As science digs deeper into research, two strains of the Cannabis sativa plant – the hemp and marijuana plants – just keep giving. One is abundant in cannabidiol (CBD), and the other has a higher amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These substances are the two main ingredients of the Cannabis sativa plant. Although they have different effects on the body, both have their vocal proponents and enthusiastic users.
CBD is a relatively new natural substance that is still under scientific review but has shown so much therapeutical potential. CBD doesn’t get you high like THC, but it comes with so many possibilities to improve your way of life.
You can use cannabidiol in the form of CBD edibles (CBD capsules and CBD gummies), CBD tinctures, CBD topicals, and CBD vaping products, among others. All of these contain CBD. You can also choose different types of oil, depending on your preferences and tolerance levels.
Let’s take a look at each type of CBD oil, what it means, and what it contains. This guide to CBD oil types will help you pick out the best CBD product for yourself.
Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
The full-spectrum oil is a hemp plant extract. This extract contains flavonoids, handy terpenes, proteins, fatty acids, fiber, and all cannabinoids that naturally occur in the hemp plant, including CBD, cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN), and THC. Yes, you read that right – full-spectrum CBD oil contains THC.
The amount of THC in full-spectrum CBD oil is less than 0.3%, as regulated by law. In theory, this isn’t enough to get you high or interfere with your daily routine. However, when it comes to THC’s potential psychoactive effects, there is a phenomenon called the entourage effect.
The entourage effect was first discovered in 1998 when two Israeli scientists realized that using different cannabinoids together enhances all their effects. It means that the therapeutic (and psychoactive) effects of a cannabinoid compound used on its own aren’t as powerful as when all cannabinoids are used together, such as in the case of full-spectrum CBD oil.
Even though a full-spectrum CBD product contains only a trace amount of THC, if you are worried about the entourage effect kicking in and getting you high, you might want to look into a different CBD oil type.
Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil
The broad-spectrum oil is similar to full-spectrum, but it doesn’t contain any THC. It comes with all the flavonoids, terpenes, and phytocannabinoids, such as CBG, CBN, and CBC (and, of course, CBD) but has no psychoactive potential. You can still have all the benefits of the entourage effect – the cannabinoids enhancing each other’s effects – without running the risk of getting high.
The broad-spectrum CBD oil is made either by taking THC out of the hemp plant extract or by starting with a CBD isolate (see below) and reintroducing all phytocannabinoids except for THC.
Lastly, CBD isolate contains only CBD and no other phytocannabinoids. It is the purest CBD oil you can find on the market, and it doesn’t exhibit the entourage effect.
What about hemp seed oil?
Hemp seed oil is derived from hemp plant seeds, as its name suggests, and is mostly used in cooking. It is rich in vitamins A, E, and C, as well as protein, fiber, minerals, amino acids, and the incredibly healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
However, given that it is obtained from the seeds, it doesn’t contain any phytocannabinoids: no CBD, no THC, and no other similar compounds. If you wish to enjoy all the advantages of CBD, drizzling hemp seed oil over your lunch salad won’t cut it. It’s best to invest in proper CBD oil products.
Depending on the manufacturer, different CBD products will come with different side ingredients. CBD oil is usually labeled as hemp extract, hemp oil, or simply ‘hemp,’ and you will find a variety of accompanying ingredients alongside it.
These additional compounds can have the purpose of enhancing the health benefits of the formula (such as vitamins or melatonin to help you sleep), as well as adding nice flavor and essential oils. CBD tinctures might contain alcohol, so if you’re trying to avoid it, make sure to read the ingredients carefully.
How is CBD oil extracted?
There are several extraction methods for CBD:
- CO2 Extraction
In this process, liquid CO2 is pumped into a chamber that contains hemp plant material. The CO2 absorbs the active compounds, oil, and other plant materials, then moves into a second chamber. The pressure in the second chamber allows the CO2 to return to its gas state; it evaporates and leaves behind all the plant substances it collected in the previous step.
This type of extraction is one of the safest and most common for producing CBD. CO2 doesn’t leave behind any impurities or compounds that could interfere with the taste or the effects of the CBD hemp oil.
- Liquid Solvents
The process of extracting CBD by using liquid solvents is much the same as the previous one. In this case, the solvent isn’t liquid CO2 but substances that are naturally occurring in the liquid state, such as ethanol, hexane, isopropyl alcohol, and similar.
This is a cheaper method of extraction, but it also has certain disadvantages. Some of these liquid solvents can absorb impurities from the hemp plant, as well as chlorophyll that gives CBD oil a greenish color and a bitter taste.
- Oil Infusion
Oil infusion is a well-known and relatively straightforward extraction method. Before the extraction itself, the plant material has to be decarboxylated or heated up for the substances to activate. Then, carrier oils (such as olive oil) are added to the material and heated at 100 C for a specified amount of time.
These carrier oils cannot be eliminated from the final product by evaporation like in the previous methods. The obvious disadvantage here is that you need to use a lot of olive oil to get the amount of CBD product you want.
Other extraction and processing methods include winterization for producing isolated CBD and distillation for further CBD oil purification.
Choose the Right CBD Product
We talked about different forms of CBD oil, as well as other ingredients you need to consider when you’re browsing through a range of different CBD product types. On top of that, there are a couple more things to take into account to make sure you are getting the highest-quality product.
- Third-party tested
Since the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD, the product line must be tested by a third-party lab. The product you’re buying should come with a guarantee that a laboratory has verified the content of the packaging and that it corresponds to the ingredient label.
- Organic – pesticide-free
Organic CBD means that it is free of pesticides, herbicides, and similar chemicals. Cannabis plants grown in the U.S. have to follow agricultural regulations, and their products are less likely to harm your health.
What type of CBD product you get is entirely up to you. If you don’t mind the traces of THC and are not concerned about possibly getting high, then the entourage effect of a full-spectrum product is great to highlight all the benefits of CBD. However, if you don’t want to dabble with THC, a broad-spectrum product or pure CBD (isolate product) is the way to go.
Remember that CBD effects vary from one person to another. Make sure you try different types of CBD oil, as well as different CBD products, before deciding which one suits you best.