In this article we’ll examine the benefits and drawbacks to Full Spectrum CBD Hemp vs Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) so we can gain a better understanding of the differences between these products.
What’s important to understand first and foremost, is that both hemp cannabinoids and PEA work within, through, and beyond the body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS). So we need to take a look at the ECS, what it is, and what its role is before we get into the compounds it produces and works with.
The endocannabinoid system was first discovered in the mid-1990’s and since then has been making waves in the medical literature as one of the most important systems of physiology in the human body ever found.
It comes with a negative stereotype as the name “cannabinoid” being related to the “cannabis” plant, which in the public view, carries a relationship to the marijuana strain of cannabis, unfortunately.
When you look past the stereotype, you quickly learn that the endocannabinoid system is an important system of physiology in our body; its role, to correct and maintain every other system in the body from the circulatory, lymphatic and reproductive to the digestive and immune system.
It is the great overseer, that works tirelessly to ensure balance across all systems of the body. When one system becomes overstressed, it can eventually begin to break down and fall out of balance. If your ECS is dormant or asleep, this can lead systems of the body into disarray, opening you up to attack from chronic unkempt inflammation, nerve destruction, reproductive issues and a whole list of debilitating conditions.
We share this not to impress you of the ECS, but to impress upon you just how important the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids are to healthy human functioning. The ECS has been found to form at 8-weeks gestation and cannabinoids are present in mothers breast milk. This system is present in every living mammal from dogs to dolphins and interacts with both endocannabinoids produced by the body, and phytocannabinoids made by plants.
When we want to improve our health, correct an imbalance, or aid the body in a state of dis-ease, we must look to activate the ECS, and bring it online. We do this by providing it with enough cannabinoids from our diet… So unless you want to drink human breast milk (no thanks), plants are the next best source of cannabinoids for the ECS.
Full spectrum hemp oil is produced naturally from the hemp strain of the cannabis plant. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years and when found in its natural state contains very low levels of the psychoactive component of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
When you plant marijuana in a field of hemp, the marijuana very quickly turns into hemp, with low THC levels. This is because marijuana has been cultivated by man to contain high levels of THC (ranging above 15 percent), whereas hemp remains in the most natural state of the cannabis plant containing less than 1 percent THC (or in the case of New Zealand, the legal limit of THC in hemp must be below 0.3%)
Full spectrum hemp oil contains a wide range of cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, CBN, THCA and many more of the 120+ documented thus far. Each cannabinoid that has been researched is found to have it’s own unique beneficial properties.
Full spectrum is not cannabidiol (CBD) oil, as CBD oil is a prescription only product depending on the country in which you reside and its governing state or federal laws. CBD oil is an isolated product, meaning it contains only cannabidiol. There are no other cannabinoids present in CBD oil.
Whereas if you have researched cannabinoids, you’ll quickly find that they work together in unison, so taking one out and expecting the center-player to win the game alone is a bit of a stretch.
Why not consume all of the cannabinoids together just the way nature intended so they can go to work on activating your ECS and helping it go to work on any disorder and imbalance in the body?
Another benefit of a full spectrum product is that it contains terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds kinda like food flavoring in that they bring their own unique properties, much in the same way the various cannabinoids do.
Terpenes are often the main player in essential oil products such as in Lavender oil. The terpene found in lavender oil is called linalool, or the smell you are greeted with when walking through a forest of pine trees, is called alpha-pinene. Each terpene not only has a powerful impact on the body and our health, but terpenes actually work together to produce synergy, hence why essential oil products often come in blends.
Hemp also happens to have hundreds of naturally occurring terpenes that when combined with cannabinoids, double the cannabinoids effectiveness and strength. When you blend cannabinoids and terpenes together in a product you create what biologists call the “entourage effect” where increased synergy and effectiveness occur in the body.
Full spectrum hemp oil contains both a rich array of naturally occurring cannabinoids, along with terpenes, flavonoids, flavanols, phytosterols and fatty acids to bring you an extremely effective product at both working directly on root cause issues in the body, creating direct healing and indirect healing though the endocannabinoid system, as it comes online and goes to work on bringing order and balance to the body.
PEA is naturally produced by the body when it experiences any kind of pain such as in the need to relieve inflammation, promote cell recovery or protect nerves.
Firstly, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is different from another compound with the same acronym, phenylethylamine.
