When it comes to choosing a CBD product, there are many factors to consider. Do you want capsules? A Tincture? A topical cream? Flavoring? Additional terpenes? How much CBD is the product? Most importantly, how was the CBD derived, and where does it come from?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid that occurs naturally in hemp, and there are several different methods of extraction that it can go through before it is added to a product. The hemp oil that is produced from extraction is typically categorized by how much raw material remains after the process; it can be designated as either Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, or CBD isolate.
Full spectrum hemp oil means that the hemp has undergone the least amount of processing. This means the extract contains all of the raw compounds found within the hemp plant, including other phytocannabinoids such as cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabinol (CBN), as well as trace amounts of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); this is in addition to naturally occurring terpenes and sterols.
After studying the way these compounds interact, researchers applied the term “entourage effect” to describe the synergistic interplay between the phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and other raw components in full spectrum hemp extract. They discovered that the sum of these compounds are worth more than the individual parts.
Beyond the major debate of Full Spectrum vs CBD Isolate, is less talked about option, Broad spectrum. This is hemp oil that is further extracted until there is no more THC; this process strips the oil of additional natural compounds and the entourage effect no longer applies. However, broad spectrum hemp extract still contains some phytocannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and CBC.
Isolate is created through the continual extraction of hemp oil, using toxic solvents to strip away everything else until only the CBD compound remains. This means that CBD isolate contain none of the other phytocannabinoids, terpenes, or plant sterols that are found in full spectrum or broad spectrum hemp extracts.
When selecting a CBD product, it is helpful to consider whether that product is using a full or broad spectrum extract, or a CBD isolate, to determine which product best suits your needs.