So a full spectrum decarb got higher points than isolate (“decarb” just refers to the process of decarboxylation which turns raw CBD into activated CBD). We also gave more points to companies with a “broad spectrum” tincture. Broad spectrum CBD oil includes a range of other cannabinoids, but minus the THC – which is generally what people using isolates are trying to avoid.
Like any manufactured product, one of the best ways to ensure quality is to use high-quality materials. This is especially important in CBD oil because of the hemp plant’s characteristic as a “hyperaccumulator.” This means that the hemp plant easily absorbs anything that is present in the ground that it was cultivated and farmed. If a hemp plant grew on rich soil, the resulting plant will be of high quality that can produce CBD oil in the same high-quality as well.
Watch Out For: Companies who won’t disclose their extraction method or utilize hydrocarbons like butane and propane. These substances are toxic in high amounts and even with proper purging, most hydrocarbon extracts contain residual solvent. Other extraction methods do not result in a full spectrum extract – meaning they were not able to extract all of the beneficial compounds from the hemp plant (i.e. you don’t get the full range of benefits).
In fact, numerous studies have looked at the relationship between CBD and pain, and the results are promising. Researchers have looked at various kinds of pain – from joint pain to cancer pain. One finding is that CBD increases levels of glutamate and serotonin – both neurotransmitters that play a role in pain regulation. And CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties help by tackling the root cause of much chronic pain.
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We take into account the safety of our customers in our extraction process as well. There are a number of potential solvents that can be used to extract CBD oil from the cannabis plant. Some companies choose to use dangerous solvents like butane in their extraction process. However, this opens the end user to residual contamination from any solvent that is left unpurged from the oil. To extract our CBD oil from our hemp crops, we use supercritical CO2 in a process that the FDA considers GRAS or “generally regarded as safe”. Because we use a non-toxic solvent, the risk of contaminating our CBD oil is removed.
To add to the challenges, brands in the CBD space are struggling to verify their own products. Laura White, founder of Soul Addict, started a CBD line after she found it helped her with crippling anxiety. Wanting to create a reliable product in both purity and potency, she’d test on top of the farm’s tests and kept running into the same problem: The lab results didn’t match. When White finally found a farm that had accurate tests, she’d partner with them. A few years later, Soul Addict now sources all its CBD through small, family-run farms in Colorado and White is in the process of integrating her own crops from North Carolina. The lesson she learned? Brands should be constantly testing their product to verify their farms’ reports.