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full spectrum hemp extract

As hemp extract—an extract from hemp plants that’s rich in cannabinoids, including CBD—becomes more popular, it’s starting to pop up in all different forms. One term you’ve likely noticed on hemp supplements, tinctures, and creams is “full spectrum.” Here’s what that means and why it’s important to look out for.

When you take a full-spectrum supplement rather than a CBD isolate product, the hemp plant’s hundreds of compounds have a way of working together to boost the product’s overall benefits. Researchers call this synergy the entourage effect: when cannabis compounds work together, they’re more powerful than any one cannabinoid on its own. “I think about it in a sports metaphor, where you’ve got one star player, but you need the team,” explains renowned integrative physician Robert Rountree, M.D. “It’s the mix that’s important.”

What “full-spectrum” means on a hemp or CBD label.

Terpenes, responsible for the aroma of cannabis, enhance how we process the plant’s many cannabinoids. And flavonoids—also abundant in tea, fruits, veggies, and more—are phytonutrients known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects.

Full-spectrum hemp oil (not to be confused with hemp seed oil) is an extract only derived from hemp. Hemp is the term for a cannabis plant with 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or less—not enough for mind-altering effects. In contrast, a CBD oil can be extracted from either hemp or marijuana. Marijuana is the term for cannabis plants with higher levels of THC.

So what are all those compounds, and what do they do? First, cannabinoids affect the body’s endocannabinoid system, the body’s “master regulatory system,” which plays a role in maintaining the immune, digestive, and central nervous systems.

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After finding the consumption method you prefer, next consider the strength of the product as you begin dosing. Start with small doses to determine what effects the CBD may have on your body. While consuming high doses of CBD is safe, it may be best to experiment and test out your ideal dosage when taking it in the middle of the work day. A small dose of CBD is approximately half of the recommended serving, while a high dose is about twice the recommended serving.

Different forms of CBD extracts

Determining which cannabinoid extract is right for you can be daunting. To find the CBD product that suits your needs, start by taking a look at the many options available on the market today. While CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD are available as pure oils, there are other many options available to consume CBD.

It’s important that we make the distinction between hemp extracts and cannabis extracts (marijuana) or Hemp extract vs CBD. Hemp extracts containing CBD are sourced from the hemp plant and may contain trace amounts of THC or are instead THC free. Cannabis extracts, meanwhile, will contain some level of THC content and therefore aren’t THC free. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, any CBD product derived from hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC or it will instead be classified as a cannabis product under law.

Other organic compounds called terpenes and terpenoids will also influence the entourage effect. These compounds are found in many kinds of plants and are primary components in essential oils. They are also responsible for the smell of cannabis plants. Like cannabinoids, each individual terpene is associated with a unique effect. Types of terpenes commonly found in the hemp plant include limonene, humulene, myrcene, and ocimene.