cause everyone thinks at 62, your an old person. Well us “older people have ready money”, youngsters. Keep that in mind guys and gals when i come nockin. Well thats all now. Just wanted to show that weed does me wonders, throught my years and NO LUNG COMPLICATIONS or cancers. Everyone b good~

    • Tyce Fillapie

      If your looking for help pm I have lots of knowledge and i can point you in the right direction

    • Chris Lee

      When Dr. start getting kickbacks from suppliers that’s when the ball will really get rolling !!!

  • sleepyindica

    Looks like everyone is looking to cash in on this business. How much does it cost for a FSE? I’m not really into extractions, although I have made some good bubble hash before. I would probably blow up my kitchen doing others. I have always believed in the natural state of the plant for true medication, not against vaping or anything like that, just not using butane for extractions and other chemical progresses applied to it. Maybe I’m just old, but I always feel a connection when I just use the raw plant for medicine. I have seen an increase in negative effects to people dabbing, and like I said, blowing up their houses, from making extractions. I just feel you should leave the plant alone and use what you harvest from it. I have given away meds to patients that have needed it before and never charged them. Kinda breaks my heart to see prices in pot shops soaring out of control and stuff like this. I don’t know, maybe this is the way of the future, but it just seems like another way to cash in on this wonderful God gift of a plant, where as, usually bad things follow. Just sayen.

    • Extractioneering Consultants

      As this article CLEARLY states, cannabis extracts are best performed by those with extensive scientific backgrounds. That blade cuts both ways though, as they also need extensive cannabis backgrounds as well. Full Spectrum cannabis medicine is available in the tincture form, as Rick Simpson and very old Cannabis tinctures prior to criminalization proved. Rick beat skin cancer, and other forms of cancer such as Crohn’s and colon cancer are direct pathways for ingested or topically applied full spectrum cannabis extractions. However, when we vaporize and inhale cannabis, it is very difficult to marry both full spectrum and product purity. We want all those things that are great about RSO, but want to remove all impurities to make it both desirable and enjoyable to apply mucosally through inhalation. This is the ultimate goal of cannabis extractions, true full spectrum complete profiles of cannabis oleoresin, as removed of undesirables as possible. The cost comes from the rarity of those with enough experience to complete this object, time and time again, not with just a few successful examples. Marketing and trickary can produce products that look and smell close but fundamentally aren’t the same. We are convinced that once the market place understands the products better, then the popularity of the truer attempts will skyrocket and prices will stabalize.

