CBD has spread around the world like a wildfire. From its humble beginnings just a few short years ago, it has been on the lips and the minds of just about everyone. At one time you could only acquire it at smoke shops and small natural health food stores, but that is not the case anymore. CBD can be found everywhere from the local gas station to the big box grocery stores. In fact, many people who were historically opposed to cannabis and cannabis-derived products are now jumping on the bandwagon. There are even stories of highly religious people now using CBD to manage their chronic pain, anxiety, and depression among other ailments. Maybe you are new to CBD and thinking about giving it a try. However, some of the terms flying around can be confusing. For example, you may be wondering what the difference is between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum when used to refer to CBD. We are here to help and clear up some of this confusion. Read on to find out more.
What is CBD?
First and foremost, let us talk about what CBD is and what it is not. Cannabidiol often shortened to CBD is an extract from the industrial hemp plant. Industrial hemp better known as just hemp is a plant-derived from the Cannabis Sativa family of plants. You have probably heard of these terms before as cannabis is also the parent plant of marijuana. Marijuana is famous for producing a euphoric effect known as “high.” This is due to special breeding practices that allow it to be very high in THC, the compound that is psychoactive. Hemp on the other hand is very low in THC, but very high in CBD. CBD has been reported to help with an amazing variety of health conditions such as pain, anxiety, depression, arthritis, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, cancer, and many more. It is believed that CBD reacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system allowing it to more effectively maintain homeostasis in the body. CBD certainly needs more research and studies are underway, but preliminary results are very encouraging.
How is CBD Extracted?
There is an assortment of ways that CBD is extracted from the raw plant material known as biomass. Generally, the extraction process uses a solvent, whether natural or chemical to dissolve the CBD into it. The solvent is then evaporated or fractionated off to leave behind oil that is rich in CBD and other cannabinoids. This oil is known as crude CBD oil and is a deep black color. This oil is often refined into further products that contain varying amounts of cannabinoids and other compounds found in the plant. Two of the most popular terms are full-spectrum and broad-spectrum and both refer to the makeup of the end product.
What is Full-Spectrum?
Full-spectrum CBD distillate means that the CBD product contains the closest chemical makeup to the original plant as possible. It is as if you took the original plant, blended it up, and drank it. Full-spectrum simply means that CBD is present along with a whole host of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids present in the plant. Some of these compounds are also thought to have their own benefits and it is believed that when they are used in conjunction with CBD they make it perform better in what is known as the “entourage effect.” On the downside full-spectrum CBD products do contain trace amounts of THC, however it is always below 0.3%. This can be an issue for those who are looking to get into CBD but avoid any THC whatsoever. For those trying to avoid it, there is broad-spectrum CBD.
What is Broad-Spectrum?
Broad-spectrum CBD is a product that contains all of the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in addition to CBD without any THC. This is an excellent option for those who are looking to get the benefits of CBD without any THC coming into their system. It is made by further refining full-spectrum products to remove the THC while leaving all the other beneficial compounds within it. It is believed that the closer to the whole plant you can get the better the medicinal benefits and this product helps to get you there but without the risk of losing a job or livelihood. For anyone looking to avoid THC then broad-spectrum CBD products are going to be the best choice.