When faced with entering the world of cannabidiol (CBD) for the first time, one thing becomes very clear: there is a lot to know about CBD. Every industry has its own terms and concepts and CBD is no exception. One concept that comes up a lot when shopping for a CBD product is the strain of CBD. That is, what kind of CBD is the product made out of. There are three main strains of CBD: CBD isolate, broad spectrum, and full spectrum. These terms may sound like nonsense to you, which can make shopping for CBD difficult. So, we thought we would provide you with a guide to help you understand what you are looking at while shopping for CBD.
What is CBD in general?
Since this is a guide for beginners to CBD, we would be remised if we did not go over what exactly CBD is in the first place.
You have likely heard of cannabis and its two main variations, hemp and marijuana. However, have you heard of cannabinoids? They are chemical compounds that are found throughout the cannabis plant. They interact with the Endocannabinoid System which is a series of receptors found throughout the human body. As you may have been able to gleam, CBD is a cannabinoid. It is one of the main ones that you have likely heard of, the other one being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Many get THC and CBD confused. This is understandable as they are the two best known cannabinoids. However, it is good to know that they are, in fact, very different compounds. The biggest difference between them is that THC is psychoactive, and CBD is not. This means that THC gets you high, but CBD does not. This is good to know as it is a concern for many CBD beginners. No matter what CBD product you use, it will not get you high, as long as it comes from hemp and not marijuana.
Hemp and marijuana are, despite both being cannabis plants, distinct from each other. They are different because they have different concentrations of THC and CBD. Hemp (which is favored by CBD companies) has higher levels of CBD and very low levels of THC. Marijuana is filled with THC and has varying levels of CBD. These differences helped determine the plants’ legal statuses. Hemp is federally legal, though it is still illegal in many states. Marijuana, on the other hand, is federally illegal, but there are some states that have legalized it.
Researchers are still trying to pin down what exactly CBD is capable of. But the research that has been produced so far has been showing some pretty interesting results. Some studies suggest that use of CBD could be good for joint health. While other studies have results showing CBD’s potential effect on the user’s state of mind (i.e. calming it). These studies are still considered preliminary, but the results are still something to be encouraged by.
What are the different strains?
The main thing that you need to understand about CBD strains is that they are defined by what cannabinoids they have other than CBD. This is because CBD extract comes from one main source, hemp. As a result, there is really no need to pay attention to the cannabis plant that it comes from as it will more than likely be hemp.
But, you may be thinking, if there are other cannabinoids is it really CBD extract? The answer is, yes! CBD is always the main component of CBD extract, but when CBD is extracted, it is rarely alone. Other cannabinoids and compounds get pulled out with it. So, different CBD strains are defined by how which of these compounds and cannabinoids can be found in the extract.
Let’s start with the strain that has the most cannabinoids. That would be full spectrum CBD. This extract has absolutely all of the other cannabinoids and compounds that follow CBD in the extraction process. This does include THC, but since hemp never has more than 0.3%, it should not be a worry as that is not enough to cause a high. Many people like full spectrum because it is the most “natural” form of CBD. That is, it does not go through any more processes other than extraction (and testing if you are getting it from a good source), leaving it as close to the actual hemp plant as possible.
The strain that lands in the middle of the levels of other cannabinoids is broad spectrum CBD. It is very similar to full spectrum. It has almost all of the other cannabinoids and compounds, almost. It lacks one specific cannabinoid. That would be THC. This is for those who want to get the experience of full spectrum without the worry of THC. The effect that full and broad spectrums provide is called the entourage effect. The idea behind it is that compounds build upon each other and, as a result, may create a stronger effect. If people want the entourage effect without the concern of THC having an unexpected effect, the broad spectrum is a good option.
You can probably use the above sections to guess what CBD isolate is. However, let’s define it, just be sure that we’re all on the same page. CBD isolate is just CBD. Everything else has been filtered out, so it is truly CBD extract. There are no other compounds or cannabinoids. This means that the effect of CBD isolate may not be as strong as it is with the other strains. But it also does not have the other compounds muddying up your CBD experience. In theory, your CBD experience would be much clearer than it would be with any of the other strains.
Now that you know what the different strains of CBD are and what they may or may not do, hopefully shopping for CBD is not as intimidating as it once was. If you feel ready to dive into the world of CBD, check out our line of CBD products on our shop page. We carry something for just about everyone (including your horse)!