CBD and hemp oil products are popping up everywhere, but it can be tough to know which one is right for you. There are many different things to consider when looking to buy a quality CBD oil. Where is the oil coming from? How was it extracted? How much THC does it contain? Is it well absorbed? What else does it contain (e.g. heavy metals or pesticides)? Even, will it give me bad breath? But before delving into all of these questions, the first question you may want to ask yourself is which type of CBD oil you should buy.
What is Full Spectrum CBD Oil?
Full spectrum oil refers to a hemp oil that is extracted from the plant in such a way to maintain all phytochemicals naturally occurring in the hemp plant, including cannabinoids (including CBD), terpenes, and flavonoids. When taking a full spectrum hemp oil, you are not only getting CBD, but you are also getting a host of other helpful cannabinoids, such as CBC, CBG, and CBDV. When all of these cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids work together, they provide a synergistic benefit that is called the "entourage effect". The entourage effect is thought to help enhance the benefits that you get from the CBD as well as to improve tolerability.
Because full spectrum CBD oil extracts the full range of natural phytochemicals from the plant, this type of oil will contain some amount of THC. That's one reason it's so important to find a quality source of hemp oil...because the seeds, planting, and care that goes into the plant will affect the amount of THC in the finished product.
Trace Wellness sources our hemp oil from Europe, where standards are strictest and farmers have the most experience cultivating quality hemp plants. Our sourcing is a big part of why we can promise such an exceptionally low THC content for every bottle. We don't allow more than .03% THC, which is 1/10th the amount allowed by the FDA (plus we share the testing results with you).
What is CBD Distillate or Broad Spectrum CBD?
CBD distillate (also known as broad spectrum CBD) typically contains a broad range of cannabinoids, but not all cannabinoids that a full spectrum oil would contain. In order to keep much of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, these oils typically undergo a few different refinement steps, including the use of solvents, to remove most of the THC. Because of this process, these CBD oils may contain solvents and other chemicals left over from the refinement process. However, they are left with little to no THC, which can be particularly useful when processing hemp plants containing higher initial levels of THC.
While CBD distillate does not contain all beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that a full spectrum oil does, it does contain a broad spectrum of them that will likely provide some additional benefits to taking CBD alone.
What is CBD Isolate?
CBD isolate is one of the most common CBD products on the market. Hemp plants go through an extraction process, typically with the use of solvents, that removes everything from the hemp oil except for CBD.
One of the benefits of CBD isolate is that it is typically free from THC. The major drawback of CBD isolate is that it does not provide any benefit from the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids typically found in hemp oil (aka no "entourage effect"), because those have all been removed. It also is more likely to contain solvents and other residual chemicals because of the heavy processing needed to remove those phytochemicals. However, it is important to understand the extraction methods used and testing done to confirm the presence of residual chemicals.
How do I Choose Between Full Spectrum vs Isolate CBD?
It can be hard to choose between CBD isolate on one end of the range and full spectrum CBD on the other. CBD isolate contains no THC, but is also less effective (no entourage effect) and has been more heavily processed. Full spectrum CBD does contain small amounts of THC, but is more effective (entourage effect) and is largely unprocessed. What's right for you? If you need to make sure there is no THC, then isolate is definitely the way to go. However, if you want greater benefits, better overall tolerability, and are okay with extremely small amount of THC (less than .03% from Trace Wellness or less than .3% from another quality CBD brand), then full spectrum CBD oil is definitely the best option for you.
More about the Entourage Effect
The combined synergistic benefits of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in full spectrum hemp oil is known as the "entourage effect". This effect is thought to increase the efficacy of the CBD oil in addition to the benefits provided by the individual cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. This benefit is not found in CBD isolate.
More about THC
THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis, responsible for the high that people seek in taking cannabis. At small doses, such as those found in hemp oil, THC produces no noticeable psychoactive effects. While cannabis today typically contains 9.6% THC, hemp can contain no more than .3% THC (and Trace Wellness hemp contains no more than .03% THC).
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.