CBD has recently been added to everything, from face-creams to bottled water.
But how do we differentiate between high quality products from reliable Sellers and brands that have jumped on the bandwagon to make a quick buck with little concern for users?
This starts with understanding some basics and knowing what to look for…
Hemp Oil & Hemp Extract:
What’s the difference between?
There is confusion around how hemp products are marketed and the seemingly interchangeable terms used to describe them.
‘Hemp Oil’ usually refers to Hemp Seed Oil. This oil comes from the pressed seeds of the hemp plant. It is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids but contains only trace amounts of CBD, if any at all. It is often used as a cooking oil or food supplement.
Hemp seed oil has health benefits in its own right. But if you are looking for products with CBD in, hemp seed oil is not for you.
CBD and other photo-cannabinoids are primarily found in hemp’s leaves and flowers, not its seeds. Processed leaves and flowers give us Hemp Extracts that include CBD, amongst other things.
With hemp products often struggling to move away from the negative association with marijuana and because of marketing restrictions on some online platforms, many Sellers of CBD products will use synonyms to avoid raising any red flags.
In practice this means some products containing Cannabidiol/CBD may be described as ‘hemp extract’, or ‘hemp oil/hemp seed oil’ whether they have oil from hemp seeds in or not.
To add to the confusion, some unscrupulous sellers will exploit the uncertainty and used such terms to suggest their products do contain CBD when, in fact, they don’t.
CBD-only Isolates or Whole Plant/Full-Spectrum?
In the EU, CBD-only isolates are regarded as Novel Food and they can’t be used in foods or food supplements without authorisation (which no one currently has). They can be used in vapes and cosmetics, though.
CBD is maybe the best known of Hemp’s healthy compounds, but there are another 400+ that complement each other to heighten the beneficial effects of the plant.
Full-spectrum, whole-plant products include most of the beneficial compounds that come from the plant. The benefits of individual compounds are strengthened when working on combination to heighten the positive effects on the body.
As well as over photo-cannabinoids that can also complement our natural Endocannabinoid System and help keep our bodies in balance, Terpene natural oils and Flavonoid phytonutrients have their own health benefits.
It’s for this reason that we recommend whole-plant/full-spectrum preparations, regardless of the status of CBD-isolates in the EU for food supplements.
What to Look For…
To make shopping for good quality CBD/Hemp Extract products easier, we’ve highlighted some points to look out for and some questions to ask.
- Source: Where are raw materials sourced from? Do Farmers share your philosophy towards growing methods, environmental standards and sustainability? Are they treated fairly?
- Manufacturer: Are products manufactured to GMP standards?
- Extraction methods: All have their pros and cons but we favour Cryogenic Ethanol extractions for producing full-spectrum extracts – they produce the most nutrient-dense extracts that include many water-soluble photo-nutrients that are missed by CO2
- Test Analysis: Manufacturers and Sellers should be willing to produce test-analysis results to show you their products contain what they say they do and that any trace amounts of controlled substances from the hemp plant (THC and CBN) are within legal limits (below 1mg per product).
- Product Reviews: Read reviews and ask friends for recommendations to gain some insights into the effectiveness of products. Be aware of fake reviews and that search-algorithms can be manipulated by Marketers.
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