While THC affects your brain’s endocannabinoid receptors (resulting in the high), CBD does not attach directly to the receptors. Instead, it influences your body into using its own natural supply of cannabinoids more effectively. That is to say, it can inhibit or activate compounds in the ECS, which in turn can impact the amount of pain you feel or limit inflammation in the brain and nervous system.
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.
“The need for enhanced bioavailability of the CBD phytonutrient is paramount”, adds Moriarity, “but tricky to accomplish without synthetic chemicals.” Most CBD products do not offer any bioavailability optimization, so 90 percent of the CBD is lost to first-pass effect, a phenomenon of drug metabolism whereby the concentration of a drug is greatly reduced before it reaches systemic circulation.
The range of qualified medical conditions that Marijuana’s cannabinoids help treat, the main being THC and CBD are growing daily. A few of these include MS, seizures, eating disorders, HIV and cancer. Cannabis is also a treatment for mental health issues such as PTSD that many of our proud Texas Veterans are dealing with today. One Texas Veteran said when asked if medical marijuana helped his PTSD, the reply was “Weed is a miracle for PTSD, sometimes I think I smoke a lot, then it occurred to me that I haven’t wanted to hit anyone in 6 months.”
Watch Out For: Companies who won’t disclose their extraction method or utilize hydrocarbons like butane and propane. These substances are toxic in high amounts and even with proper purging, most hydrocarbon extracts contain residual solvent. Other extraction methods do not result in a full spectrum extract – meaning they were not able to extract all of the beneficial compounds from the hemp plant (i.e. you don’t get the full range of benefits).
Watch Out For: Hemp grown in the European Union (EU) and China. Even in countries with agricultural regulations, the list of approved pesticides is far from safe. Thus you are really relying on the specific company’s ethical standards when it comes to hemp cultivation. The reason this is such a big deal with hemp when compared to other plants, is that hemp is a dynamic accumulator plant. Dynamic accumulator is a term used to describe plants that gather minerals – both good and bad – from the surrounding soil and store them in its tissues. So if you’re growing a hemp plant with petroleum-based pesticides in soil that contains heavy metals…you’re inevitably going to have a hemp plant containing both toxic pesticides and heavy metals. This is why many people have poor experiences when first trying CBD – you buy your vegetables organically, why not your hemp? The presence of these toxins is not regulated by any agency and they will end up in your CBD oil if you don’t purchase from the correct company. We like Ambary Gardens because they ensure that all of their CBD products are produced from organically and sustainably grown hemp without the use of pesticides.
So a full spectrum decarb got higher points than isolate (“decarb” just refers to the process of decarboxylation which turns raw CBD into activated CBD). We also gave more points to companies with a “broad spectrum” tincture. Broad spectrum CBD oil includes a range of other cannabinoids, but minus the THC – which is generally what people using isolates are trying to avoid.
GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practices, and it covers the practices required to ensure products are produced according to industry standards. The agencies that control the authorization and licensing of the manufacture and sale of these products provide guidelines, and the manufacturer must adhere to these guidelines to make sure their products remain consistent and of high quality from batch to batch.
All this talk about THC lands us nicely in the whole “Full Spectrum vs. Pure Isolate” debate. Once you begin shopping for CBD products, you’ll notice a lot of jargon that gets thrown around without much explanation. Now that we’ve introduced THC into the conversation, we can talk about the difference between, and relative benefits of, Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate (and the lesser-known contender: Broad Spectrum).
Some industry insiders argue that organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol, which is a grain alcohol, is optimal and eliminates certain toxins and residues in the raw plant material itself. But others say that while this extraction method yields a high amount of cannabinoids and is GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) for human consumption, it destroys the plant’s waxes, leading to a less potent oil.
• Filtered (Gold) – This is the most processed of the oil extracts. The plant matter is all filtered out, leaving behind a stronger cannabinoid concentration. This oil is more of a gel texture and will be gold in color with a slightly peppery taste. The serving size will once again be 1-2 grains of rice sized servings per day, or as directed by your physician.
We gave the highest points to companies that use a CBD distillate for their tinctures. The process of distillation creates an extract that is pure on a molecular level. There are people who think distillate is too pure, and that a full spectrum decarb produces a more effective tincture. But in light of the inconclusive evidence, we prefer a distillate. The process allows for a high degree of control as to the finished product. It’s also odorless and tasteless, so those tinctures tend to taste better.
Unregulated markets come with some obvious risks; lack of oversight, false claims, the potential for dangerous pesticides and contaminants. Cannabis, in states where it’s legal, is regulated. Sold in state-licensed stores (akin to states controlling liquor stores, except with higher taxes and much stricter regulations) aka dispensaries, you can be confident that the CBD-dominant cannabis tinctures, topicals, vapes, and edibles on shelves are accountable to purity and accuracy tests.
The first thing you need to know about selecting a CBD Oil product is that they can be made from extracts from either Hemp Plants or Marijuana Plants. And, currently, those from marijuana plants are not legal in many states, nor can they be shipped across most state lines. So, for Fully Legal CBD Oil products in ALL STATES, you want to be sure you’re selecting Hemp Based Products (note: all Highland Pharms products are from Hemp).
This may seem like a repeat of an earlier question, but while that question related to concentration of CBD in the product, this is simply a question of how much you’re getting in total. Most bottles are labeled in a similar way – “1,000mg CBD Oil” or “1,000mg Hemp Extract” – which generally means the entire bottle contains a total of 1,000mg of CBD.