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What is Full Spectrum Hemp Oil, and Why is it Important?

Let’s take a look at the options for hemp extracts in order of closest to the plant to the most refined.


“Crude”/Full Spectrum Hemp Oil>Distillate>Isolate is the most basic breakdown, with each step requiring further refining and more energy to produce. 

 1) Full Spectrum Hemp Oil (FSHO) contains all of the hemp plant’s nutrients and medicinal values as it is the most complete and unprocessed form of extract. (50-70% CBD) Depending on processing, the purity of this step can be done delicately enough to generate a very fine product. It is this minimally processed fraction that DRHC uses in the majority of its’ products, excluding some blend ingredients and the THC Free tincture. It takes alcohol, energy, and consequentially an environmental impact to produce hemp extract. Doing this step well, and not over-taxing the material makes for a premium product with a minimalistic impact.

 2) Distillate starts off as FSHO, which is run back through the evaporative still another time to pull out waxes, lipids(fats), and pigments that are still bound up with base material. This results in a lighter, more clear product as seen in the image below. (60-80% CBD). Many products using Distillate are labeled “full-spectrum”, and technically it is one step further into refinery. If the primary FSHO extract is done poorly, this can be a step that companies will use lesser-quality oil and “polish” it into distillate for use in their “full-spectrum” products.

2.1 Broad Spectrum Hemp Oil is Distillate that undergoes an additional process to remove individual cannabinoids such as THC. DRHC uses Full Spectrum Hemp Oil(FHSO in as many products as possible), as our finished products always contain less than the federally regulated legal amount of THC: less than 0.3% This process of making “TFree” distillate is expensive because of the energy and specialized equipment required and our processor will use Isolate if it is needed in the formulation.









3) Isolate is the purest form of CBD, meaning that the CBD is isolated from all other parts of the hemp plant, leaving behind the terpenes, cannabinoids, and oils that work in sync with CBD to give the full medicinal qualities of the plant(entourage effect). This is the refined white powder form of cannabinoid. Think refined white sugar compared to its’ parent sugar cane. Isolate is valuable in products that need to be THC Free or can also allow very accurate dosing in blending products like the 90:10 CBD:CBN (CBN being added as isolate to full-spectrum CBD).



Reduced Impact, Shorter Distance, and Better Long Term Effect

By now we are all familiar with the concept of “flattening the curve”.

If not, here’s how it goes:

On the chart below imagine that the red spike is “CBD Isolate”, the blue curve is “Full Spectrum Hemp Oil” and the dotted line represents the body’s saturation point.

  1. CBD administered or ingested as Isolate, the pure powder form, the body’s endocannabinoid system can become quickly saturated at the uptake sites for CBD or other compounds. This results in a quick onset of relief, but a shorter window of effectiveness. Another risk of this is saturating the system by constant up and down, reducing the overall efficacy of CBD on whatever you may be using it for. (1-2hrs)
  2. Products containing FSHO take longer to onset, but have a much longer window. One dose of CBD can be effective for an entire day. And because the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is not under constant strain, the products continue to work without the risk of increased tolerance or loss of effect. (3-6hrs)
Flatten Curve