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What Type of CBD is Best – Part 2

Understanding What You Are Getting.

 

In part 1 of this post, we explored the different classifications used by CBD manufacturers: Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, Isolate and Water-soluble. When you’re ready to select a product,  how will you know what the label states is what you are actually getting? It begins with validation.

Validating the Classification & Compounds in The CBD Product

How do you know if the product you are considering is truly full spectrum, broad spectrum or an isolate? And how do you know if the amount of CBD (or THC) in the product is what is claimed on the label? In an unregulated marketplace there is only one way to be certain, ask for the Certificate of Analysis (COA**).

Any credible manufacturer in this space will package their products with clear labels following accepted standards for supplements which should include at a minimum: the brand name, supplement facts, ingredients and a batch number. In addition to clear labeling, the manufacturer or retailer should happily provide you with a Certificate of Analysis (COA).

How to Read the Certificate of Analysis (COA)

Once you have this document for the product you are considering, follow these steps:

1. Look at the date the batch was tested. I generally like to see six months or less.
2. Ensure the batch # on the COA matches the batch # on the product you purchased or are considering.
3. Review the following sections of the COA .

Cannabinoid Profile 
On the COA you will see a section that breaks down the total cannabinoids present in the package, usually titled Cannabinoid Profile.

Look for a column heading labeled Total mg/mL (in the example below, this is the far right column). In this section you will see the various cannabinoids such as CBD and this should closely align with the total mg of CBD in the bottle as stated on the package.

The label of the product this COA goes with states there is 750 mg CBD in a 30 mL bottle. The COA values for CBD tested at 27.7 mg/mL Multiply that number by the bottle size (30 mL) and the result is 831 mg CBD, which is actually more than the label states. When it comes to most cannabinoids, this is a bonus.

Look for values of other cannabinoids that are present. In this product, we see delta 9 THC at 1.01 mg/mL, CBG at 0.31 mg/mL and CBD at 1.19 mg/mL. These are all compounds I personally like to see present.

For hemp CBD products, the combined delta 9 and delta 8 THC values should be between 0.0% – 0.3% by weight (Wt%). This is the legal limit under which a product may be called Hemp. In the COA above,  the delta 9 THC is 0.11%, well beneath the 0.3% maximum limit, yet still measurable enough to better activate the CBD.

TIP: Actual THC will vary, but I always look for values of at least 0.5mg/mL and I always look for at least 0.3mg/mL of the other C- cannabinoids, the higher these numbers are, the better the formulation, in my humble opinion.


Buyer BeAware:
If the CBD value is far less than the package states, you aren’t getting the full value. For example, if the product states there is 300 mg CBD in a 30 mL bottle, the value on the COA should be at least 10 mg/mL (300 mg divided by 30 mL bottle). If the COA value states 2 mg/mL, then the product would only contain 60 mg CBD, far less than the product label suggests.

I also see many products that state 1,000 mg Hemp Oil on the package. Review of the COA often reveals far less than this amount. This is because the manufacturer is counting all compounds which usually also represent the total mg of hemp seed oil (usually the carrier oil). These practices are among my biggest pet peeves with the CBD industry.


If the only measurable results you see on the COA is CBD or if the values of the other compounds are less than 0.05 mg/mL, then the product is likely not truly a full spectrum or broad spectrum product in the traditional or intended meaning of the term.

Below is an example of a product that where the label states: Full Spectrum CBD 150 mg. The COA validates that the 150mg of hemp is actually CBD (147.4mg is pretty darn close), but as no other cannabinoids presented, all other values are zero, using term full spectrum on the label is misleading.


Terpenes Present
Next, look at the terpene section. Except for isolates, you should see at least two to three dominant terpene values. In this product, we see a tiny amount of a-pinene (0.07 mg/g) and measurable concentrations of b-myrcene (3.77 mg/g), z-b ocimene (3.34 mg/g), linalool (3.64 mg/g) and e-nerolidol 3.84 mg/g).

The terpenes listed with the label showing <LLOQ means these compounds were beneath the levels measurable by the machinery, therefore not present in the formulation.


Tip: Look for values of 1.0 or greater for best synergy with the cannabinoids.
If you see the letters NT in the results column, this means the compound was Not Tested.


Organic Matters

Hemp is a bio-accumulator, therefore selecting products that are produced using organic practices is very important. We are now beginning to see the USDA organic stamp on some hemp products. And while this is a good start, the only way to be certain that your product is truly organic is to review the COA for pesticide residuals.

I always look for ND which means None Detected when I review these tests. If your CBD product manufacturer will not provide the COA to validate this or if the COA does not show a test for pesticide residuals, I recommend going with one that will.

Other areas you should look for an ND result include: Microbiols, Mycotoxins and Heavy Metals. Truly ‘pure’ and top quality CBD products will be free from all these contaminants and other potentially hazardous substances.

Key Takeaways

  • Full Spectrum products will show measurable values on at least three or four cannabinoids and terpenes.
  • Broad Spectrum products will show values of THC at zero and measurable values on at least three or four cannabinoids and terpenes.
  • Isolate and most Water-soluble products will show CBD values only.

We hope this overview has been helpful. Be sure to tune in for Part 3 where we’ll explore the pros and cons of each product type and we’ll even provide basics of how to use each type for most effective results.

