Before we can begin to understand broad spectrum CBD, there is need for a bit of back story. See there is full spectrum CBD and then there is CBD isolate. Broad spectrum is sort of the middle ground. A best of both worlds kind of thing.
Full Spectrum CBD
This is a full bodied extract. It contains all the elements in the cannabis plant, both known and unknown, everything from cannabinoids to flavonoids and terpenes.
This is perfect for anyone who does not have to worry about drug tests, or anyone who does not have a problem with any of the elements. This is also preferred by cannabis veterans.
With full spectrum CBD you will benefit from the entourage effect. See all the cannabis compounds work in synergy to provide a wide range of benefits for the user, they come together in harmony.
The entourage effect was introduced in 1998 by Mechoulam and Shabat, two Israeli scientists whose names are sprinkled all over CBD and cannabis medicinal history. Their findings affirm the truth behind the entourage effect.
The downside is THC. THC is not all bad actually, it has some significant health benefits. However, it cannot be administered to children and it also shows up in drug tests. It induces psychoactivity. THC also causes red dry eyes because it lowers the blood pressure therefore causing the vessels to dilate hence the redness. This is usually a telltale sign that someone is high.
Cotton mouth is another common side effect. THC mirrors some physiological processes which leads to decreased production of saliva. THC can also be quite addictive, it messes with pleasure related neurotransmitters. The risk of addiction to cannabis is dependant on level and consistency of THC use among other factors.
CBD Isolate is pure CBD, nothing more nothing less. This is usually at a purity of 99% and above. Some brands may allow for abut 0.3% of other elements in the isolate but other than that it is purely cannabidiol.
The biggest advantage of isolate is its application to people who are either uncomfortable with or unable to use any traces of THC. With CBD Isolate, consumers can rest easy knowing they have no THC in their system.
Isolate can be administered comfortably to children without fear of effects. THC can cause respiratory issues and even seizures in children. With an Isolate, this is not a risk.
The down side is the lack of entourage effect, it lacks all other wonderful cannabis elements that contribute to the synergy. CBD is all by its lonesome therefore, the benefits are limited to only its capabilities.
Best of Both Worlds: Broad Spectrum CBD
Science banded together and formed broad spectrum CBD. Broad Spectrum CBD has all the benefits of both full spectrum and isolate put together with no THC at all, because the THC is completely extracted.
This way, you still get the entourage effect but none of the psychoactivity that comes with having THC in your system.
Extracting Broad Spectrum CBD
There are two ways to derive broad spectrum CBD. This first method is the most common because it is cheaper and easier. Basically, manufacturers take the CBD isolate and add back isolates of the desired elements.
This is however, not termed real broad spectrum CBD, it is merely a cocktail of cannabis elements. This is because there is no way to add back value in ratios that mimic the natural existence. It may work but the benefits will be milder than the alternative.
The alternative method is by use of a special chromatography media to process out the THC. Some experiments were done to determine the method that derives the best possible results. The first method used a linear gradient with water-ethanol as solvents. Reversed phase flash chromatography was done. There was a separation but some valuable cannabis elements were also washed away.
The experiment was tried again with a step gradient. This time, half the amount of solvents was used and better results were derived.
The point here is, it is possible to filter out only THC. You might lose a bit of flavonoids and terpenes in the process but it is ultimately worth it. This process is currently quite complicated and there is need of in-depth knowledge of solvents. Thus, this should not be tried at home.
Guide to Buying Broad Spectrum CBD
The test results for this product are perhaps the most important aspect of the exercise. They will help you as the consumer filter out unfaithful companies. So, if you are looking to purchase broad spectrum, it is essential to know how to read these test results.
The first thing is the source of the results, never settle for first party results. First party results come directly from the company, they could be easily compromised or doctored. This is what makes third party results more trustworthy.
There will also be different screening sets provided. There will be a cannabinoid profile which will provide the level of each cannabinoid in the product. Obviously, CBD will be way more prominent at about 80% of the entire profile.
The other cannabinoids will follow, there might also be a terpene profile. Then there will be heavy metal screen, this looks for contaminations from elements like arsenic and cadmium. A microbiology screen for yeast and mold. Pesticide screen to affirm that the source marijuana was planted in clean soil. Solvent residue screen. In the chromatography section above, you have seen about solvents like ethanol. This checks and confirms that the solvents were not left in the end product.
Broad spectrum is better than CBD isolate in relation to the medicinal coverage. It does not have THC, something full spectrum does have. You know the benefits, you know how to pick out the best off the pharmacy shelf, now you cannot go wrong.