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Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum CBD | the Difference and Benefits Explained

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

For years, science has been focused on making discoveries that make human life easier and improve the overall quality of life. As of today, countless labs across the globe are currently trying and testing cannabis for its potential benefits and medical uses and they’ve made considerable progress. However, the promising discoveries made regarding the benefits of cannabis and its compounds aren’t news. Through history, we know that notable figures from around the world used it for various purposes. It is rumored that Queen Victoria used it for her period cramps back in the Victorian period. Considering the recent news with flexibility in its legalization process, the masses are eager to know more.

CBD (also known as cannabidiol) happens to be one of the 100+ cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. However, it is not psychoactive like the infamous cannabinoid of the same plant: THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). Therefore, it won’t generate a high. However, besides the high, it delivers all the top-notch attributes and medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant. It is commonly used for alleviating anxiety as very rare medicaments have helped individuals with that condition. Aside from anxiety, CBD also happens to relieve chronic pain, stress, arthritis pain, insomnia, and several other medical conditions.

The Difference between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and CBD Isolate

You'll find CBD in 3 major forms: Full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate. The difference is quite simple. Since cannabis plants consist of over a hundred compounds, these compounds often interact with each other and have traces in one another.

Full spectrum CBD contains no more than 0.3% of THC, the compound that creates a high when consumed. It also has traces of several other compounds that are not very known in the marijuana plant.

Broad spectrum CBD, on the other hand, is free of any THC. However, some broad spectrum cannabidiol products may contain very minute traces of THC. Even so, these traces are nearly negligible. But don’t worry. If you plan on purchasing broad spectrum CBD, you will be well-informed regarding how much THC (if any) it contains.

Lastly, CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD. It is absolutely free of any kind of plant compounds. Continue reading to find out more.

The Entourage Effect

Professors Raphael Mechoulam and Shimon Ben Shabat first used the phrase "entourage effect" in a 1998 paper published in the European Journal of Pharmacology. This study looked at the dynamics between the endocannabinoid system, which contains cannabinoids generated by our bodies, and found that they perform better collectively than independently. A year later the team released a follow-up study arguing that plant cannabinoids, also known as phytocannabinoids, have a comparable impact. This research found that when marijuana components are combined, the cumulative effectiveness (synergy) of cannabinoids is improved.

The Extraction Process

There are 3 common ways to extract CBD. They're stated as follows.

1. CO2 Extraction

CO2 extraction has quickly emerged to be the best common, effective, and dependable process of CBD extraction. CO2 extraction separates the CBD from the plant components using intense CO2. The term intense pr supercritical CO2 relates to carbon dioxide in a stage that is halfway between a gas and a liquid. This process uses numerous pressurized compartments to filter and circulate CO2, subjecting it to extremely intense pressures and cold temperature levels, resulting in a CBD-rich extracted oil. CO2 is pumped from the first chamber to the second compartment, which houses the hemp plant, which is subsequently subjected to severe CO2. The cannabis plant matter is broken down as a result of the exposure, enabling the oil to extract. The gas produced through this method then evaporates to leave behind some CBD.

2. Steam Distillation:

Steam distillation is a tried-and-true CBD extraction technique. A 'plant material' distillation tank with an inlet and output is used in this procedure. Via the inlet, which is located underneath the distillation tank, the distillation tank is linked to a second tank filled with water. The distillation tank's output is connected to a condensation pipe, which empties into a collecting flask. In the first tank, water is brought to a simmer for this operation. The vapor then rises to the plant material container, isolating the CBD-containing oil vapors. The condensation pipe collects the vapors and converts them to oil and water. After that, the fluids are recovered and distilled to separate the CBD oil from the water.

3. Solvent Extraction Method

The procedure is identical to that of steam distillation; however, in place of water, a solvent is utilized. Although solvent extraction is more effective than steam distillation, it is not without hazard. To collect the CBD, a solvent extraction uses butane, alcohol, propane, or a more natural substance like olive oil or ethanol. The cannabinoids are extracted by combining plant ingredients or soaking them in a solvent. The evaporating phase follows, in which the solvent used evaporates, leaving behind a concentration of cannabinoids in oil form. Apart from the fact that potentially hazardous and combustible solvents are used through the procedure, the solvent remnants may not be completely vaporized in the last phase, retaining possible contaminants in your Cannabidiol.

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