What is broad-spectrum CBD

What does broad-spectrum extract have to do with CBD? What is the difference with other extracts? In this article, we delve into this topic.

You may have noticed that, if you look at CBD products online, they may contain "full spectrum" CBD or "CBD isolates." However, there are lesser known and little talked about CBD products, namely "full-spectrum" extracts. The terms used are similar, but there is an important distinction to be made.

Many companies advertise their products as full-spectrum products, but after a closer look, it turns out that they actually contain broad-spectrum extracts.

Broad-spectrum extracts contain many of the phytochemicals found in cannabis, but they have been modified from their original ratio. THC is removed and sometimes a complete restructuring of the cannabinoid and terpene profile of the extract is needed.

So why do companies sell broad-spectrum products? How do they differ from full-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate? What are the advantages?

Full Spectrum vs. Isolated vs. Broad Spectrum

Most CBD companies advertise their products as full spectrum or isolated extracts. The distinction between the two is based on the ratio of phytochemicals.

Full-spectrum extracts retain the full range of phytochemicals found in the hemp plant. They contain the profile of cannabinoids, waxes, esters and terpenes.

In contrast, an isolate contains only one compound in "isolation"-usually CBD. The process involves removing all other phytochemicals, moving away from pure CBD.

Where does the broad spectrum come out of?

Think of broad-spectrum extracts as a hybrid of the two. It is made by isolating individual compounds from the plant and recombining them to mimic the effects of a full-spectrum extract, with some modifications. Broad-spectrum extracts can vary significantly in terms of their phytochemical profiles.

Some manufacturers remove THC, so they will be able to sell their products in countries where THC is strictly prohibited.

While others start with a CBD isolate and add some terpenes. In our opinion, it is wrong to consider products made by this method "broad-spectrum," since they do not contain any other cannabinoids and therefore in our opinion are CBD isolates.

One of the advantages in creating a broad-spectrum extract is the ability to control certain ratios of cannabinoids-and it is impossible to do this with full-spectrum products-to ensure greater product homogeneity.

Natural full-spectrum extracts cannot offer this advantage, as the phytochemical profile of the hemp plant will vary from crop to crop.

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How are broad-spectrum extracts produced?

Broad-spectrum extracts are produced similarly to full spectrum, but with an additional step.

First, the raw hemp is treated with a solvent. Although many solvents can be used, usually supercritical CO2-carbon dioxide-is used. This clean and safe extraction method creates a full-spectrum hemp oil that is rich in CBD and includes a wide range of phytochemicals.

Next, a chemical technique called chromatography is used to separate the THC from the rest of the mixture. In this way, all other phytochemicals can be kept intact. Thus, a THC-free extract is obtained that still contains CBD along with other cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients.

Why are terpenes and flavonoids important?

Cannabinoids are not the only molecules that are part of this symbiotic chemical symphony. The cannabis plant also produces more than 200 terpenes and a number of flavonoids that contribute to the overall effects of full-spectrum CBD oil. Some of these molecules may potentiate the action of some cannabinoids, while others are believed to exert complementary effects.

Terpenes support the characteristic scent of cannabis plants, endowing some cultivars with pungent earthy and pine aromas, and others with sweet and fruity odors.

Aside from their pleasant influence on the olfactory system, terpenes also modulate the effects of cannabinoids on the body. Although most cannabis strains contain similar levels of THC or CBD, each produces distinct effects-we have terpenes to thank for this.

For example, the terpene myrcene produces a soothing sensation, while limonene exerts stimulant qualities. These terpenes interact with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD to effectively amplify their properties.

Full-spectrum CBD oils also include flavonoids in the mix, adding another complementary element to the complex entourage effect. Flavonoids constitute another large class of molecules found in cannabis. Appreciated for their nutritious role in a wide range of fruits and vegetables, these chemicals add another twist to the cannabis botanical mix.

These include the unique cannabis flavonoids-cannflavin A, B and C-that appear in the aerial areas of the plant, as well as flavonoids found in other parts of the plant kingdom, including:

  • ★ Orientin
  • ★ Quercetin
  • ★ Silymarin
  • ★ Kaempferol

What is the entourage effect?

The entourage effect is a term used to describe the complex interaction between all the different chemicals or "entourage" of the cannabis plant. This includes all 113 cannabinoids, hundreds of terpenes, lignans, flavonoids, polyphenols and numerous other chemicals that can be traced within the cannabis plant.

In the early days of cannabis research, in the 1960s, researchers identified the primary psychoactive effects produced by the plant by linking them to a substance called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Studies later led to the discovery of other cannabinoids, but most efforts were devoted to revealing the secrets of THC.

It was later discovered that THC produces psychoactive effects in its isolated form, but complete plant extracts cause fewer side effects and have much more potent benefits. Purified and synthetic THC substances have been shown to produce unpredictable and often dangerous side effects.

Synergy in the cannabis plant really began to develop when researchers analyzed the role CBD played in the medicinal benefits of cannabis.