What is hemp?
Much like the widely known cannabis plant (more commonly known as marijuana), hemp or industrial hemp is a member of the Cannabacae family, a large plant family consisting of approximately 170 species. While marijuana and industrial hemp are in the same family, they have historically been cultivated for very different reasons. Marijuana has been cultivated for medicinal purposes, psychoactive properties and tetrohydrocannabidiol (THC) content. Conversely, hemp has been primarily cultivated for fiber and seeds. With the knowledge spreading about the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), hemp has gained traction in being cultivated medicinally for the presence of higher CBD and other phytocannabinoids and lower THC content.
Visually, hemp can vary in appearance from tall with sparse foliage (leaves and flowers) to short and bushy with a greater concentration of flowers and leaves. Generally speaking, the tall, sparse varieties would be utilized for fiber and seed, while the short and bushy varieties would be cultivated for their oil, cannabinoid content and potential therapeutic benefits.
What is full spectrum hemp extract?
Full spectrum hemp extract is considered a whole plant extract derived from the resin on the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant. This resin rests within the tiny, hair-like structures on the outside of the plant called trichomes. The oil extracted from the resin contains phytocannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes and other compounds that have the potential to provide health benefits through activating the endocannabinoid system.
Many tend to focus primarily on the cannabidiol (CBD) content of an extract. While CBD in and of itself has the potential to effect benefits, solely focusing on the one compound does the rest of the extract a disservice. All of these different compounds in the hemp plant and consequentially the extract can work together synergistically more effectively rather than each compound by itself. This is known as the “entourage effect.”
The one cannabinoid that full spectrum hemp extract will contain only nominally – less than 0.3% – tetrohydrocannabidiol (THC). Thus, the extract will not give you a feeling of being “high” like extract derived from cannabis.