You may have read or heard in the news all the reports of people wanting to take CBD Oil for many ailments, some of which are cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain, TMJ, anxiety and diabetes. And, many people are reporting some pretty fantastic improvements to their conditions after taking these oils. The first thing most people want to know is: IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CANNABIDIOL FROM HEMP AND CANNABIDIOL FROM MARIJUANA? And, the short answer is “no”; molecularly, CBD is CBD. But, there are generally some differences in the CBD Extracts. Let me explain this a bit further.
In fact, numerous studies have looked at the relationship between CBD and pain, and the results are promising. Researchers have looked at various kinds of pain – from joint pain to cancer pain. One finding is that CBD increases levels of glutamate and serotonin – both neurotransmitters that play a role in pain regulation. And CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties help by tackling the root cause of much chronic pain.
So a full spectrum decarb got higher points than isolate (“decarb” just refers to the process of decarboxylation which turns raw CBD into activated CBD). We also gave more points to companies with a “broad spectrum” tincture. Broad spectrum CBD oil includes a range of other cannabinoids, but minus the THC – which is generally what people using isolates are trying to avoid.
To better understand how these two CBD formulas differ, imagine being presented with two types of spaghetti sauce. In the first bowl, you’ll find a simple spaghetti sauce made out of pure tomatoes (CBD isolate). In the second bowl, you can find a more complex spaghetti sauce, containing roasted garlic and fragrant Italian herbs (full spectrum CBD). It’s clear that both bowls are holding spaghetti sauce – but the second recipe is more flavorful and interacts with one’s taste buds differently (also known as the “entourage effect”).
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CBD is extracted from both plants in just the same way. But, when it’s extracted from hemp, it is often times, extracted by itself. Beyond CBD, there are a host of other plant compounds, called cannabinoids, present in both plants, including THC (more on THC later). We won’t go into all the other compounds in this article as that would take a book to detail, but a short list of the most common ones are: CBDA, CBG, CBGA, CBN, Terpenes and Phytonutrients, and THC. Generally, when CBD is extracted from marijuana, all these compounds are extracted together and the extract is then formulated into various products, thus giving the user this “full spectrum” of cannabinoids. Generally, when CBD is extracted from hemp, it may or may not include this full spectrum of cannabinoids. So, this is the first important distinction between CBD from hemp and CBD from marijuana. When it comes from hemp, it may or may not include all the other cannabinoids. When it comes from marijuana, it almost always does, including the cannabinoid: THC. (Note: ALL Highland Pharms products use a full spectrum of cannabinoid extract.)
In addition, CBD oil can be extracted and manufactured through “supercritical CO2 extraction.” This process involves using carbon dioxide under high pressure in an extremely cold environment. Supercritical CO2 extraction requires expensive equipment, more complex refinement process and production expertise, but it ensures that CBD oil maintains its purity all through the process.
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We also rated the product based on the type of CBD they used: isolate, full-spectrum decarb, broad-spectrum, or distillate. There’s a lot of debate around what is actually best, but our first decision was to give points to CBD oil that contains a range of cannabinoids. While there are certainly people with good reasons for choosing an isolate, there’s a lot of good evidence that CBD works better in combination with other cannabinoids (this is called the “entourage effect”).