Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I thought I would start our first blog as an FAQ for CBD based on the most common questions we are asked. Each of these questions could be an entire blog post in and of itself, and our goal will be to expand on some of these topics in future blogposts. In the meantime, we thought it may be useful to get some of your questions answered.
What are the different types of CBD you produce and refine at BSX?
There are generally three different types of products that we produce here.
This is the least refined product that is basically straight out of the extractor with only some of the plant fats and waxes removed. This winterized crude, or full plant extract as it is sometimes called, is a complex mixture of cannabinoids, terpenes, plant fats, waxes, phenols, and other organic compounds. The typical make-up of winterized crude is about 50-60% CBD, 2-5% of the other cannabinoids, 5-10% terpenes, and 25-35% of other plant stuff (chlorophyll, phenols, waxes, fats, etc.).
Winterized crude is a dark brown liquid with the consistency of molasses and a very earthy/hempy smell. It is safe to ingest, but it has a strong and distinctive taste.
The primary benefit of this level of refinement is the presence of terpenes. Terpenes have been shown to improve transdermal delivery of drugs (Link here) and many believe that inhaling or ingesting terpenes can provide health benefits.
Full Spectrum Distillate
To make full spectrum distillate we take our winterized crude and run it through a short path distillation kit. Short path distillation is essentially a still that operates at a vacuum that allows us to boil off different parts (fractions) of the winterized crude and selectively collect the components that we want. In this process we remove almost everything that is not a cannabinoid to create full spectrum distillate. Full spectrum distillate contains 75-85% CBD, 5-10% of the other cannabinoids, and about 10-15% plant fats.
Full spectrum distillate is a light amber translucent liquid with the consistency of honey and a slight medicinal scent. It is also safe to ingest and only has a slight aftertaste.
The primary benefit of this extract is the presence of the full spectrum of cannabinoids from the hemp plant (including THC). You’ll hear the term “entourage effect” used to describe the benefits of the different cannabinoids working together to improve absorption into the body and to deliver complimentary benefits. The scientific data on the “entourage effect” is limited and the studies have been primarily focused on the impact of the presence of cannabinoids and terpenes on the absorption of THC.
CBD isolate is the most refined product we produce. It is essentially pure CBD that is generally around 99.5% pure. CBD isolate contains no THC (or at least non-detectable amounts of THC). CBD distillate is made by supersaturating full spectrum distillate in a warm solvent and then cooling that solvent until the cbd “crashes” out of solution and crystallizes. If you want to see a good analog of the process just search for "how to make homemade rock candy".
CBD isolate is a white powder that is odorless and tasteless. It is safe to ingest and readily dissolves into oils
CBD isolate has a number of advantages over distillate and winterized crude. It is easy to work with and blend into products, it is odorless and tasteless, so some folks prefer it for ingested products, and it contains no THC. CBD isolate is a highly refined product that contains none of the other compounds from the hemp plant.
What is the difference between the THC Free and Full Spectrum products?
The THC Free products are made from CBD isolate, so they have no detectable traces of THC or any other cannabinoids while the full spectrum products are made with our full spectrum distillate that does contain other minor cannabinoids (CBC, CBG, CBN, and THC). The levels of THC in the full spectrum products are below the federal limit of .3%.
Which is better, THC Free or Full Spectrum?
Of course the answer is.....it depends. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Our full spectrum products do have a broader range of cannabinoids and each cannabinoid is shown to have specific benefits. The caveat here is that these minor cannabinoids are present in small quantities relative to the CBD. The ratio of CBD to all of the other cannabinoids combined is about 10:1, so the benefits of these other cannabinoids may be limited due to their lower concentration in a typical full spectrum product.
The downside to the full spectrum is that it does contain THC, which is not inherently bad, but there are some things to consider. The first is that some folks cannot or do not want to consume THC. The second is that federal guidelines limit us to .3% THC content per bottle, so the highest concentration of CBD in a full spectrum tincture is limited to about 1000mg to 1500mg.
The process to make full spectrum distillate is organic. It uses bottled CO 2 as the solvent to extract the CBD (the same C0 2 used in soda fountain dispensers) and 200 proof organic ethanol for the winterization process. It is a clean product that is only touched by something that is safe to consume.
Our THC free products only contain our CBD isolate. No THC and no other cannabinoids. This allows us to offer a much higher concentration of CBD per tincture without concern for bumping up against the THC limits imposed by the government.
The downside is that you may be missing out on some of the possible ancillary benefits of taking CBD with the minor cannabinoids. The process for extracting isolate from distillate does use hydrocarbon solvents, so if you are looking for an organic product, CBD isolate does not fit the bill.