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Full Spectrum vs. CBD

When you’re looking for a CBD product to purchase, you may see some products labeled differently. Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, THC-Free, Aerial Plant Parts, and CBD are just a few of the descriptions you might find on a bottle of CBD. Let’s take a closer look at some of these terms, and what they mean for you when you’re looking for a CBD product.

Full Spectrum Hemp Extract

Over 100 different phytocannabinoids have been isolated from the Cannabis plant. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the predominant cannabinoid in industrial hemp products. Legally, these industrial hemp products – like the ones sold by The Hemp Health – cannot contain more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Along with CBD, hemp contains an abundance of compounds including terpenes, plant sterols, chlorophyll, and many others.

We believe that using a full-spectrum hemp extract will allow your body to take full advantage of all the cannabinoids and other compounds that are found in hemp. It is believed that these compounds work synergistically, which is sometimes referred to as the “Hemptourage Effect”.

A 2015 study showed that when pure CBD (that is, the single molecule, without any other compounds) was administered to a group of mice, the benefit resembled a bell-curve. This means that at very low doses and very high doses, there was little to no benefit, and at the “sweet spot” somewhere in the middle, the optimal dose was found. To contrast, when the mice were given whole plant CBD-rich extract, there was a dose-dependent response curve. This means that the benefit was realized at lower doses, and that a larger benefit was realized at higher doses.

While we don’t believe that more is always better when it comes to CBD, we appreciate the findings of that study, which support our recommendations to use whole plant or full-spectrum hemp extract.

THC-free Hemp Products

Some patients have concerns about even the small (<0.3%) amount of THC that is found in agricultural hemp products. This may be for a number of reasons, but the most common concern is that there is a possibility of a positive result on a urine drug screen. While there is a 1-2% chance of a positive result with using full spectrum hemp products, we have many patients who are using full spectrum hemp products from The Hemp Health and have not had a positive urine drug screen.

That being said, we understand that patients who may be randomly drug tested as a condition of their employment (such as healthcare workers, transportation workers subject to DOT physicals, law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs/paramedics, etc) may prefer a different product. We do sell products that are THC-free. That is, the THC has been removed as part of the processing of the product, so you’re still getting the benefit of CBD, but may not be experiencing the optimal benefit that you would be getting with the full spectrum extract.

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