Our customers often ask us about the difference between Quicksilver Scientific “Broad Spectrum” and “Full Spectrum” products. To understand this, let’s begin with the hemp plant. Hemp comes from the plant strain Cannabis sativa, as does marijuana. Another strain that shows up more often as marijuana is Cannabis indica. Regardless of the strain, or whether it is hemp or marijuana, cannabis contains hundreds of plant compounds. Many of these plant compounds have healing properties, thanks to our own endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The most active and abundant of these compounds are cannabinoids. Just as carrots have beneficial compounds such as carotenoids, cannabis has cannabinoids. The two most abundant and famous are THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). There are another 80+ cannabinoids such as CBN, CBG and CBC, etc. The difference between hemp and marijuana is the overall amount of THC in the plant and finished product. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp can legally contain up to 0.3% THC by weight.
Cannabis also contains another group of plant compounds called terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds produced by plants that act as a defense mechanism in nature, protecting the plant from insects and animals. There are tens of thousands of terpenes in plants world-wide and more than 200 just in cannabis. For example, the terpene Beta-caryophyllene is found in black pepper, oregano and many green, leafy vegetables as well as hemp.
There is another class of plant compounds called flavonoids. It is estimated that more than 5,000 flavonoids can be found in plants, fruits and vegetables, representing about 10% of the total substances produced by the plant. They are responsible for the spectacular color, aroma and flavor of some our favorite fruits. The healing properties of flavonoids, such as catechins, are found in green tea and cocoa as well as hemp. Flavonoids unique to the cannabis plant are referred to as cannaflavins.
All these plants compounds, cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids work together to create what is called, “the entourage effect”. This is widely used term that describes the synergistic nature of the many pharmacologically active compounds in cannabis. One conclusion is that its best to have the full spectrum of plant compounds in hemp derived CBD oil. However, tailored cannabinoid formulations can be just as effective or used to target specific ailments.
What’s in a Spectrum?
The different spectrums of CBD hemp oil can be described like different grades of gasoline, full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolate. “Full Spectrum” refers to hemp oils that contain everything, including the legal amount of THC that is allowed under the 2018 Farm Bill. “Broad Spectrum” refers to hemp oils that contain everything but THC. The THC is removed using different methods such as distillation or chromatography.
“Isolate” refers to hemp oils that contain just the cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) and nothing else. CBD isolates are commonly found in food and topical products, as well tinctures and capsules. CBD isolate may be appropriate for someone complying with anti-doping rules. In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from the list of prohibited substances.
Although the CBD hemp oil industry uses these terms as just described, you may find that some companies may use these terms in a slightly different way. There are also variations of products within each category. As the science of cannabinoid research evolves, we will find the best combination of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids to yield consistent and favorable results.
What is the difference between Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract?
The original nanoemulsified Colorado Hemp Oil was a broad spectrum hemp product. As a broad spectrum hemp product it contained all of the cannabinoids except THC, and contained terpenes and flavonoids. Colorado Hemp Oil has been rebranded as Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract. It’s the same great formula with 33% more CBD per serving.
So why the change?
With the introduction of Quicksilver Scientific Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, which contains the allowable amount of THC allowed in hemp derived CBD oil, the rebranded Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract better represents their hemp oil without THC. In essence, Quicksilver Scientific changed the name of their original product to better represent their new line of hemp oil products.
According to the formulator, Chris Shade, if there are symptoms of psychosis or schizophrenia or if you get drugged tested only use the Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract. For other neuro-inflammatory processes it is probably better to use the Full Spectrum Hemp Extract. If you like the original Colorado Hemp Oil, stick with the new Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract without THC or try their new Full Spectrum Hemp Extract with THC.
Although 0.3 percent is a surprisingly small amount of THC, not enough to be psycho intoxicating, it’s enough to activate out own endocannabinoid receptors. Do we need THC to activate CBD? Not necessarily. Although CBD works better in the presence of other cannabinoids like THC, it can work in its own since it helps build own endocannabinoids that activate our endocannabinoids system. Quicksilver also adds additional terpenes like beta-caryophyllene to their Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract to build endocannabinoid tone. Either way, both new products are still nanoemulsified for better relative bioavailability.