    • Tommy Gleason

      “I would probably blow up my kitchen doing others.”
      Therein lies the problem my man. I understand – NOT only that but absolutely respect your perspective about the connection felt using raw plant as medicine. I am right there with you 100% on that.
      To clarify I am in no way griping / coming at you in any way, and typically I just read and continue to read never commenting. However I like your perspective on cannabis a lot. I just felt the need to try and dispel any misinformation going around about “weed meth labs” aka BHO Extraction Setups. Now I know YOU never said “weed meth labs” but I feel like it’s safe to assume you may of heard that before or at least a similar comparison.
      I’m personally an oddball. I have been told, and agree with those who’ve said it, that I am a purist (pertaining to cannabis related products etc.)
      That being said, I am currently working on my Masters Degree in Chemistry / Chemical Engineering.
      This in itself is contradicting to the very definition. However I like to view it as I am open minded to a little bit of anything so long as I am knowledgeable about it prior to getting involved with it.
      The rumor I wanted to try to help dispel is the widely accepted assumption that Butane Hash Oil Extractions result in explosions and certainly life threatening injuries or death – not to mention damaging whatever may be nearby extensively.
      I will NEVER lie about the absolutely undeniable scientific fact that Butane is HIGHLY flammable and explosive, particularly PURE N-Butane one would prefer to use over say camping stove butane in their extraction process. (However lets not get tangled in small details, regardless of the source/quality if it is butane don’t let it near any source of flame or spark).
      The problem I have with just not saying something is that it may have even one reader get a false, not entirely however, impression on BHO Extractions. I have personally spent about 6 months some time ago building my very own custom and quality BHO Open Blast Extractor. I did intense amounts of research, spoke with colleagues and just studied the chemistry behind it before ever beginning to acquire the materials needed to begin the process. While doing so, I learned I was no longer interested in Open Blast, so I saved up and eventually settled on a much more affordable and more importantly – SAFE – BHO Rig that is very similar to a closed loop system minus a few bonus add-ons I hope to acquire sometime soon. However for now, I have armed myself with the knowledge necessary to go about doing the process and just had to build some courage up to do it.
      First of all, if you speak to another human being about doing BHO Extractions who does not own top of the line equipment, perhaps a lab or structure made to house the equipment that is incredibly ventilated, and you ever hear them mention they are going to do a dab run in the house or wherever indoors (not incredibly ventilated). Take a solid word of advice and either turn the other way and run far from this person, or beg them to not cut corners and do the one thing common sense itself dictates not to do which would be have pure natural gas pumping through a room with no ventilation and potential spark or flame hazards. That is either a suicide mission or stupidity.
      However me using the word “stupidity” is by no means in a judgmental manner. When we encounter new things one of the most common tools used amongst people to learn on the fly what said new thing is or what it is about is most likely going to be trial-and-error. I am a huge fan of this method, and it requires you to often do “stupid” stuff depending on how you want to view it.
      That clarified, FAR less people blow themselves up during these Butane Hash Oil Extractions than the media or just “word on the street” aka hearsay would have you believe. It all balances on the fine line of knowledge and careful execution of the process. I did my research and built up the courage (my wife is a natural stress-ball so nearly anything sends her into a panic, so also built up her courage) and decided to go through with it.
      Sure enough I made sure to prepare with a semi-structure built for less than $18 in material from home depot outdoors in order to block out any dirt / dust getting to close to my sweet, sweet end results. Yet having the other 2 walls of a 4 wall structure open for more than plenty of ventilation. That really is the key to it all. Learn the mistakes others have made, be sure to be well read on flammable gasses in the atmosphere near you as well as items / clothing made out of certain material you should keep far away from your rig when extracting. Even the mildest electric switch in most all electronic devices are an absolute danger that should at very least be avoided by removing them from the near vicinity. Aside from that don’t be a dummy and light up a J in the process to kill some time. Might kill some time but damn sure going to kill yourself in the process as well.
      And for it being a chemical process, I understand your sentiment for raw natural cannabis and I really dig it. You sound like my kind of person honestly. However when done properly – outside source aka dispensaries and their sources – or home extracted by you, the goal is to remove ANY and ALL impurities through a few processes like cold boiling to evaporate every last bit of butane right out of the product leaving nothing but concentrated cannabinoids that are going to be amazing!
      Sorry for the mouthful, I just want to if possible inform as many as possible that it is not as scary as a lot of media tends to make it out to be. While at the same time I DO NOT.
      I
      DO
      NOT
      By Any Means, encourage anyone at any point to go out and try home extractions. It can be dangerous, just because I mention “it is not as scary as a lot of media tends to make it out to be” does NOT by ANY means assume I think it is not potentially IMMENSELY dangerous / hazardous.
      Do your research if you are interested on the subject, I am just a cannabis lover who copes with epilepsy and crohn’s with this wonder-plant who also happens to geek out on some chemistry stuff at times. So if you are going to look into what it would require to do this yourself, RESEARCH EVERY LAST ASPECT POSSIBLE prior to even purchasing anything to have a rig setup. I promise you won’t regret that. I purchased an open blast basic kit and decided very quickly that was a hell no for me, had to upgrade it piece by piece into a more stable, effective and safe rig.
      Anyways, hope this was useful to some and happy dabbing!

      • ShishkaBerry

        We need more people like you in this world, this is great info, and well written.

  • Swellster125

    Im so glad Leafly did an article on FSE! So many have no clue what it is or the difference between this and normal Live Resin or Sugar! Lab results or its not real. The amount of time and energy it takes to make this, means they are bound to test it. If they claim they don’t have it, don’t buy it.

  • Joe Tomeno

    Just started cbd oil for back and hand surgery….just isnt strong enough…would be great to be able to use this type of medicinal herb here in NY…

    • Zoey Thompson

      Look no more. Check out AnnCannMed for your health prescriptions and medical purchases and feel support talking to licensed physicians

    • Rose Lemar

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      • Nfor Johner

        CBD Oil/THC is the ANSWER. I am 48 years young and I have several pains and anxiety No more PHENOBARBITOL or DILANTIN 6 pills a day-Thanks to Dr Peter Hurt for their top quality highly efficient CBD oil. 1 drop under my tongue twice a day and the glaucoma go away. I will do everything within my power to educate people about CBD.Text/Call # (804) 537-0917

  • Erwin King

    How to sensibly buy LEGAL cbd oil? Because I got a letter saying customs has confiscated my package two times already and I’m pissed.

  • disqus_demMJl6uTu

    This is educational. There are several companies that offer true Full Spectrum Extracts. Check out Avitas in Washington and Oregon.

  • Bobby Malone

    Does anyone know who offers NMR testing for Cannabis Oil in California? Im in DTLA. We’re currently using Cannalysis, and they do not offer that service. SC Labs doesnt either.

  • Bryan Rowley

    ANNCANNMED has potent products and good prices too. Recommend this dispensary to anyone looking at cannabis for help. You can checkout the site for more information, health prescription and medical purchases