Do you look at all the choices of CBD oil and become entirely confused? If so, you’re not alone. As the CBD industry has exploded, so has the “marketing glitter” used to advertise the products. The terms and descriptions that are being thrown around make it very difficult to differentiate between what actually has medicinal benefits and what is just great to put on a salad.
For starters, let’s talk about the three different kinds of CBD Extract
Full Spectrum ~ Broad Spectrum ~ Isolate
To understand the different types of extract, you first need to know a little bit about the process. To give you a simplified version:
- Step One is to extract the liquids from the whole hemp plant. This first process will leave you with a thick sap, usually referred to as crude.
- Step Two is a distillation and/or winterization process that will remove the fats and the lipids creating a thinner product. At this point, the amount of TCH in the product is too high to pass Federal Guidelines of .3%.
- Step Three is to add the carrier oil. The amount of carrier oil added will determine the strength of the extract, but you now have a Full Spectrum product.
A Full Spectrum of organic compounds, valuable phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. What is so interesting about this is that you receive the benefit of the “entourage effect”. When I first heard this terminology, I thought it was “marketing glitter”, but it’s actually pretty cool when you dive into the science.
The phrase “entourage effect” was first introduced by Israeli scientists S. Ben Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam in 1998. They concluded that when other cannabinoids within the cannabis plant work together with the CBD they possess a magical synergy. Basically, it means that the CBD alone is not responsible for relieving pain or reducing anxiety. But it’s the sum of other cannabinoids present in the plant-like CBG, CBN, CBNA, etc. that leads to the superstar power ability to enhance the endocannabinoid system in our body.
Let’s not neglect that role terpenes play as well. If you are familiar with essential oils, you may have heard the benefits that terpenes provide. One terpene in particular, beta-caryophyllene, has been known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
The fact that all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are all there, in their natural state, the way God designed them, is thought to produce a range of effects greater than the sum of all the individual components. The Entourage effect! Does that make sense?
Full Spectrum (Hemp) CBD Extracts also contain many other beneficial properties including protein, fiber, all 20 essential amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and rich essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, and B vitamins.
Just a note
For those that are scared of getting “high” with CBD oils that contain THC: Federal government guidelines state that hemp-derived CBD oil must contain less than .3% THC. (You can find this information of their COA – Certificate of Analysis). Properly produced and manufactured CBD does not contain enough concentrations to give you that euphoric feeling. So no worries here. Full Spectrum is ideal for people seeking the health benefits of cannabinoids without the mind-altering effects of THC.
To achieve a Broad Spectrum Extract, the oil will have to go through another process to remove all trace amounts of THC. Broad Spectrum CBD Oil still contains all the magical concentrations of phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids as Full Spectrum with the THC removed.
That leaves us with Isolates. You may have heard the term “pure” CBD Oil and may have thought that it doesn’t contain any contaminants. But that is not how the term is used here. Pure, in this case, means that you are only getting the CBD cannabinoid. To get to this stage, it is further processed to solid crystals. Purified cannabinoids are both odorless and colorless. Isolates are void of any of the other beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found naturally occurring in the plant. Isolates typically have a weaker impact on the endocannabinoid system and don’t seem to last as long. And while CBD prices are changing, because of the extensive processing to get from the natural plant to the crystal powder, isolates usually cost more.
I’ve seen the COA’s (Certificates of Analysis) from companies that market their product as the “purest”, the “best”, the “highest quality”, etc. that contain lead, arsenic, and pesticides. Some of these are even listed in the Top 20 Best CBD Oils. For your safety, please take the time and check the oils out before you buy. This is an unregulated industry and there are a lot of scammers.
Which CBD extract is right for you?
Because of this magical synergy of the entourage effect, I highly recommend Full Spectrum to anyone that is looking for the most effective oil and is not concerned with ingesting THC.
Broad Spectrum would be recommended for those that want all the beneficial components of the Full Spectrum Extract, but want to stay away from the THC.
An Isolate CBD Oil would be recommended for someone who wanted to avoid THC and who may also have a sensitivity to other parts of the hemp plant, like terpenes.
Please note; when you see the word “seed” in the description, like hemp seed oil, hemp seed extract, hemp seed body butter, or only hemp seed oil is in the ingredient list, it is not medicinal in the sense that it would help with pain and anxiety. Hemp Seed Oil is filled with lovely nutrients and it is great to put on a salad or drizzle over your food. But it would NOT contain any cannabinoids. One way you can check out a product to know what you are getting is to look at the COA. If they don’t have one, I would stay away. I’ve seen some companies bottling hemp seed oil to look like CBD Extracts or Tinctures. It is very confusing and they charge an enormous amount. This is a time to heed the warning, “Buyer Beware!”