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Natural Awakenings of Greater Ann Arbor & Detroit / Wayne County Michigan

CBD: Broad Spectrum, Full Spectrum and Isolates

by Kalyn Wolf

CBD. Everyone is talking about it and a lot of people are taking it. But if all the information we are getting is from our well-intentioned direct marketing person, our Aunt Gertrude or even the local CBD store, we might be confused. Some are of the understanding that the more CBD we use, the better. Some have been told that only broad spectrum is the right form to take. Many know nothing at all about CBD and aren’t using it because they find the whole subject confusing.

 So let’s start with the basics. CBD is the common name for cannabidiol, one of many different chemicals called cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. It comes from hemp, not necessarily marijuana. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll take a broad view of CBD and focus on three types: broad spectrum, full spectrum and isolates.

 Broad spectrum means that while CBD is prominent, there are also three or four other cannabinoids present, as well as terpenes. We know what terpenes are because we’ve experienced them all our lives. Simply put, terpenes are what gives an orange its citrusy smell. They give pine trees their unique aroma. They’re even responsible for the relaxing effects in lavender. They are chemicals that determine how things smell.

Cannabinoids and terpenes work together in something called the entourage effect. The terpenes make the cannabinoids more effective. We find this in many CBD oils, but they normally don’t include all the terpenes.

Then there is full spectrum, which means that the hemp plant is used in its entirety. The root, the stem, the leaves and the flower are extracted and used in the amounts nature intended. We’ll find CBD in it (like we’d find pectin in an apple) and it will include all the terpenes.

Then there is the CBD isolate, which is only CBD, and found most effective in topical creams.

What about amount? Is 1200mg of CBD more effective than 600mg? Not necessarily. The goal is to activate our CBD receptors (many found in the mouth). Like vitamins, if we take too much CBD, we will just pee it out. So it’s important financially to find the dose that’s right for each individual.

Kalyn Wolf has been involved with CBD since May 2016. She is certified in homeopathy and aromatherapy and has been a student of natural ways of healing since 1985.