A lot of us have a general idea of which delivery methods work the fastest and last the longest, coupled with how different milligram strengths affect our CBD experience. But there is one factor that is often overlooked by the average hemp consumer, and it’s the type of extract used in a particular CBD formula.
There are three types of hemp extracts available, and each one has a unique chemical composition based on the naturally occurring compounds in the hemp plant.
What is Hemp Extract, and How is it Made?
The hemp plant’s flowering buds are where we find a rich array of compounds, including the naturally high level of CBD (cannabidiol) that occurs in the plant. These buds contain hundreds of unique compounds, and each one has a number of properties that could be considered helpful to the human body.
The products that most of us take, like tinctures, gummies, softgels, and vapes, contain a hemp extract rather than the raw hemp buds. Making that extract requires a lot of these buds that must be picked from the plant at just the right moment to ensure that the compounds are fully developed.
To make a hemp extract, the hemp buds are put through an extraction process that typically involves pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2), as this produces a very stable and potent product, not to mention one with exceptional purity levels. The result of this process is an oil-soluble concentrate that is rich in the compounds from hemp that are deemed desirable, and this concentrate can then be blended with other ingredients to produce a variety of user-friendly formulas in various delivery methods.
Three Types of Hemp Extracts
Now, let us go over the three types of hemp extracts that you can find on the market. Each has a specific variety of hemp compounds and is the result of isolating specific compounds to deliver the ideal chemical composition.
Hemp Extract Type #1: CBD Isolate
This is pure cannabidiol, which has been totally isolated from the original hemp extract and concentrated to be present in extremely high levels. It means that when you take a product made with CBD isolate, you’re not getting any other compounds in the hemp plant.
CBD isolate is great for those who have found that pure CBD gives them the best results. Cannabidiol is renowned for its many unique properties that come from it being a cannabinoid, which binds to cannabinoid receptors located in every bodily system to regulate important bodily functions and processes. Cannabidiol alone can definitely produce the results that users desire, and so CBD isolate certainly has its place.
Hemp Extract Type #2: Broad Spectrum
Broad spectrum hemp contains every compound present in the hemp buds, except for THC. In the hemp plant, there is about 0.3% THC that naturally occurs. Now, we know that THC is a psychoactive compound, and happens to be the dominant compound in marijuana. But the amount present in hemp is so low, it doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects.
Broad spectrum hemp takes the original hemp extract and removes the THC compounds because despite the fact that it’s legal and non-psychoactive, some people still wish to avoid it completely. An example would be someone who is drug-tested for their job regularly and wants to avoid even the slightest risk of ending up with a positive result.
While it doesn’t contain THC, broad spectrum hemp does contain every other compound, including a variety of cannabinoids including:
Therefore, broad spectrum hemp extract will provide more than just the effects of CBD alone, in a way that many people desire. For instance, terpenes, which are secondary compounds, have specific known effects including effects on pain, mood and more. Therefore, many people seek them out in hemp products.
Hemp Extract Type #3: Full Spectrum
Full spectrum hemp is simply the original extract that boasts the complete array of compounds in the buds. This means that it’s just like broad spectrum, except it also contains that naturally occurring, totally legal and non-mind-altering amount of THC. In addition to that, it contains every terpene, cannabinoid, flavonoid, and nutrient present in the flowering buds of the hemp plant.
Full spectrum offers something else as well, and it is called the entourage effect. The compounds in hemp work synergistically, so taking the entire chemical makeup of the plant, “as nature intended,” allows for a more potent and bioavailable experience, because the presence of each compound multiplies their efficacy.
Which One is Right for You?
Now that you know about all three types of hemp extracts, it is time to cover which type may be best for your specific needs and goals.
Maintaining a Routine with Just CBD
If you’re trying to maintain a routine with just CBD, because it works for you and because you don’t want to experiment with other compounds in hemp, CBD isolate may be a great choice. Another thing to know about CBD isolate is that it is completely flavorless because terpenes and flavonoids, which are not present in CBD isolate, are what give hemp its flavor.
Exploring Other Compounds in Hemp
For those out there looking to experience other compounds in hemp, including the well-researched cannabinoids and terpenes, but are hesitant about taking THC, then broad spectrum hemp is the way to go. Because it is completely THC-free, you do not have to worry about the very small chance of potentially failing a drug test. In fact, you’ll still be getting a diverse array of compounds that share a synergistic bond with each other to promote stronger effects overall.
Really Looking to Get the Most Out of Hemp
“Full spectrum” truly lives up to its name. This hemp extract gives you the entourage effect, which can produce the most profound effects when consumed by the body. Full spectrum hemp lets you experience every compound’s properties in a way that is uniquely bioavailable, which is something that a lot of people desire.
Hemp Extract Type Matters
There are a lot of factors to pay attention to when shopping for CBD, and now, you can add the chemical composition to that list. Ultimately, whether you go with CBD isolate, broad spectrum hemp, or full spectrum hemp, you’re giving your body cannabinoids that can offer awesome properties to the body. But, still, each type is different/unique enough that it is worth considering which of the “big three” could be ideal for you.