CBD has recently garnered much attention in the health and wellness world due to research that’s being conducted on the potential therapeutic benefits. Along with all of this attention has come confusion, as there is a lot of unexplained terminology related to CBD products.
At Vital Leaf, we are committed to clarifying this confusion and helping you make an informed choice about what type of CBD product is right for your needs. This article will help you understand the difference between CBD-rich full spectrum hemp extract and CBD isolate, as well as explaining the entourage effect and why it matters.
What is CBD?
CBD is actually only one of many phytocannabinoids that naturally occur as active compounds in the Cannabis Sativa plant. There are currently over 100 known active cannabinoids found in the plant as well as other beneficial compounds that are rarely talked about.
Full Spectrum and the Lesser Known Cannabinoids
When shopping for CBD-rich full-spectrum hemp extract, you may notice on the label or in the lab results of the product that there are other cannabinoids listed, such as CBD-A, CBN, CBG, CBC, CBT, CBF, or even THC.
Full spectrum extract always contains CBD, some combination of these lesser-known cannabinoids, and other compounds as well. Research indicates that including more elements of the whole hemp plant from full spectrum hemp extract creates what’s known as the entourage effect. The addition of these other active compounds amplifies the effect of the CBD in the body.
What is the Entourage Effect?
The entourage effect refers to the perfectly synergistic effect that occurs in the human body when consuming the full spectrum of compounds that naturally exist in the cannabis plant. The combination that’s included in a full spectrum extract allows for far better performance of each compound than any single one by itself. This results in an amplified effect that is far greater than the sum of its parts.
What does this mean for you? Consuming a CBD-Rich full spectrum hemp extract will have a quicker and more efficient effect on your body than a CBD isolate.
What Else is in Full Spectrum CBD Oil?
Terpenes, or terpenoids, are the compounds that are responsible for creating the distinct scent of the cannabis plant, as well as many other plants you may be familiar with like citrus fruits. Essential oils contain terpenes, and just as inhaling these fragrances can have therapeutic effects on the body, ingesting these plant compounds along with CBD can augment the benefits of a CBD product.
Essential Minerals, Vitamins, Fatty Acids, and Proteins
An even lesser-known fact is that CBD-rich full spectrum hemp extract contains essential minerals such as zinc, potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorous, Vitamins A, E, C, and complex B vitamins. Additionally, it contains essential amino acids as well as Omega 3 and Omega 6. That’s a Dose of Vitality!
No need to be alarmed! Although full spectrum hemp extract does contain THC, a hemp CBD product will only contain trace amounts, so it will not produce a psychoactive or intoxicating effect. The presence of THC actually enhances the effect of CBD and is an important part of the “entourage”. All Vital Leaf CBD products contain well below the federally allowed 0.3% of THC, meaning it will still function to create the entourage effect, but will not produce any feeling of being high, mentally or physically.
Not All CBD Products are Created Equal: CBD-Rich Full Spectrum Hemp Extract vs CBD Isolate
CBD isolate is the single molecule of cannabidiol in crystallized form. It is an extraction of CBD alone, without the other cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins and minerals, and other compounds. In the early days of studying CBD, it was hypothesized that isolating the CBD compound would make it more effective. This has since been debunked by more recent studies that suggest that CBD works best alongside the other compounds.
The Importance of Reading Labels
When shopping for CBD products, it’s of the utmost importance to read labels carefully so that you know exactly what you’re getting. A company with a high degree of transparency is key in helping you determine what is actually in the product you’re considering. Not only should their labels clearly indicate how the CBD was sourced (full spectrum hemp extract or isolate) and clearly state how much active CBD is in a dose, but they should also offer easy access to the results of 3rd-party lab testing.