Is it full-spectrum? Full-spectrum is the use of the whole hemp plant vs. an isolate which extracts the CBD from the plant. Using marketing terms like “pure” and “all natural,” isolates are sometimes not hemp at all and synthesized in a lab. While the efficacy of full-spectrum is debated in the scientific community, anecdotes and a study in Israel favor full-spectrum. In addition to potential benefits, there’s another reason you should be buying the whole plant: contamination. Chen notes that isolates are harder to trace back to origin and can be straight-up fake. Overseas lab-made isolates are cheaper than domestic versions, making the potential for contamination high. Utah recently grappled with synthetic CBD when 52 people became sick from an isolate. While isolates can be legitimate (FDA-approved Epiliodex is an isolate), you’re going to have to spend more time researching the brand’s products and practices. Put it this way, if you could get your vitamin C from Sunny D or fresh squeezed OJ, which would you prefer?
So, back to the difference between how effective hemp extract is compared to marijuana extract. It is the subtle mixture of how much CBD and how much THC and how much of the other cannabinoids that can change the effectiveness for people. For most of us, we won’t notice much difference in the subtle variations, other than the extract from marijuana will make you high, while the extract from hemp won’t. However, there is a very small percentage of people whose bodies can tell the difference. Some people find that they get better results when using an extract high in THC. And, some people find that they get better results when using an extract that is low in THC. This just comes down to these people’s bodies; and again, the percentage of these type of people is very low.
CBD oil is similar to other products in that it is capable of being “watered down.” Some companies will try to eke out a higher profit margin by fooling their customers into thinking they’re getting more for less. It is important to pay attention to the concentration level of the CBD oil you’re buying in order to ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for. Although concentrations of CBD can vary quite a bit across the broad range of CBD products, a quality product will start off having somewhere between 250mg to 1,000mg per fluid ounce. This matters because if you were to purchase a 4 ounce bottle that contained 250mg of CBD, your concentration would be a mere 62.5 mg of CBD per ounce – hardly enough to reap the full benefits of CBD. It’s always important to look at the concentration level of the CBD you’re buying.