Did you know that when you purchase a product labeled “CBD,” you might be being misled? Now, before you go and blame the hemp industry for mislabeling products, hear us out. The fact of the matter is that CBD is only one compound that exists in the hemp plant. Granted, it’s the leading compound, meaning that there’s more CBD than anything else in the plant material. But, a lot of CBD products out there have more hemp plant compounds in them than just CBD itself.
So, how do you know which hemp compounds you’re getting when you purchase a product? Well, the good news is that it’s simply a matter of knowing the difference between the three main types of hemp extract. Today, we’ll be talking about these three hemp extracts in full detail, because as you’ll see, knowing what they are can help you better finetune your CBD experience.
How Hemp Extracts are Created from the Hemp Plant
Before we talk about the three types of hemp extract, it’s important to understand how a hemp extract is created in the first place. A hemp extract obviously begins with the hemp plant. The female hemp plant’s flowers are rich in a wide array of compounds, including a high amount of CBD. When the plant reaches peak maturity, it’s picked and run through an extraction process that usually involves the use of pressurized CO2.
When you run the hemp plant through an extraction process, what you end up with is an oily concentrate that’s rich in the compounds that occur in the plant material. It’s the next step that determines what type of hemp extract the manufacturer eventually ends up with.
The Compounds in Hemp
Now, let’s quickly break down the key categories of compounds that exist in hemp, so that you can appreciate what each type of extract brings to the table.
Cannabinoids are a class of compounds that work with the body’s endocannabinoid system that’s in charge of regulating bodily processes. CBD is a cannabinoid, as are THC, CBC, CBN, CBG and more. The hemp plant naturally has over 100 cannabinoids.
Terpenes are plant compounds that are found in essential oils. Every plant has terpenes, as these determine the flavor and aroma of a plant, and keep the plant protected from diseases and predators. When extracted from a plant, terpenes can be quite useful to humans, as many of them have analgesic, anti-inflammatory and mood-lifting properties.
Another class of compounds, and their main contribution to the hemp plant is offering synergistic properties. This means that when flavonoids are taken along with cannabinoids, the cannabinoids may be more potent in the system.
Three Types of Hemp Extracts
Extracts matter when it comes to your CBD experience.
Fairly self-explanatory. It’s an extract made from the isolated CBD compound, and it’s free of all other compounds. This means that when you take CBD isolate, you’re only getting CBD, and you’re getting a very concentrated amount of it.
Must contain a small variety of cannabinoids and terpenes in order to be labeled as such. And, by definition, broad spectrum hemp extract must be free of THC, which means that the trace amount that naturally occurs in the hemp plant must be isolated and removed from the final product.
Naturally contains the full variety of compounds native to the plant from which the extract was derived, as the name implies. This means that when you consume full spectrum hemp extract, you’re taking in every cannabinoid, terpene and flavonoid that was in that particular plant, in the amounts that they occurred in nature. This also means that full spectrum hemp extract does contain trace amounts of THC that naturally occurs in hemp.
Case for Hemp’s Trace Amount of THC
Before we move on, we want to quickly touch upon the THC level that’s in hemp. Many of us know that THC is the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana the ability to make people high. In the hemp plant, there’s only about 0.3 percent THC, which is far too little to have any psychoactive effects.
Further, THC has other properties as well. Some of these properties can be very desirable to us. So, before you completely disregard THC due to its association with an illegal substance, consider that the trace amount that naturally occurs in hemp is worth exploring, since it won’t get you high, and it has some unique properties of its own.
The Entourage Effect
Another thing that’s worth discussing is the entourage effect. We said earlier that flavonoids have synergistic properties. Well, what’s unique about full spectrum hemp extract is that it’s highly synergistic. This means that when you take the whole plant’s chemical composition as nature intended, the effects can be boosted in the system, as each compound can multiply the potency of the others. This is referred to as the entourage effect.
Choosing the Right Type of Hemp Extract for You
So, which type of hemp extract should you try? One thing to keep in mind is that everyone’s body is different, and we all have different needs, preferences and goals. Therefore, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to which hemp extract you should buy. Many people experiment with all three before choosing the one that works for them.
Now, most experts believe that full spectrum hemp extract is more likely to give a person the desired results, and this is because of the entourage effect that we discussed earlier. Many find that consuming the plant as close to its natural origins as possible is ideal, essentially assuming that mother nature knows best. We happen to also believe that full spectrum hemp may be more useful for many people because it allows them to take in more hemp compounds at once, which means more unique properties that are within these compounds.
But, at the end of the day, it’s your call. Try out the different hemp extracts that are available at Vaporizer Chief to figure out which one works best for you.
Understanding Compounds and Hemp Extracts is Key
If you’re looking to customize your hemp routine based on your needs, it’s important to understand what each hemp extract is and what it’s capable of. This way, you can simply choose the one that works best for you the next time you go shopping for CBD products. Use this guide to understand each type of hemp extract fully so that you can make the right choice.