Cannabis oil has become increasingly popular as more states legalize medical and recreational marijuana. One type of cannabis oil that is growing in popularity is called full extract cannabis oil, or FECO. As interest in FECO rises, many people are wondering – what exactly is it and how is it made and used? This blog post will walk through the ABCs of FECO – what it is, how it’s produced, its uses, effects, and more.
What is FECO?
FECO stands for full extract cannabis oil. It is a highly concentrated form of cannabis oil that attempts to capture all of the naturally occurring compounds from the cannabis plant. Unlike other cannabis oils that may isolate certain compounds like CBD or THC, FECO aims to provide the full spectrum of cannabis components. The goal is to maintain the synergistic benefits of the various cannabis compounds that work together.
To make FECO, all parts of the cannabis plant are utilized – the buds, leaves, stems, and seeds. Extractors try to pull out as many of the naturally occurring compounds as possible to provide the full benefits of the cannabis plant. This includes various cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and more.
How is FECO Made?
The production process for FECO aims to be as natural and unrefined as possible. There are no harsh solvents, chemicals, or dilution agents used. To make FECO, the cannabis plant matter is first decarboxylated. This means heating it to activate the compounds. Next, the decarboxylated plant matter soaks in ethanol, which helps extract the compounds from the plant. This is strained and then slowly evaporated to remove just the ethanol, leaving behind the thick, concentrated oil.
When properly made, FECO is said to contain the widest array of naturally occurring cannabis compounds compared to other extraction methods. It provides the full benefits of the “entourage effect”, which posits that the compounds work synergistically for optimal therapeutic impact.
What are the Uses and Benefits of FECO?
FECO is prized by many cannabis consumers for its versatile applications and perceived health benefits:
- Pain Relief – The array of cannabis compounds in FECO, including THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids and terpenes, may help relieve pain when used properly. This can include chronic pain or acute pain from injuries, headaches, arthritis, and more. Always consult your doctor before using.
- Sleep Aid – Many report success using small doses of FECO before bed to promote relaxation and restful sleep. The THC may provide sedation while CBD can help reduce anxiety. Again, dosing is key to avoid unwanted psychoactive effects that could disrupt sleep. Start low.
- Appetite Stimulant – FECO may rouse appetite in those experiencing loss of appetite due to medical treatments like chemotherapy. Discuss proper FECO protocols with your healthcare provider.
- Mood Booster – For some people, small doses of FECO help balance mood and stimulate a sense of well-being. Cannabis compounds like THC interact with our endocannabinoid system, which regulates various bodily processes and mood.
- Skincare – Topically applied FECO may help alleviate skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne due to anti-inflammatory properties. It should not be applied to irritated or broken skin.
- Always consult your doctor before using FECO for potential health benefits, especially if you have an underlying medical condition or take other medications. More research still needs to be conducted on proper therapeutic dosing.
How to Take FECO
FECO is a thick, sticky, tar-like oil, making it different than other cannabis oil products. There are a few options for consuming it:
- Orally – Place a small grain of rice sized dose on or under your tongue and let it absorb sublingually. Effects come on within 15-30 minutes. Start with ultra-low doses and slowly increase to find the right amount.
- Edibles – Mix into food or drinks, though the taste can be strong. The effects take longer to come on but typically last longer. Again, use care with dosing.
- Topicals – Apply externally to skin, joints, muscles. Look for FECO topicals that contain skin-soothing agents like aloe, mint, or arnica. Do not apply to irritated or damaged skin.
- Suppositories – For those who have trouble swallowing FECO or want more direct relief, rectal suppositories provide localized application. Onset of effects should come within 15-45 minutes.
Always follow the adage “Start Low, Go Slow” with FECO dosing until you understand how it affects you personally. Be patient and consistent. Consider keeping a journal of your doses and any reactions.
What to Look for in FECO Products?
Since FECO is unregulated, quality and ingredients can vary widely between different producers. Here are some markers of high quality FECO:
Organically grown cannabis
- Solvent-free extraction
- Full spectrum of compounds tested
- Free of additives, fillers, pesticides
- Stored in light-blocking container
- Reputable, transparent company
Consult your dispensary budtender and read lab test results. If a product seems watered down, diluted, or contains added ingredients, it is not true FECO.
Cautions & Considerations of FECO
While a powerful wellness aid for many, FECO does require some cautions:
- Psychoactivity – Products high in THC can cause intoxicating effects. Dose carefully.
- Legal Risk – FECO is not legal everywhere. Check your local and state cannabis laws.
- Contaminants – Look for lab-tested FECO to ensure no molds, pesticides, heavy metals.
- Blood Thinning – FECO may act as a natural blood thinner. Those on blood thinners should exercise caution and consult their doctor.
- Medication Interactions – FECO may interact with other medications metabolized by the CYP450 enzymes. Discuss with your doctor.
As with any cannabis product, those new to FECO should educate themselves on proper dosing, effects, laws, quality standards, and potential health impacts before trying. While some hail it as a cure-all, more research is still needed to substantiate claims. When utilized responsibly though, quality FECO can provide a wealth of plant-based wellness benefits.
For those seeking the full benefits of the cannabis plant, full extract cannabis oil (FECO) aims to provide the complete spectrum of compounds in concentrated form. As always, approach cannabis products thoughtfully, do your research, and consult medical professionals if using for health purposes. Quality FECO when used properly though can be a valuable addition to holistic wellness regimens. The ABCs covered here provide a solid foundation to understand this unique cannabis oil as interest and access continues to expand.