And Which One is Right For Me?
In recent years, the cannabis industry has exploded with success. As we move closer towards more cannabis-positive legislation, cannabinoid production around the country is evolving in new and innovative ways. Whether you’re shopping for a tincture, lotion or even a simple CBD capsule, the explosion of options can be overwhelming. Choosing between products and brands is a difficult enough task — sorting through the new myriad of CBD types to decide which is right for you can be even more challenging.
Before we begin understanding the different kinds of concentrates, let’s cover the basics — the endocannabinoid system (ECS), entourage effect and the extraction process. These are are the key to understanding how these concentrates work within the body.
Meet Your Endocannabinoid System
Also referred to as the ECS, the Endocannabinoid System is a complex neuromodulatory system responsible for absorbing, distributing and making use of any and all cannabinoids that enter the body. Much like our nervous system, the ECS works in the background to maintain a comfortable homeostasis within the body. The ECS also plays an important (if not completely understood) partner role in central nervous system (CNS) development as well as in regulating the body’s response to stimuli and stressors, both external and within the body.
The ECS has two main receptors that help guide cannabinoids to the appropriate place. These are referred to as your CB1 and CB2 receptors. Thanks to these, your body is able to address a range of issues with the use of cannabinoids. To read more about the Endocannabinoid System And how it assists our overall well-being, check out our blog here!
The Entourage Effect
Cannabinoids are not the only chemical presence found in cannabis plants. Terpenes and flavonoids, which give plants their unique aromas and flavors, are phytochemicals that are also part of the cannabis matrix.
The Entourage Effect (the subject of ongoing research and as popularized by Dr. Ethan Russo, neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher, and author) suggests that cannabinoids deliver a more potent effect when accompanied by the natural phytochemicals that occur within the hemp plant. Many customers enjoy the specific effects and flavors of different terpene profiles on their own merit as well.
Traditionally speaking, there are two main practices for obtaining hemp extract. While many companies have their own tips and tricks when extracting CBD, these are the basic methodologies.
The first is fairly simple and involves utilizing a solvent to help break down the cannabinoids for a pure extract. In this method of extraction, the solvent of choice (and different companies have their own standards for which solvent they employ) is used to dissolve cannabinoids, making them ready for evaporation. Once the extract has been evaporated, you are left with a highly concentrated oil. From here, different companies have unique steps and preferences for additional steps of distillation.
The second method does not use a solvent at all. Temperature and/or pressure changes are precisely calculated to separate the cannabinoids in a more natural way. This helps yield an extremely pure extract – resulting somewhere between 80 and 100% purity.
Different CBD Types
Many of you may already know that there are different types of CBD extracts, or concentrates, that appear popularly in CBD products. The four main categories are:
- Pure CBD Isolate
- Broad Spectrum CBD
- Full Spectrum
- Nano CBD
This form of CBD concentrate is the most pure of all. This crystal powder is able to achieve a purity of 99.9% CBD. To put it simply, CBD isolate is an isolated form of a single cannabinoid – cannabidiol (CBD). Normally, obtaining CBD isolate involves additional solvent processes after an initial distillation. While the additional processing steps can be rather costly, the purity of the final product is always worth the extra step.
While some customers may prefer an earthy and natural flavor to their hemp extract, many other customers would prefer that the flavors remain undetectable within their daily routine. CBD Isolate, when extracted properly, is tasteless and as clear as water.
Do you remember the phytochemicals we talked about earlier? Well, broad-spectrum incorporates these into the concentrate. Most broad spectrum extracts retain a large amount of those phytochemicals without any trace of THC. Naturally, this would allow the product to remain non-psychoactive.
Broad spectrum extracts usually have a slightly cloudy or earthy color and flavor profiles can vary. Thanks to the presence of accompanying phytochemicals, customers can expect minor to average entourage effects.
When it comes to full spectrum concentrates, get ready for a bold flavor and color. Full spectrum concentrates include the maximum amount of phytochemicals and “plant matter”.
It is important to note that full spectrum concentrates do contain trace amounts of THC – making the product slightly psychoactive. Many customers may not find the effects to be obvious, but someone who does not consume cannabis on a regular basis may find the effects more apparent.
Let’s circle back around to what we learned about CBD isolate. Each CBD particle measures in at about 4500 nanometers(nm). In our labs, we are able to break down the particle to extremely small sizes – measuring to 1 nm! Sure, this sounds impressive. But why is it important? At this extremely small size, CBD absorbs into the body almost instantly. For customers who have tried CBD products to no avail, nano CBD is the next step up in powerful CBD concentrates. One major point to mention about nano CBD is that it dilutes perfectly into water-based products. For some CBD customers, this convenience is a game-changer.
Which Concentrate is Best for You?
Answering this question takes a little bit of trial and error. If you’re not sure what kind of concentrate to focus on, think about what products you want to add to your routine most.
Are you hoping to find a CBD capsule to take alongside your morning multivitamin? Are you looking for lotions or bath bombs to help you relax? Maybe you’re interested in something more traditional, like a tincture. Whatever your preferences may be, start there. Once you have found the product that you would most enjoy, try out the different kinds of concentrates. Our product line offers formulations that are intended for certain use cases — Wellness, Relax, Focus and Energy.
The US has many different sources for hemp extracts and we truly know how overwhelming it can be. At Infinite CBD, we try to keep our options as simplified and personalized as possible. Check out our online store and send us a message if you need any help determining which product might work best. You can also take our Product Finder Quiz to help you find your perfect match!
As always, we recommend you talk to your primary care physician about any changes you make to your daily routine. When it comes to cannabis, your doctor may have information that can help you make an informed decision. In the meantime, check out some of our resources and get empowered!