Now that we’ve covered that, we want to let you know that palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) was first discovered in 1950. Since then, PEA has featured in hundreds of medical journals after over a century of research.
PEA works directly with and through the endocannabinoid system to regulate the immune system, chronic pain, inflammation, and also to provide neuroprotection.
Palmitoylethanolamide is both an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic (pain killer) working through the same pathways as cannabidiol (CBD), and opioid medications.
One of the biggest benefits of PEA is that to date, it currently has no known side effects in either short or long term use (including no overdose level found). Researchers haven’t found any tolerance build up when used long-term; and no allergic reactions.
Another interesting discovery about PEA, is that it doesn’t have any contraindications with other medications commonly prescribed for the same conditions PEA can assist with. Those same debilitating conditions (such as chronic pain), when treated with more conventional medications, come with a long list of side effects. This is why PEA can be a breakthrough for people suffering from chronic pain conditions and/or inflammation.
In the case of chronic pain conditions, PEA doesn’t just assist to mask the pain, it also acts to resolve the source of the pain by reducing inflammation or helps tissue to heal faster.
In conditions such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, the body has fallen out of balance where autoimmunity and auto-inflammation has taken grip of the patient, leading to chronic pain and widespread inflammation of the body.
With multiple sclerosis, concentric sclerosis, Devic’s disease or transverse myelitis where demyelination of the neurons occurs, the body has stripped the neurons, damaging them to the point where patients experience debilitating muscle spasms, weakness and spasticity.
In the case of strokes, alzheimers, depression and anxiety disorders, researchers have linked increased neuro-inflammation as one of the major causes. Patients begin experiencing great improvement with PEA treatment bringing the brain inflammation back under control.
After PEA has gone to work on treating the source of the problem, it breaks down into the cannabinoid anandamide (AEA), the same compound present in mothers breast milk, which supports healthy human functioning. When providing the body with increased PEA, levels of AEA increase and stay steady for longer in the body.
PEA levels have been found to naturally increase in the body following changes to one’s diet. This is important to recognize, as lifestyle changes such as improvements to diet can provide long-term safe and effective relief to many modern day chronic conditions - the same can be said for regular exercise.
When taking PEA as a supplement, it’s important to understand that it has relatively low bioavailability and half-life. What this means is that when taken orally, stomach acids degrade and destroy the compound before it reaches parts of the body that most need it. It also means, once PEA enters the body, the body creates enzymes to break it down quickly, leading to a short half-life.
The way to get around this is to use liposomal palmitoylethanolamide (lipo-PEA), which is where the PEA has been wrapped in a layer designed to allow the PEA to get through the digestive tract, into the bloodstream, and into the cells to do its job most effectively.
All things considered, it’s important to note that although PEA has a myriad of benefits, and although it is not considered a “cannabinoid” as such, it is an endogenous substance that breaks down into a cannabinoid. So eventually, it does become a cannabinoid.
All cannabinoids work both through and with the body’s own endocannabinoid system. The main goal to bringing any condition under control, when the body is fighting chronic inflammation, illness or some kind of dis-ease, is to get the ECS active so it can go to work on correcting any imbalance, issue or condition that is causing dis-ease. This way you attack the root cause of the issue head on, instead of constantly going for the band-aid.
This is why supplementing with a full spectrum of cannabinoid-like molecules (not just PEA) will provide the ECS with the compounds it needs to restore balance and maintain.
A full spectrum hemp oil does this by providing all of the over 120+ documented phytocannabinoids, terpenes for increased synergy and bioavailability (this is also called the “entourage effect”), phytosterols, flavonoids and omega fatty acids to maximise the ECS and results within the body.
In the case of Full Spectrum Hemp vs Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), we will wrap up with this, why take spoonfuls of sugar (PEA) when you can make a cake (Full Spectrum) and eat it, too?
If you only take PEA, you’ll only receive the benefits of directly taking this compound, but you won’t activate your ECS by taking PEA alone.
That’s why if activating your ECS and getting all systems of physiology in your body into balance is your goal (which it should be for all of us), getting a full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes and fatty acids is the way to do it, and you’ll get all of that from a full spectrum hemp oil product.
We hope this article covering Full Spectrum Hemp vs Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) was of value for you and if you enjoyed it, consider sharing it with a friend whom you think may benefit.
You’ll find more articles like this one covering all things hemp, cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system over on our blog, as our editors scour the latest research and compile it down into an easily digestible format, so you don’t have to.