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A beginner’s guide to CBD extracts

With the growing awareness about the therapeutic values of cannabis, the consumption of cannabidiol or CBD across the globe is rising rapidly. People are using them to alleviate different physical and psychological conditions, stress, sleep issues or simply as a health supplement that makes life a little better. According to a recent report published in the New York Times, the CBD industry in the United States is fast growing and will hit $16 billion by 2025. Its fast-growing popularity ensures that CBD extract is available in a range of products including capsules, gummies, tinctures, breath sprays, pet foods, human food supplements, vape fluids, or just good old CBD oils.

There are also different methods of CBD extraction from the plant in practice as well as various types of extracts available in the market. Given this, buying the perfect CBD extract for you may seem a bit confusing for the first time. This post will give you a guide to the CBD extracts so that you can make a wise decision while selecting the perfect product for yourself.

What is CBD extract?

CBD or cannabidiol is a nonpsychoactive natural compound in cannabis and industrial hemp plants that has amazing therapeutic potentials. As a nonpsychoactive component, it counteracts the effect of the psychoactive compound THC or tetrahydrocannabinol in cannabis. By binding with the Serotonin, Adenosine, Vanilloid and other receptors in our brains, cannabidiol works on the human endocannabinoid system to produce relief from pain, stress, inflammations, anxiety and other health benefits. Being such a valuable natural compound, CBD is extracted from cannabis or hemp plants separating it from other cannabinoids and terpenes and sold as a variety of products in the market.

Uses of CBD extracts

CBD extract can be consumed in a variety of ways, including smoking, eating or inhaling it by other means. Among various CBD products, CBD oil is undoubtedly the most popular. People use CBD extracts including CBD oil for a variety of health benefits. Though clinical researches on the effects of CBD extracts are still scanty, anecdotal evidence and popular belief are hard to be ignored.


Studies have shown that CBD extracts can have great anti-epileptic seizure properties. The FDA approved CBD prescription solution Epidiolex is said to be highly effective in treating two rare and severe forms of epilepsy – the Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Anti-inflammation and relief from pains

Many people use CBD oils to manage chronic neuropathic pains and muscle spasms. It is not surprising that CBD oils are becoming increasingly popular among arthritis patients. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, CBD extracts are very effective in reducing or managing chronic inflammation.

Alleviating different mental conditions

Different studies claim that CBD extracts have great anti-oxidant properties and are very good at stress-relieving. People take CBD oil to fight anxiety and depression too.

Treating neurological disorders

As it works on those parts of the brain which are responsible for memory, cognition, and sense of direction, CBD extract is extremely helpful in treating patients of Alzheimer’s disease or schizophrenia. It can also help people with ADD/ADHD to focus better.

Methods of CBD extraction

There are at least four recognized methods of extracting CBD from cannabis or hemp plants. The way in which it is extracted determines the purity and quality of the CBD extract and its overall effect on the user.

The Rick Simpson method:

The cheapest and the simplest technique of CBD extraction, this method leaves behind a lot of harmful residues in the final product. For that and a lot of other reasons, this is certainly not a method to be recommended.

Carrier Oil extraction:

In this method, oil, generally olive, is used as a solvent to extract CBD from the decarboxylated plants. Though it produces no harmful contaminants, this method is not very productive and yields only low potency extracts.

Alcohol extraction:

This process uses ethanol or ethyl alcohol as a solvent. Being a highly tedious and lengthy procedure, this technique is becoming less popular day by day.

CO2 extraction:

The most popular and effective method of CBD extraction uses CO2 or carbon dioxide. It is capable of producing full-spectrum CBD extracts and leaves very little waste or harmful contaminants.

Different types of CBD extracts

There are different types of CBD extracts available in the market which differ from each other in terms of their potency and effects.

Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum CBD extracts

Full Spectrum means an extract that has the full range of cannabinoid and terpene profile in it. A complete profile ensures a high level of entourage effect which is very essential in treating various health symptoms. The only difference between this type of CBD extracts with Broad Spectrum ones is that while the former has trace amounts of THC in it (always less than 0.3%), the latter is absolutely THC-free.

CBD Isolate

CBD Isolate is basically a high concentration (about 99%) CBD extracted in white, odorless powder form. It is used in some CBD oils or consumed as additives to foods or drinks. Being completely free of the other cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis or hemp, CBD Isolates has less potency than the Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum extracts.

CBD extract from hemp and CBD extract from cannabis

On a molecular level, CBD extracted from cannabis is the same as the one extracted from industrial hemp plants. That being said, there are certain significant distinctions between the two products that need to be taken into account. The hemp-derived CBD extracts have much more low THC content than the marijuana-derived CBD oil. This makes the former legal in USA whereas the latter is not. If you don’t want to get high, you’d probably go for the hemp-derived CBD oils. However, for this very reason, the entourage effect is also less than that of the marijuana-derived extracts. The hemp-CBD extracts have much lower resin contents than their counterparts.

If you’re looking for CBD extracts to improve your health, do your research first and check out the varied cannabinoid and terpene profiles of the different products available in the market. Not all CBD extracts are favorable for your particular medical condition. Like all other medicines, CBD extract is only beneficial when you use it judiciously and in a regulated manner.


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