A lot of people are wondering what exactly whole-plant CBD is. Many still don’t know why they should care about using full-spectrum hemp products over single-molecule versions such as pure cannabidiol (CBD).

Despite the widespread use and popularity of these types of products, there are still some misconceptions regarding their true advantages to health when compared with other options available on the market today.

Why use a whole plant CBD extract when you can just take an isolated version? Well, the answer may not be as straightforward as it seems. In this blog post, we will discuss what is whole plant CBD, what whole plant means, and why use whole plant CBD.

What is whole plant CBD?

A CBD product is considered to be made with “whole-plant CBD” if it uses the entire mature flower (bract/bud) from a hemp plant with a specific desire to preserve the most plant compounds, instead of just extracting and using CBD isolate in its purest form.

Another way you may hear about whole-plant CBD is simply “whole flower” or even just “whole hemp flower”. It can also be referred to as whole-plant hemp, but those are all essentially just descriptions of using the entirety of the hemp plant in one product.

What does whole-plant mean?

“Whole-plant” in basic form means to use the entire plant. It is also a greater overall philosophy to preserve the natural aspects of a plant throughout every step of the processing journey.

In hemp, this allows for variety-specific products that have a comparable ratio of compounds as in nature. Similar to cannabis, specific varieties have different therapeutic benefits that are significant. Knowing which variety of hemp works for the desired purpose is an important aspect of finding the right product to use for you.

Is full-spectrum CBD the same as whole plant CBD?

These two terms are closely related, however, they are not exactly the same. If it is whole plant CBD then that would mean it is also full-spectrum by nature.

However, if it is full-spectrum CBD it does not always mean it is whole plant CBD too. An example of this would be when full-spectrum CBD products are made using multiple single isolated compounds mixed together without preserving the natural plant ratios.

What is whole plant CBD oil?

This typically refers to using a whole plant extraction method when creating a CBD oil that commonly is used as a raw material for tinctures. Often, the term is also incorrectly used to refer to tinctures.

This is most likely because of a lack of education about the difference between an oil and a tincture. Regardless, both will provide therapeutic benefits if they contain whole-plant hemp extract.

Where to buy whole plant CBD oil?

Whole-plant CBD oil can be purchased at brick-and-mortar or online retail stores and directly from CBD manufacturers. Choosing where to purchase CBD oil can be quite a task, but it’s truly essential for quality and safety.

Regardless of the purchase location, be sure to ask for third-party lab testing for heavy metals and pesticides, find out if it was produced using best practices in a cleanroom, and have quality ingredients tailored to meet your specific wellness goals with its medicinal properties.

Lastly, when searching for products use multiple search terms like “whole-plant CBD tincture”, “whole-plant CBD oil”, “full-spectrum CBD tincture” and “full-spectrum CBD oil” to get more products for comparison before buying.

What is whole plant extraction?

Whole plant extraction means processing hemp plant material with a primary goal of preserving the natural ratios of cannabinoids and terpenes, especially minor compounds for the resulting plant extract. This wide range of minor cannabinoids is pivotal for optimal beneficial effects.

Typically, in the product journey, the first step is to change the raw plant flower into an extract that can be better used to properly dose final products.

What is hemp extract?

Ultimately, hemp extract is anything that is drawn or pulled out from the plant.

There’s been a lot of chatter about hemp extracts, and it might seem like they’re all interchangeable.

In reality, there are major differences between them due to factors such as processing, cannabinoid content, terpene extraction, and cultivation methods…to name just a few!

A picture of hemp extract closeup
Closeup of Hemp Extract

What is whole-plant hemp extract?

Whole plant hemp extract is a byproduct from hemp plants using special methods in order to harness the full range of healing compounds that these plants offer. The extract is taken out of the entire plant including bracts, pistils, and leaves.

The final product can vary significantly depending on which parts were used and which extraction process was utilized and will still contain traces of THC.

What are the benefits of whole plant hemp extract?

When using all of the flower’s phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and remaining compounds for an extract, it means more diversity. Thus, creating an even more effective product with greater therapeutic properties on both mental and physical ailments. This greater therapeutic benefit is due to the “entourage effect” with the body’s Endocannabinoid System.

The synergistic effect of these compounds is beneficial for your health since they have been shown in this study (1) to work together instead of independently as single-molecule cannabidiol does. The conclusion is instead of isolating one beneficial compound as most pharmaceutical companies do for their medicines, it would be more effective to take advantage of all compounds in order to achieve an optimal balance with your body and mind.

Another study (2) in 2020 looking at the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in the first 400 clinic patients in New Zealand states, “There were no major adverse effects and positive side effects included improved sleep and appetite”. These findings support the general consumer consensus that CBD has a multitude of beneficial effects that can vary.

Lastly, the benefit of being able to microdose minor cannabinoids such as CBG, CBC, and CBN may be critical for certain users that need a certain combination of cannabinoids to work best for them. For example, some researchers (3) found that pure CBD has diminishing effects at a certain dosage. However, research suggests that whole-plant hemp extracts show less variability and might be more effective for medicinal treatment. As we learn more about how these compounds work with the body it will allow for a greater degree of predictability for end consumers.

In Conclusion

CBD is a compound that has been shown to have incredible health benefits, but which type of CBD should you be using? “Whole plant CBD” is the term given to hemp extract that contains all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes.

We’ve provided an overview of what this type of product entails so you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for your treatment needs before making a purchase. If you have any questions about where to find reliable sources for hemp extracts made with whole plant CBD please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Resources:

(1) Russo EB. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Br J Pharmacol. 2011;163(7):1344-1364. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x

(2) Gulbransen G, Xu W, Arroll B. Cannabidiol prescription in clinical practice: an audit on the first 400 patients in New Zealand. BJGP Open. 2020;4(1):bjgpopen20X101010. doi:10.3399/bjgpopen20X101010

(3) Gallily R, Yekhtin Z, Hanuš LO. Overcoming the Bell-Shaped Dose-Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol. Pharmacology & Pharmacy. 2015;6(2):75-85. doi:10.4236/pp.2015.62010