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Natural Awakenings Rhode Island

A Simple Guide to Understand the Difference of CBD Products

Jan 31, 2020 03:30PM ● By Thomas Rocco

Cannabinoids are a natural compound found within the cannabis plant that interacts with the human body and its receptors when consumed. Each cannabinoid effects the body differently. Some examples of cannabinoids are Cannabidiol (CBD), Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabigerol (CBG), and Cannabinol (CBN).

CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has many proven medical benefits. CBD is derived from the seed, stalk, stem and leaves of the plant and is the second most profound cannabinoid found within the plant, second to THC. CBD counteracts the psycho-active effects from THC.

THC is the most abundant cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant and is derived from the flower of the plant as compared to CBD extracted from the other parts of the plant (seed, stalk, stem, leaves). THC has a strong psychoactive effect with many proven medical benefits.

Hemp is derived from the cannabis Sativa plant species. Hemp has a rich nutritional profile as they contain high levels of antioxidants, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. Hemp from the stalk has the highest amount of CBD with only trace amount of THC when cultivated from the plant. However, hemp oil that is derived from the seed has only trace amounts of CBD and no THC, therefore products from hemp seed oil are not quality CBD medications. Hemp seed oil is primarily used as a skin product, food oil or a dietary supplement rich in omega fats and vitamin E.

Terpenes are natural essential oils found in the cannabis plant. Terpenes give the flower a distinctive aroma or flavor. There are many terpenes found within the cannabis plant, and terpenes and cannabinoids work together to improve benefit. Since CBD products are produced from the hemp plant, the basic knowledge of the hemp plant contents with its rich CBD quality, terpene flavor and trace THC is important. This will help to understand the different CBD products defined as an isolate CBD, full spectrum CBD and broad spectrum CBD.

Isolate CBD products contain CBD (cannabidiol) only, meaning no presence of trace amounts of other cannabinoids or terpenes. CBD isolate products have a purity rating of more than 99.9 percent and are recommended for those that may be subject to drug tests or those who have a sensitivity to THC.

Full spectrum CBD products extract all the cannabinoids and terpenes from the source material. This is often seen to produce more effective CBD products that are useful for a broader array of purposes. There is 0.3 percent or less of THC and it will not make you feel “high”, but it might show up in a drug test. With full spectrum CBD products as compared to isolates, there is an “entourage effect” from the full spectrum products. This refers to the improved effectiveness of CBD from the addition of other cannabis plant compounds of terpenes and small amounts of THC (< 0.3%), rather than just by itself in a CBD isolate. Broad spectrum CBD products are similar to isolate products. There is no THC present in the extraction but broad spectrum products include terpenes in their production.

In summary, high quality full-spectrum CBD medications will be the more effective and efficient option than CBD isolate products due to the full benefits of the cannabis plant illustrated by the synergistic effect of CBD, THC and terpene content. Full spectrum medications tend to also have a stronger natural flavor and odor.

Isolate CBD products are pure CBD products. Isolates are indicated for those patients that have a sensitivity to THC, are concerned about drug testing for THC, or prefer a light or no flavor CBD. However, due to the lack of synergistic effect with THC and terpenes, the need for a higher CBD isolate dose is necessary to get the same effect as a full spectrum CBD product.

Broad spectrum CBD products are useful for patients that have similar indications as isolate CBD (sensitivity to THC, THC drug testing concern). The broad spectrum medications have a strong, natural flavor and odor. There is a suggested synergistic effect of CBD and terpenes for an improved effect compared to an isolate CBD product. However, there is less research and availability to these products.

Dr. Thomas Rocco, MD and Krystle MacDonald are CBD medical consultants at BAK 2 Basic, located at 2845 Post Rd., Ste. 103, Warwick. To schedule a free office CBD consultation or have any CBD questions answered as it pertains to your medical needs, call 401 678-6420 or visit See ad on page 12.