It is not a secret that hemp products are loved by millions of people all around the world. From hemp seeds, for nutrition, to hemp extracts such as tinctures and edibles, there are literally millions of hemp-based goodies available out there on the market. But what about broad-spectrum hemp? What exactly is it, and what does it do? You might be surprised at the answer to this, it may not be what you think.
What is Hemp?
In order to understand the different spectrums of hemp extracts, you have to understand what hemp is, and what makes it different from marijuana. Hemp, commonly known now as Cannabis Sativa, is a plant in the cannabis family that is closely related to marijuana. In fact, the only difference between hemp and marijuana is the amount of THC that the plant produces.
Over the centuries farmers have bred and crossbred different strains of cannabis plants in order to fine-tune a breed that contains a low percentage of THC and a high percentage of CBD. It is against the law for industrial hemp plants to have anything above a 3% THC content. Since hemp has such a low amount of THC, it is legal to grow and produce hemp products from the plants.
Hemp Extracts in General
There are various uses for hemp plants, some hemp plants are used to create fibers for clothing and other textiles. Other plants are used so that they can produce hemp extracts that contain major cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, and CBN. A hemp extract is when an extraction process separates the essential oil of the hemp plant from the plant. There are several extraction methods that are in use today, but the most popular is the supercritical CO2 method. There are basically three types of extracts that determine the contents of the final extract:
Let’s take a closer look at each one in hopes to provide a clear understanding of how hemp extracts work.
The Full-Spectrum Extract
The hemp plant packs a large number of compounds inside of its leaves, flowers, stems, and other parts. We mentioned above that a hemp plant can legally have up to 3% THC content. THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids are all part of the hemp plant. On top of the cannabinoids, there are terpenes, flavonoids, and other components that all reside in the hemp plant together. When an extract pulls the full spectrum of a hemp plant, it pulls the entire contents of the hemp plant into the extract, including a small amount of THC. A full-spectrum extract contains the full spectrum of the hemp plant.
The Broad-Spectrum Extract
When the extraction process is initiated in a way that allows for all of the cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes into the extract except for THC it is considered a broad-spectrum extract. Some people have a sensitivity to THC for whatever reason, and they would rather enjoy hemp products without it. A broad-spectrum extract is when the extract contains most of the spectrum of the hemp plant.
The Isolate Extract
The goal of the isolate extract is to pull a single cannabinoid from the hemp plant and keep it isolated from the rest of the compounds. In most cases, an isolate extract will be pure CBD. An isolate can be in a tincture form or be a crystalline form depending on the way that the extraction process is implemented.
So, now that you have a better understanding of the basic types of extracts, it is important to understand that there is no such thing as “broad-spectrum hemp.” Broad-spectrum describes the type of extract that the hemp went through in order to produce a product. Hopefully, after reading this you can make an educated decision on what types of hemp products will be best for you.