All this talk about THC lands us nicely in the whole “Full Spectrum vs. Pure Isolate” debate. Once you begin shopping for CBD products, you’ll notice a lot of jargon that gets thrown around without much explanation. Now that we’ve introduced THC into the conversation, we can talk about the difference between, and relative benefits of, Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate (and the lesser-known contender: Broad Spectrum).
It sounds like the title of a children’s book, but like so much else that you learned in kindergarten, it’s true. Everyone’s body is different – but everyone’s endocannabinoid system is really unique. For reasons we don’t fully understand, receptors in the endocannabinoid system don’t respond predictably to cannabinoids from person to person. This lack of a predictable response makes standard dosing tricky.
There are over 80+ beneficial compounds that are naturally found in hemp. Collectively these compounds are called cannabinoids. When you take hemp oil, you support your endocannabinoid system which explains why people all over the world are using hemp oil to help calm the effects of temporary inflammation, ease stress and everyday discomfort, and improve the quality of sleep.
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Full Spectrum generally refers to CBD oil products that not only contain CBD,but also contain some terpenes and other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN and even some THC. Usually these will be in ratios that were naturally occurring and extracted from the plant and specific strain. But they are also occasionally added back into products as an isolated form to raise the potency of the product. For those that get drug tested, Full Spectrum is something to be cautious about. The THC found in full spectrum hemp products is minimal (less than 0.3%), but can still trigger positive drug tests.
Let’s not forget about terepenes and flavonoids too. While not cannabinoids from hemp, they are compounds found in hemp and other plants. Terpenes are fragrant oils that bind to receptors in the human body and carry a variety of health benefits.* Flavonoids are a group of phytonutrients that serve as cell messengers with their own health-promoting benefits,
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The most abundant cannabinoid in hemp oil, making up over 90% of the cannabinoid content, cannabidiol or CBD is non-psychoactive and is the focus of the benefits from hemp oil. CBD has little affinity for CB1 or CB2 receptors, the main points of interaction for cannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system, and instead acts as an indirect antagonist of cannabinoid agonists, possibly allowing CBD to temper the high caused by THC. Our Gold Label RSHO™ is almost 25% CBD, making up most of oil’s weight. All other cannabinoids come in under 0.4% by weight.
We gave the highest points to companies that use a CBD distillate for their tinctures. The process of distillation creates an extract that is pure on a molecular level. There are people who think distillate is too pure, and that a full spectrum decarb produces a more effective tincture. But in light of the inconclusive evidence, we prefer a distillate. The process allows for a high degree of control as to the finished product. It’s also odorless and tasteless, so those tinctures tend to taste better.
The aforementioned entourage effect is the main reason behind the efficacy of whole plant extracts. There are over 100 ‘identified’ compounds in the cannabis plant. While most of these compounds have their own therapeutic benefit, they combine synergistically to provide a far better performance than any single compound, including CBD. Here are a couple of examples of conditions that benefit from the entourage effect:
CBD Oil Full Spectrum