When it comes to buying hemp extracts, such as CBD and CBG oils, there are lots of options and lots of unfamiliar words describing them. It’s no wonder that people get confused! With so many choices, which is the best choice?
“Full Spectrum” is another way to say “whole plant extract”, which means that the natural compounds in the plant have been kept intact throughout the extraction process and thereby work together to give you, the customer, maximum therapeutic results. Compare this to isolates and distillates, in which all compounds are removed other than the target compound.
Distillates are also called “broad spectrum” extracts, but they have been refined to the point of containing almost no trace of any compounds other than their target cannabinoid. This includes the removal of terpenes, flavonoids, and chlorophyll. This produces a fine oil that is often found in vape cartridges.
Isolates take it one step further by refining the extract so much that there is nothing present but the target cannabinoid, in pure powder form. For example, a CBD isolate would contain nothing but molecularly pure CBD.
But don’t be fooled! When it comes to hemp extracts, pure does not mean better — in fact, research has suggested that the opposite is actually true. Isolating a cannabinoid from all the other compounds that are naturally present in hemp takes away a lot of the plant’s medicinal benefits. This is because trace amounts of other cannabinoids, such as THC, CBN, CBG, CBC, etc., and the naturally occurring terpenes, flavonoids, and chlorophyll actually work together with the target cannabinoid in what is known as the “entourage effect”. This means that these compounds increase each others’ healing properties when they are together.
Hemp is such a miracle plant because of its natural combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and chlorophyll. Isolates and distillates are useful for people who want to avoid all traces of a certain compound, such as THC, but otherwise, full spectrum is definitely the way to go. When buying hemp extracts, you want to get the most bang for your buck: full spectrum, whole plant therapy will give you exactly that.