CBD Full vs. Broad Spectrum, Isolate vs. Distillate

Posted on February 8th, 2023 to Uncategorized

What is CBD?

Cannabis plants such as marijuana and hemp contain a chemical compound called cannabidiol (CBD). CBD has a history of medicinal use. Unlike THC, CBD does not have the psychoactive effects. Companies must put cannabis plants through several processes before they can sell CBD. There are different ways to process CBD, and not all CBD is created equal.

Extracting CBD Oil

After growers harvest the cannabis plants, they must extract the CBD. There are a few popular methods for this. Some companies use an alcohol extraction method which is a safe and affordable practice. However, alcohol can also extract the chlorophyll of the plant, negatively altering the taste, and most terpenes are destroyed in this process. Plants can be cooked in oil, like olive oil, to extract cannabinoids, but this does not produce a very potent product, and is usually a DIY solution. The last common method is carbon dioxide extraction which is also popularly used to extract caffeine from coffee beans. By controlling temperature and pressure, this extraction method takes out unwanted components while preserving terpenes and other cannabinoids. Extract must often go through distillation or isolation before being used to make a product.

Distillate vs. Isolate CBD

CBD products like tinctures, creams, oils, and gummies are made with either CBD distillate or isolate which are strategies for extracting the CBD from the cannabis plant. Distillate is created when cannabinoids in extract are separated from one another, and from the other plant matter that made it past the extraction process. Distillers use a similar process to create stronger liquor from weaker alcohol. Distilled CBD is very potent, and usually in the form of thick oil or a waxy substance. CBD distillate contains smaller amounts of many other cannabinoids such as CBN, CBG, THC, and more. Distilling also preserves the terpenes. Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds present in cannabis which increase its therapeutic properties, and keeps the CBD as close to the original plant as possible. The alternative to CBD distillate is CBD isolate. CBD isolate usually comes in a white or clear crystalized form and does not contain any other cannabinoids. Isolate goes through extra processes compared to distillate to isolate the CBD from all other substances, including terpenes. It is easier to create products with CBD isolate, which is why many companies prefer it. CBD isolate is also less expensive, and it is easier to claim a higher CBD content, even though the therapeutic effect is greatly diminished by removing other cannabinoids and terpenes. At Hempeutics Pharmacy, we only use CBD distillates to ensure our products are as potent as possible, and produce the full therapeutic effect of the cannabis plant.

Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum CBD

Full spectrum CBD is distillate that includes THC, whereas, broad spectrum CBD is distillate that does not contain THC. Creating broad spectrum oil from distillate requires removing THC, but, sometimes, this process can cause the formula to lose terpenes and potency. At Hempeutics Pharmacy, we understand that some patients are unable or opposed to using THC, so we offer both full and broad spectrum CBD treatments. We like to have multiple cannabinoids in our formulas because it creates therapeutics properties that are closer to the cannabis plant.

How Much CBD is in This?

Another factor that can affect the potency and quality of a CBD product is the percentage of CBD in a product vs. the percentage of dilutants or additives. When product manufacturers buy CBD distillate, it often comes with a percentage on it that can range from 50% to about 90% CBD. The other percentage is mostly other cannabinoids. Then manufacturers mix the CBD with other cannabinoids, oils, or flavors to create a CBD product that is useful for consumers. Usually, CBD products do not contain a percentage of CBD on the packaging. To tell how much CBD is in a product, take oil for example, patients should look at the ratio of milligrams of CBD to milters of oil in the container. A 15 ml bottle with 1000mg of CBD will be stronger than a 30ml bottle with 1000mg of CBD. Reputable CBD companies should also display a certificate of analysis for their products.

For example, this is a certificate of analysis for our CBD plus tincture

This certificate lists the common cannabinoids tested for, and how much is in the tincture. This tincture is 7.4% cannabinoids. The lab test did not detect any THC in the formula. It can be hard to determine the amount of CBD and other cannabinoids in a product after mixing distillates and diluting it, so it is important for manufactures to test their products before selling it to ensure they are labeling it correctly. We post our certificates of analysis on our product pages. We add essential oils to our products to make them smell and taste better, but we avoid using artificial additives and sweeteners.

Want to Give it a Try?

If you want to try CBD, visit us at Hempeutics Pharmacy, in Huntington Beach, California. We offer products for pick up in store, and we ship products across the United States. We have an on-site pharmacist, Dr. Peggy, who is extremely knowledgeable about CBD, medications, and medical conditions. We recommend patients consult with her to find the right treatment for them. Dr. Peggy also makes custom formulas for patients depending on their needs. Please contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation.


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