The Cannabis sativa plant is a remarkably complex botanical. While THC (the ‘narcotic’ fraction) and CBD are the best known constituents, there are dozens of other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids in the plant. Concentrating on one molecule ignores this complexity, said Andrea Holmes, PhD.
Holmes is a professor of chemistry at Doane University in Crete, NE. She is also a co founder and chief growth officer of the company Precision Plant Molecules, which is based in Welby, CO. PPM says it is using advanced chemical and analytical techniques to isolate naturally produced medicinal compounds and tailor effective products for its global consumer base.
Marijuana Biz has Greater Appreciation of Terpenes
Holmes said she delved into the cannabis industry and founded PPM during a recent sabbatical year she took from her teaching duties in Nebraska. One interesting fact she discovered in her early research into the sector was that the medical marijuana and consumer cannabis fields are far ahead of the hemp/CBD market in terms of their appreciation of the full spectrum of what the hemp plant offers.
In the CBD game, the term ‘full spectrum extract’ has until recently mostly been used for regulatory cover. The perception was that calling out CBD on labels and/or being too obvious about the desire to isolate CBD was a way to attract unwanted attention from the US Food and Drug Administration.
While some formulators did and do talk about an ‘entourage effect,’ in Holmes’ view this is mostly lip service. In the medical and recreational sectors, however, these are key product differentiators, she said.
“The marijuana industry is way ahead on the understanding of the te