 

**Whether you purchase direct, online or from a dispensary, the COA should be available to you on request. If you are told is not available, my best suggestion is to find a product manufacturer/retailer that will provide this information as it is the only way to confirm 100% what is in the product you are purchasing.

What Type of CBD Is Best? – Part 1

Understanding the Classifications.

 

CBD is everywhere and the information about this beneficial compound has become increasingly overwhelming -and- confusing for many.

This week we dig into the “classifications” of the thousands of CBD products that are available today. Many manufacturers in the CBD industry have settled into using the terms Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, Isolate or Water-soluble to describe their products, but what do they mean to you, the consumer?

To make informed choices, consumers must:

  1. Understand the intended or traditional meaning of each classification
  2. Understand how an individual manufacturer interprets and uses each classification
  3. Ultimately decide which category is best for their unique circumstances

It is important to know that CBD products derived from the hemp plant (as defined as the Cannabis sativa L. containing less than or equal to 0.3% THC by dry weight concentration) are largely unregulated at this time.  Further, because there are no universal industry standards, any manufacturer can choose to interpret what these classifications mean, which may not necessarily match the intention or traditional definition.

These are just two reasons why accurate consumer education is so important. Having watched the evolution of the growing acceptance of CBD over the past twelve years, here’s my perspective.

Full Spectrum

Full spectrum means all compounds of the plant: cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are present and used in the formulation.

Full spectrum CBD products can be derived from industrial hemp, non-industrial hemp or cannabis (aka marijuana). If the product is derived from industrial hemp, these compounds may be present in the final product, but generally in much lower concentrations than compounds that are derived from non-industrial hemp or marijuana.

Some manufacturers use the term full spectrum to denote all parts of the plant: root, stalk, stem, leaves and buds (if applicable). The traditional use of the term Full Spectrum means that all the compounds found in the plant are present in some concentration

Broad Spectrum

Broad spectrum means all parts of the plant: cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are present EXCEPT for the THC. Broad spectrum CBD products can be derived from industrial hemp, non-industrial hemp or cannabis (aka marijuana). The THC is purposely removed through extraction prior to infusing the cannabis extract into the final product.

Some manufacturers are choosing to remove all the THC from their products for a number of reasons. Some believe the THC is unnecessary and a barrier to purchase for those fearful of this compound. Others are removing it to ensure they are not in violation of local laws pertaining to THC in various states or parts of the world where they wish to do business.

Isolate

Isolate refers to single compound formulations. In these products, only a single cannabinoid, such as CBD is extracted and used in the final product formulation. Some manufacturers believe that the isolate form of CBD is best. You will often see the terms pure or purest CBD to describe these products. When CBD is extracted from any cannabis plant, molecule for molecule, it is exactly the same. It is the entourage effect of the CBD working synergistically with all the other compounds that can often make it more beneficial.

Water-soluble

Water-soluble refers to a laboratory process where the CBD is isolated and then a technology referred to as nanotechnology is applied. Nanotechnology uses soundwaves that breaks down CBD clusters into micro-sized particles. You’ll see the term bioavailability intertwined with products using this technique.  While it may all sound fantastic, be aware that cannabinoids are naturally fat soluble, not water soluble. Therefore, manufacturers taking this approach are manipulating the natural state of these compounds with the promise of improved absorption.

 

What makes one type of CBD better than another?

At the end of the day, it is what works for the individual. We are all unique and it is the present state of our endocannabinoid system and how that system utilizes the compounds we take that determines the results we will yield.

When people ask me what is the best product, my answer is always, “The one that works for you”. Understanding what you are buying and how to use it are the first two keys to success.

Now that you have a base understanding of each classification, be sure to tune in for Part 2 & 3 where we’ll provide you with the information you need to validate the manufacturer claims of what is in their product and explore the pros and cons of each product type and we’ll even provide basics of how to use each type for most effective results.

Can CBD Damage Our Livers?

We’ve had lots of questions about the recent mainstream press regarding CBD and liver health. As we all know, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. And sadly, research can be skewed (and sometimes is) to deliver the desired result.

We hold firmly that CBD when used properly can be a good addition to your healthful regime for achieving decreased pain, decreased inflammation, decreased anxiety and a multitude of other benefits for overall wellness for ourselves and our animals.

The Greek poet Hesiod (c.700 bc) is famous for stating: ‘observe due measure; moderation is best in all things’. Let’s keep this in mind when considering what is best for us individually.

There is a lot that can be said about the research and the article that appeared in Forbes, but below are two key points about this particular research to put it into perspective:

  1. The amount of CBD administered that caused the mice to die was 0.25% of their total body weight –about 600mg per kg of weight. We don’t know of any person taking doses at this level, nor would we ever recommend it.
  2. The CBD administered to the mice in the study was extracted using a hexane process (a dangerous compound that is a known neurotoxin). The CBD products we always recommend and offer use Co2 or alcohol extraction techniques and are fully tested for dangerous residuals.

To learn more, we refer you to ProjectCBD. This article written by Adrian Devitt-Lee is a very good perspective and he does a great job of really breaking it down in easy to understand language. Also, is a link to the research as published, so you can draw your own conclusions.

At the end of the day, CBD is a safe compound. Our bodies are the best judge of what works and what does not. If you are using CBD and achieving positive results, then you are on the right track.

Please reach out to us if you have any additional questions or concerns.