Many people have come to me asking about the CBD that they can find in stores. They’ve asked about the numbers on the bottle and valuing one versus another. They then come to me for what my values are so they can compare and I tell them that I can’t provide anything meaningful in this context. They are thoroughly baffled by that response, but I look at this as a teaching moment.
When you are buying CBD in a store, you are buying what is called a “CBD isolate”. In distillation, say the making of moonshine, you are only looking to obtain what comes out of the still at a specific temperature range, generally 172-179 degrees Fahrenheit. The same principle applies in the distillation of CBD – they are only looking for a select range overall.
But CBD isn’t moonshine, and while the isolate works to a degree, you are not getting all of the benefits that CBD has to offer. Why is that? It’s because you are not using the “Full Spectrum”.
CBD and THC are very similar in this regard. Let me take the example of THC, found in cannabis. If you take a THC isolate (yes, they too exist) you will get a very different effect than if you were to consume a product called Rosin (Rosin is a full spectrum, 100% natural concentrate derived from heating and pressing either flower or keif). The reason for this is because Rosin has the full “terpene profile” of the flower whereas the isolate does not. What does that mean? Think of terpenes as “effect enhancers”. If you were to use the THC example, it is what makes a Sativa a Sativa and an Indica an Indica. Those terpenes add all of the subtleties found in cannabis. They do the same for CBD.
When we make our CBD, we use the entire flower and try to cook off as few of the terpenes as possible. Terpenes have a very low boiling point, so they are quickly and easily lost, but the more of them that you can keep, the better your CBD tincture or butter will be.
So our CBD tincture can’t be strictly graded against those found in convenience stores, because those don’t have the terpenes. They just contain the raw CBD. But those numbers don’t really mean all that much in the grand scheme of things, what people want is the effect. You get those effects from the addition of the terpenes. So while we can’t compare milligrams to milligrams in any meaningful way, if you find yourself some full spectrum CBD, don’t be swayed by the low CBD content. Those terpenes make ALL the difference!