Confused about Hemp/CBDs?
There is a lot of confusing information about CBD/Hemp products being presented to the public. I will attempt to defray some of this confusion in this 3 part series.
Enerhealth has 24 plus years of knowledge in extraction of over 100 herbs and we blend these herbs for specific conditions. We are also FDA inspected and an organically certified facility. We have also been extracting Cannabinoids from industrial hemp (Cannabis plant having less than .3% THC) for over 3 years now. We are members of various professional organizations hemp and non-hemp related in the herbal supplement industry.
With this background we hope that you will take what we are putting forth for your benefit as an informed view of what hemp/CBDs are and how you might go about assessing a product containing Cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids vs CBD (cannabidiols)
The embedded chart portrays several of the more common Cannabinoid molecules and there are many of these, at last count over 80 cannabinoids identified. What this chart doesn’t show are the many acid forms, CBDa, CBCa etc. and these are being shown to have as much or more impact than just CBD (cannabidiol) alone.
The current scientific research began officially with legalizing industrial hemp and has resulted in discoveries regarding the effects of these cannabinoids and the other elements in the plant such as alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenes and lipids, among the many compounds of the plant. With the increase in research, new information is becoming available almost daily. The common term used for the impact of all these compounds together on the physical organism is ‘The Entourage Effect’.
We at Enerhealth believe that the closer the extracted product is to the Earth the better. The more processing involved, the more the natural components become compromised and thus, less effective.
With so much information being released on an almost daily basis along with so many, sometimes conflicting, terms such as 'full spectrum', broad spectrum and whole plant extraction, it is no wonder that there is confusion in the marketplace. That confusion extends to the government agencies tasked with regulation, FDA, USDA, SEC and others, as well as banks.
Terms of Confusion
Much of this confusion in the marketplace might be attributed to the terms being used to define a product such as ‘‘Isolate’, Full Spectrum’, ‘Broad Spectrum’, ‘Whole Plant Extract’, and ‘Solvent Free Extracts’. Additionally, the processes used to extract the cannabinoids and hopefully other important constituents of the plant just adds to the confusion.
Products made with the CBD molecule isolated as a single ingredient are very inexpensive and according to most of the science today, not as effective over time as other products containing more of the elements in the plant. This requires taking the plant and extracting it using various methods and then isolating the CBD molecule. This product has no acid forms or any other of the constituents currently found to be efficacious.
Full Spectrum can mean a product containing most of the cannabinoids that were present in the plant material. There are many different explanations as to what ‘Full Spectrum’ means. These products typically contain only cannabinoids with a focus on CBD (cannabidiol) and do not contain many, if any, of the other important medicinal elements of the plant.
Broad Spectrum can mean a ‘Full Spectrum’ product that has had most if not all of the THC removed (this equates to more processing). By removing the THC this product can legally be shipped across state lines in highly concentrated forms, something industry desires. It does not mean that you can pass a urine test. Cannabinoids alone can cause you to test positive to many of these type tests. Again, the more processing occurs, getting further away from the earth, yields a product further away from the plant’s original proportionate allotment of elements.
The term “Solvent Free Extracts” must be viewed with caution. The only truly solvent-free extracts I am familiar with come via an extraction method known as “hot pressing”. There are several craft shops that do offer these products. I can’t speak to these products in depth as I don’t have a lot of knowledge about them.
“Whole Plant Extract” can mean an extract that has all of the medicinal elements currently identified as efficacious, including all of the cannabinoids as well as the other elements such as terpenes, flavonoids, lipids and alkaloids among the many that have been identified. These extracts are normally produced with some type of ethanol (food grade organic alcohol) and this process is used extensively in traditional herbal production. We here at Enerhealth have used ethanol in our processes since the beginning. Most herbalist will use a combination of ethanol and water to extract both water and alcohol soluble components of a given herb.
As traditional herbalists we believe that this ethanol process is the most effective and efficient way to extract all of the medicinal elements of the hemp plant.
Here at Enerhealth we are redefining the term Whole Plant Extract as we go an extra step or two further than the traditional method commonly employed. First, we extract at low temperatures to preserve all the ‘acid’ forms and other volatile elements that become altered with heat. High temperatures are the catalyst to transform the acid forms such as CBDa to CBD – the ‘free form’.
Second, after we have extracted all the elements in the plant using the ethanol, we then extract the minerals and salts that exist in the plant and reintroduce them to the original extract. Thus, we have the entire plant back together again but now purified so that the physical organism can assimilate the product more efficiently with greater efficacy using smaller dosages.
This entire process is termed Spagyric and in our opinion is the only true Whole Plant Extract available in the market today. Our final step is to reduce the alcohol levels to below 10%. When we blend a final product, the dilution is usually anywhere from 29 parts of an organic carrier oil, such as MCT (coconut oil) to 1 part concentrated extract.
This dilution factor is also important in the reduction of THC. The highest THC reading we have had with our products is in the 1000mg 1 oz bottle that has ranged between .12 and .14% (less than half the legal limit). The 250mg product has far less THC (below .03%). Keep in mind the legal limit is .3% THC in a product.
Continued tomorrow with;
Part 2: The Farm Environment
Followed by Part 3: ‘How to determine what product is best suited for you’