Not All CBD Products Are Created Equal

December 6, 2019 by Greg Miller Executive Director, NICI

There are two primary types of CBD being used in the products we consume – full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD contains, you guessed it, the full spectrum of cannabinoids that the hemp plant has to offer. CBD isolate, on the other hand, only contains the one cannabinoid we know as CBD.

Full-spectrum CBD is now considered to be more effective in its healing properties due to the entourage effect, but it can contain up to 0.3% THC. CBD isolate does not contain any trace of THC, making it a better option for some consumers.

The industry is currently split between full-spectrum and the purified CBD isolate, and most consumers have no idea which they’re using.

This disruption could release up to $7.8 billion into the cannabis markets. Learn more before December 16.

In my recent conversation with Rachael Rapinoe, I was actually surprised to hear that her CBD company, Mendi, plans to use both types. This is unusual but makes sense considering that Mendi caters to athletes – which makes it especially important for the company to provide a pure CBD option so that athletes subject to drug testing don’t get flagged for having even the tiniest trace of THC in their system.

Whether a company chooses to use full-spectrum or CBD isolate is generally a decision based on what the company believes, not what customers are asking for.

As consumer education increases, companies will have to pivot to reflect demand, which will help the best products rise to the top.

Regulatory Agencies Need to Catch Up

A large aspect of this consumer confusion comes directly from regulatory agencies like the FDA, which has not issued any solid regulatory guidance for cannabis companies looking to market CBD products. In fact, the FDA just recently released a whole host of unproven claims about the potential harm of CBD that caught us all off-guard.

But we do know the FDA understands that CBD does have tremendous benefits.

For instance, the FDA did approve Epidiolex (cannabidiol) as a form of treatment for epilepsy.

And as you and I know, the healing potential of CBD goes far beyond that – which is one of the biggest reasons why market demand has absolutely exploded over the past year. It seems like nearly every day I see a new study that supports the health and wellness benefits of cannabis and CBD for things like migraine, chronic pain, traumatic brain injury, and so much more.

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