Glossary of the different terms associated with Cannabis/Hemp products
Full spectrum CBD oil, unlike CBD isolate products, includes a wide range of cannabinoids present in the cannabis or hemp plant. Depending on the condition and what you are looking to achieve it can provide a greater effect than CBD alone as all the cannabinoids work together in what is known as the entourage effect.
Full spectrum CBD also contains a variety of essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, protein, chlorophyll, terpenes, flavonoids, and fibre. When referring to CBD in the hemp plant, it’s important to understand that Hemp contains a large number of cannabinoids (in trace amounts), but the main compounds are CBD and cannabidiolic acid (CBDa).
The Entourage Effect
The Entourage Effect is the results (the effect) produced from the synergistic interaction of the cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and fatty acids naturally found in cannabis. The Entourage Effect refers to the beneficial effect of all these compounds working together as opposed to just one or two of these compounds working in isolation.
Simply put: the Entourage Effect is the benefit you get from ingesting multiple components of the cannabis plant together instead of ingesting one component at-a-time. The cannabis genus of plants contains approximately 500 compounds. This includes about 100 phytocannabinoids (THC and CBD are phytocannabinoids, cannabinoids which occur naturally in plants).
Terpenes and Flavonoids
Other significant compounds found in cannabis plants are terpenoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids.
Flavonoids are phytonutrients which are responsible for the vivid non-green colours we see in plants. The colour of those shiny red apples and beautiful blueberries is all due to their unique flavonoid profile.
Commonly known flavonoids include catechins (found in green tea) and quercetin (found in cannabis, fruits, and vegetables). Flavonoids are known to have antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects (especially the ones found in cannabis).
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in all plants. These compounds are responsible for the uplifting smell of a fresh tangerine or the unmistakable sharpness of pine needles.
Common terpenes are limonene (found in citrus fruits) and linalool (found in lavender). Terpenes have therapeutic effects on the human body. The practice of aromatherapy is based on terpenes.
Bioavailability is a subcategory of absorption referring to fraction of a compound that reaches the bodies circulatory system. For example, oil taken sublingually under the tongue will lead to a percentage being lost to the gastric system or the liver process.
A carrier oil is a vegetable oil derived from the fatty portion of a plant, usually from the seeds, kernels or the nuts. We use Hemp oil for all of our products.
Cannabis/Hemp/CBD Product Types
CO2 extract (CBD paste)
A CO2 extract is, as the name indicates, a hemp concentrate, where CO2 has been used to extract the active ingredients from the plant material. In addition to the CBD, CO2 also extracts the fats, sugars, leaf green and other substances which don’t add anything if you purely want to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes. CO2 is often used in the food industry to produce extracts, as it literally extracts absolutely everything from the plant material.
A CBD CO2 extract contains approximately 1/3 of wax, which gives it a paste-like structure. Its thickness means a CO2 extract is usually offered in syringes. The bioavailability of a CO2 extract is approximately 6-12%, just like standard CBD oil. This means a mere 6 to 12% is going to be absorbed by the body. The amount of CBD present in a CO2 extract will depend on the type of fibre hemp used, the harvest time, the climate and the extractor’s knowledge.
CBD oils based on a CO2 extract( full plant product)
Most types of CBD oil available on the market have been made from a CO2 extract which has been diluted with oils such as olive oil, hemp seed oil or coconut oil. Hemp seed oil isn’t always as long-lasting and the disadvantage of coconut oil is that it can solidify, causing lumps. Coconut oil needs to be heated up before it can be taken. CBD oil is usually sold in a pipette bottle. The bioavailability is just like the hemp extract (CBD paste), 6-12%. As CBD oil is a diluted version of an extract, this will always contain less CBD compared to a pure extract.
CBD oil based on crystals (isolate)
There are an increasing number of different types of CBD oil now being introduced to the market, which are based on CBD crystals. These crystals are either of natural or synthetic origin, with the difference between the two being indistinguishable. The natural crystals are isolated from fibre hemp and purified in such a way that a solid crystalline substance is formed.
Residual chemicals from the chemical reaction will also remain in the synthetic CBD crystals. The biggest disadvantage of a CBD oil based on crystals is that it’s very difficult to distinguish between natural and synthetic CBD crystals. Synthetic crystals are virtually always sold as natural CBD crystals and oil makers can’t tell the difference without the intervention of a specialised laboratory. Another disadvantage of oil based on CBD crystals is that it purely contains CBD and is therefore missing a whole host of cannabinoids and terpenes, which means the medicinal effect will always be less than CBD oil which also includes all the cannabinoids and terpenes. Isolate of any kind is considered a ‘novel’ food by the FSA
CBD oil at Nano Level
The next type of CBD oil is the CBD oil at nano level. CBD crystals or a hemp extract are brought to nano level using ultrasonic frequencies. Those selling this oil have stated the bioavailability is many times higher and this oil – according to the sellers – is therefore much more effectively absorbed by the body.
Effect of Nano CBD oil
Nano CBD is nothing more than CBD with a smaller particle size. Both CBD crystals and hemp extracts are used for the development of nano CBD. It’s like the molecule is reduced in size with the use of ultrasonic frequencies, but the CBD’s lipophilic properties remain the same. Even though Nano CBD is smaller and can therefore be absorbed by the body more easily, the body will still need to bind the Nano CBD to a lipoprotein. This results in a large part of the Nano CBD being broken down in the liver by enzymes.
Nano CBD has been banned and there are also some major risks associated with this technique. For example, you don’t want to take hemp extract at nano level, as any heavy metals and pesticides present in the extract will also have been converted to nano parts and it goes without saying you don’t want these in your body. Nano CBD might be better absorbed by the body than the standard CBD oil, but it does have serious limitations. As is the case with the normal CBD oil and oil based on crystals, the nano CBD oil is also missing
all the other active substances like other cannabinoids and terpenes. There are governmental limitations too, which are currently standing in the way of Nano CBD’s production and sales.
The food authorities in EU have indicated that Nano CBD is ‘Novel' and banned and may not be sold on the market. The authorities have also indicated they will maintain this ban across all Nano supplements in general and therefore also the Nano CBD oil.
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