What’s a FSE?

Full Spectrum Extracts are appropriately named to include a variety of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavinoids in one extract. Instead of isolating THC/a or CBD, this extract offers both of these cannabinoids and many others like CBN, CBG, THC-V, & CBC. One primary difference in Full Spectrum vs. single cannabinoid extracts is the efficiency of the “entourage effect”.

The Entourage Effect is the interaction between cannabinoids that emphasizes and increases their therapeutic effects. Coupling cannabinoids (and their plant terpene counterparts) act as synergists and antagonists on a biochemical level to create higher intensity products, either boosting their individual properties or creating new effects. One article explained the entourage effect like a 4-string quartet: while the violin is lovely music, the volume, intensity, and feel of the quartet takes it to a much higher frequency.

One study from Hebrew University in Jerusalem showed that while CBD was effective in pain relief, full spectrum plant matter increased the amount of relief, as well as, the duration of the relief. Another example is a comparison between THC and CBD. While THC may cause anxiety or paranoia, when combined with the anti-anxiety properties of CBD, the result offers a much more stable, even relief.

This effect is not specific to cannabinoids, as terpenes have also shown to offer therapeutic qualities as well. Terpenes, the flavorful component of the cannabis plant, are proving their place in medicinal use. On a biochemical level, essential oils (like terpenes) are made of chemical constituents that have proven to produce certain effects on the body. For example, Limonene is a terpene & common chemical found in high concentrations in citrus essential oils, like lemon, lime, & orange. This terpene is responsible for the taste in the majority of the citrus-flavored cannabis strains. Isolated Limonene studies have shown that this terpene offers an uplifting feeling while also being a stress reliever. Thus, it is often used for relief from anxiety and depression. Since CBD is also commonly used for anxiety and depression, it would make sense that combining Limonene with CBD could boast even better treatment for these common issues.

To date, more than 200 terpenes and 80 cannabinoids have been found in the cannabis plant, which literally offers millions of combinations between the two.

There are two major classifications of Full Spectrum Extracts today: HTFSE & HCFSE:
HTFSE – High Terpene Full Spectrum Extract
This FSE is the most flavorful of the two, as it has a “high terpene” count. Typically, the THC content hovers around 50%.
HCFSE – High Cannabinoid Full Spectrum Extract
The High Cannabinoid FSE boasts a greater THC content, sometimes as high as 90% THC in the extract.

But WHY Full Spectrum?
With other extracts that reach upwards of 50% THC content, most of the flavor is lost. A common misconception is that Live Resins & Sugars are all full spectrum, or that fresh, frozen plant matter must be used to achieve the full spectrum extract. Neither are correct. Plenty of “live” extracts from fresh, frozen plant matter do not meet the full spectrum test. In turn, dried material can also work for FSE. The most important aspect of the extract is the plant that is being used before extraction. If the plant does not offer high THC or terpenes, the extract will not magically make it more potent. The quality and potency of the plant itself will determine the quality of the final product.


DabsLabs offers some of the highest quality HTFSE or HCFSE in Colorado by selecting the highest quality plants for processing, along with clean & precise extraction practices. Take a look at the most recent extract drops on the Store Locator page, or reach out to have your own high quality plants processed by this state of the art system.