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What’s the Difference? Full, Broad, and Hemp Extract
You might be considering a few CBD products and wondering whether you should buy a full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD hemp extract. It can be overwhelming to read these terms without understanding what they mean.
But purchasing hemp extracts isn’t as complicated as it may look. In fact, it’s quite simple.
Extraction methods for hemp-derived CBD products
Whether it’s a full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD-only product, companies use several techniques to extract cannabinoids from the hemp plant. Those extraction methods include the following:
Steam distillationWhen brands use this method, steam helps extract the oil from the plant material. This technique is quite common and popular when extracting essential plant oils. However, it’s not as effective as the CO2 extraction method.
Carbon dioxide extractionTypically called the CO2 extraction method, this technique happens when CO2 separates CBD oil from the hemp plant. The CO2 extraction method is popular among CBD companies as it successfully creates high concentrations of CBD. Additionally, this technique is cleaner than any other method.
Lipid extractionWhen companies want to avoid solvents and CO2, they use lipid extraction. This technique is becoming more common.
Solvent extractionThis method is most effective when solvents are left behind. But this extraction process does present potential health risks. When companies use solvent extraction, they can also affect the flavor of a product.
Once brands complete the extraction process, the result is a CBD product that you can consider a full-spectrum remedy. However, that remedy can become a broad-spectrum or CBD hemp extract if it goes through a purification and cooling process.
Full-spectrum vs. broad-spectrum vs. CBD hemp extract
Let’s walk through the ins-and-outs of full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD hemp extract so that you make the best decision for your lifestyle and body.
What is full-spectrum hemp extract?
Full-spectrum hemp extracts contain everything the hemp plant contains: terpenes, flavonoids, phytocannabinoids, and a wide range of other nutrients. In other words, full-spectrum simply means “the whole plant” — all the different phytochemicals naturally occurring within the plant will be provided in a full-spectrum hemp extract.
Additionally, full-spectrum extracts allow all the cannabinoids and other nutrients to work together, which amplifies their beneficial impact, leading to an entourage effect. This effect is quite a phenomenon, as all of the compounds in the hemp plant work together to produce a synergistic effect in the body.
However, the phrase “entourage effect” isn’t a new thing. The catchphrase became prominent when consumers started getting confused about whether the THC or full-spectrum hemp extract was creating a holistic effect.
The marijuana industry wanted people to know that components in the cannabis plant produced a stronger effect within the body when each component was working together. This synergistic impact led to the birth of the “entourage effect,” and marijuana companies used the phrase in their marketing efforts to claim that the whole plant was better than one isolated component within it. The term is now being used in the CBD industry as well.
What are the benefits of full-spectrum products?
Because full-spectrum products contain all of the chemical compounds in the hemp plant, they provide a maximized effect.
The potential health benefits of CBD include:
- pain relief
In addition, a review from 2018 indicates that terpenes and flavonoids in CBD remedies may have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties.
What is broad-spectrum hemp extract?
Broad-spectrum hemp extract is the same as full-spectrum hemp extract minus the THC. While broad-spectrum is free of all THC, it does deliver the entourage effect, as it contains all other cannabinoids and phytochemicals found naturally within the plant.
You might choose a broad-spectrum hemp extract if you have to take drug tests on a regular basis. Since THC is not present in a broad-spectrum hemp extract, it will not show up on a drug test like it would if you were taking a full-spectrum hemp extract.
Be aware, though, that not all broad spectrums may be completely THC-free. You may test positive on a drug test even when the broad spectrum CBD oil or product has trace amounts of THC because this cannabinoid can build up in the body’s fat cells.
What are the benefits of broad-spectrum products?
Because broad-spectrum remedies contain many compounds from the hemp plant, they offer a more holistic effect. Some of these compounds include terpenes, cannabichromene, and cannabinol (CBN).
Currently, research suggests that CBN may have the following health benefits:
Like full-spectrum products, broad-spectrum CBD remedies may also have additional therapeutic properties because of the entourage effect.
What is CBD hemp extract?
CBD hemp extract is merely a single cannabinoid such as cannabidiol that’s been extracted from the hemp plant and isolated into its purest form. It is free of all other active phytochemicals such as other cannabinoids and terpenes.
You may choose a CBD-only hemp extract if you want to be absolutely positive that you will pass a drug test, or you need to consume large amounts of CBD for a particular reason. It is impossible to get large concentrations of quality CBD in a full and broad-spectrum product and not increase the amount of THC at the same time.
What are the benefits of CBD-only products?
Researchers continue to study CBD to understand its potential benefits. While the cannabinoid provides a more enhanced effect when working with other compounds, it does offer relief on its own.
Studies suggest that CBD provides many benefits, including the following:
- Relieves pain
- Decreases anxiety
- Reduces depression
- Alleviates inflammation
- Provides neuroprotective properties
Because CBD-only products have so many potential benefits, you don’t have to use a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum remedy. A CBD-only product may be the right extract for your health goals.
Which hemp extract is best for you?
Before you purchase a hemp-derived product, the first question you have to answer is, “Is it okay if I have THC in my system?” It’s important to understand that while THC has a synergistic relationship with all other cannabinoids and phytochemicals, it’s also the one cannabinoid that testers are searching for when drug tests are issued.
Full-spectrum hemp extract products, though low in THC, can still show up positive on a drug test. Even full-spectrum topicals applied on the surface of the skin can accumulate over time within the fat cells of your body. If you undergo drug tests for school or work, it’s best to consider a CBD or broad-spectrum hemp extract.
Today, broad-spectrums are making many leaps and bounds, especially if you want all the cannabinoids excluding THC. When broad-spectrum first came on the scene, it wasn’t easy to clear out all the THC. But now, broad-spectrum hemp extracts are available and helping consumers like you enhance their quality of life and benefit from the entourage effect without any THC involved.
Keep in mind, however, that finding a reputable brand is very important when it comes to broad-spectrum hemp extracts in particular. It can be a gamble if the broad-spectrum hemp extract isn’t coming from a trustworthy source, as it might have trace amounts of THC. This mishap can be detrimental if you can’t have THC in your system.
How to ensure you’re getting a consistent product and consistent results
As mentioned before, it’s essential to ensure you’re getting the right hemp extract — and the most crucial way to ensure you’re getting a consistent, high-quality product is to review the lab test results for each extract. Reputable CBD hemp companies will always have the lab results available, but be sure to check the date as well as the batch number of each test analysis.
Once you find a credible hemp extract and use it on a consistent basis, it’s important to note that after a certain amount of time, your body gets saturated. This fact means you will need to implement strategies to help you receive consistent results and effects throughout your body.
There are two tactics that I use and personally recommend. Either change the hemp extract you are consuming or stop consuming the hemp extract for seven days. Taking a break for seven days or changing strains will help the body dump the saturation of cannabinoids within your system.
However, If you can’t take seven days off, simply change your hemp extract from full-spectrum to a CBD hemp extract, and finally, to a broad-spectrum hemp extract. If THC is not an option for you, switching from broad-spectrum to CBD hemp extract, and vice versa, will work just fine.
All in all, full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD hemp extracts are much easier to understand than their somewhat complicated names suggest. Determining which hemp extract works best for you is purely based on your personal choices.