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What is CBD

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March 25, 2019

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many potentially beneficial cannabinoids found in cannabis extract. While investigating the many potential benefits of CBD, you have likely discovered that most CBD products sold online are derived from industrial hemp. CBD oil and hemp oil are terms commonly used interchangeably throughout our industry.

You may have also noticed that there are several types of hemp products to choose from. Those interested in experiencing the many potential health and wellness benefits of CBD have the option of selecting between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and products made with CBD isolate. Knowing the differences between these three types of hemp extract can help you make an informed selection.

The Health and Wellness Potential of Endocannabinoid Support

CBD has numerous potential health and wellness benefits. The cannabinoids in hemp extract mimic the messengers and influence the receptors of your endocannabinoid system (ECS). This complex communication network is essential to the function of nearly every vital process in your body.

CBD supplements the messengers of your endocannabinoid system to help keep essential processes running smoothly. This natural product can also help minimize your risk of endocannabinoid deficiencies.

THC is the cannabinoid that causes the psychoactive effects commonly associated with cannabis plants. Marijuana plants, which are from the same Cannabis Sativa L. species, contains 5-30 percent THC whereas hemp is classified as a cannabis plant containing less than .3 percent THC. The trace amounts of THC in hemp oil are not significant enough to pose any risk of intoxication, even if you were to consume excessive amounts.

Understanding the Significance of Full-Spectrum CBD

To clarify the differences between the three types of hemp extract, full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate, it may be helpful to start with an explanation of full-spectrum CBD.

Full-spectrum CBD contains all the naturally occurring cannabinoids, plant terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals of the plants they are sourced from. There are at least 480 natural plant components in hemp oil. Just a few of the many plant components found in full-spectrum CBD include:

•Additional cannabinoids – including CBDA, CBG, CBDV, and CBD for ECS support

•Plant terpenes – aromatic compounds shown to provide a variety of therapeutic benefits

•Plant flavonoids – gives plants color

•Calcium – protects from bone loss and promotes nerve function

•Potassium – regulates fluid balance and modulates blood pressure

•Iron – promotes blood cell formation, brain cell function, and supports the immune system

•Zinc – protects the body from bacteria and viruses

•Amino acids –fulfills a variety of roles including muscle and tissue formation

•Vitamin C – promotes iron absorption and tissue regeneration

•Vitamin A – for lung, heart, and kidney function. Also protects vision

•B vitamins – protects immune system function, promotes nerve function, and more

•Vitamin E – essential for skin, eye, and cardiovascular health

Full-spectrum CBD will contain trace amounts of THC. Many CBD enthusiasts prefer using full-spectrum CBD products because of the vitamins, minerals, and plant natural compounds. The potential benefits of the individual plant components are magnified and multiplied by a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.

A Brief Explanation of the Entourage Effect

Throughout history, herbalists have long held the belief that whole plants are more potent than their individual elements, recognizing a concept called synergy. When a compound is synergistic, that means the active elements create a combined impact greater than the impact of each element on its own. It’s kind of like saying 1+1=3.

While synergy explains the concept of the combined effect of active compounds, the entourage effect explains the effects of combining inactive elements.

Israeli researcher Raphael Mechoulam and his team recognized that cannabis contains many inactive (inert) compounds that appeared to have no individual effects. When these inert elements combine, they create active elements. Once activated, these once inert elements intensify the synergistic properties of the plant and strengthen the potential results.

This reaction is now known as the entourage effect. The entourage effect, first published in 1998, explains how each of the potentially beneficial elements in hemp oil is multiplied and magnified by the effects of the others.

The Significance of Investing in Broad-Spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum products are not your only option for taking advantage of the entourage effect. Broad-spectrum CBD also contains the many potentially beneficial plant compounds found in hemp oil, with one crucial exception. Broad-spectrum CBD contains no THC.

A chromatography process is used to remove the THC from full-spectrum oil while leaving the other plant compounds intact. Broad-spectrum CBD could be the ideal solution for anyone looking for the potential health and wellness benefits of a full-spectrum product but is hesitant because of the THC content. Consider the following benefits:

•Contains most of the active hemp-derived cannabinoids found in full-spectrum CBD

•Contains all the plant terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals of the original plant source

•The potential wellness benefits of the plant compounds are enhanced by the entourage effect

•No risk of ingesting even trace amounts of THC

CBD Isolate is More Than 99 Percent Pure CBD

CBD isolate is more than 99 percent pure cannabidiol. All of the other plant compounds have been removed. The remaining product is a flavorless powder. Products made with CBD isolate are often preferred by those who do not care for the flavor of hemp, which is often described as earthy/grassy or are looking for a THC-free alternative. While isolate products do not contribute to an entourage effect, there are still several advantages to selecting products made with CBD isolate. Consider the following benefits:

•Isolate is flavorless, odorless, and ideal for creating CBD edibles

•Easily blends with foods and beverages without changing the flavor

•More precise control over the amount of cannabidiol in the final product

•Like broad-spectrum CBD, trace amounts of THC are removed

•Can be used to create products with a higher amount of CBD per dose

It’s important to understand that full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate products all have the potential to provide endocannabinoid system support. While some CBD enthusiasts believe full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products superior because of the entourage effect, others prefer supplementing their endocannabinoid system with products made from pure CBD.