First, a quick reminder: cannabidiol, or CBD, is sourced from the hemp plant, a member of the Cannabis Sativa L. family. But unlike the marijuana strain of the cannabis plant, hemp contains very low levels of THC - the ingredient in cannabis that is associated with a 'high'. As such, CBD is safe, legal, and has no addictive or psychoactive effects.
For CBD products, Healthspan only uses EU-approved industrial hemp plants that are bred specifically for nutritional purposes. Grown legally under license in Europe, our hemp is cultivated without the use of pesticides or herbicides, or any other GMO ingredients.
How is CBD made?
Choosing the right hemp is just the start. The oil needs to be carefully removed from the plant (more specifically the leaves) to prevent damaging the delicate compounds within. The most common methods of extraction use liquid solvents such as butane or ethanol, but these can leave trace impurities and potentially toxic residue in the oil.
To make Healthspan CBD, an advanced process is used, called 'supercritical fluid extraction', which uses non-toxic CO2 as the solvent. This process is carried out at high pressures but a low temperature, meaning the desired cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are extracted intact. Unwanted plant matter such as lipids, waxes and chlorophyll are removed during this process, resulting in a clearer, more golden-coloured CBD oil. This is especially important for Healthspan CBD Oil Drops, as it removes the "yucky" taste you might experience with lower-quality oils, which are typically darker in colour.
Once the process is finished, purified CBD oil remains, but there are still some acids within, such as cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), that are less stable and effective than CBD. A decarboxylation process transforms these inactive compounds into active CBD for higher potency.
There are a few final enhancements to make the CBD products the best they can be. Healthspan adds olive oil to the High Strength CBD capsules to help absorption. The Super Strength capsules have a gastro-resistant coating that is better tolerated by the body, dissolving in the lower intestine. Finally, a hint of peppermint oil in the CBD Oral Drops improves their taste.
What are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolate CBD?
You may have seen the terms 'full-spectrum', 'broad-spectrum' and 'isolate' when reading about CBD. Healthspan’s CBD oil is defined as ‘broad-spectrum’. This means that as much THC as possible has been removed from the CBD, while all other cannabinoids have been untouched.
This is slightly different to 'full-spectrum' CBD oil, which has no cannabinoids removed at all, and therefore still contains noticeable levels of THC. As the name suggests, 'CBD isolate' is CBD when it has been separated from all other cannabinoid compounds. Although CBD isolate products contain the highest and purest levels of CBD, they are missing all other cannabinoids.
Research is still ongoing, but it is believed that the compounds from the entire cannabis plant work together synergistically to deliver even greater benefits. This is known as the 'entourage effect' and is a reason why broad-spectrum and full-spectrum oils are the preferred choice for many.
High-quality and legal
All Healthspan CBD oil is batch tested to ensure high levels of CBD and very low levels of THC. For a CBD oil to be legal in the UK, it must be derived from EU-approved industrial hemp and contain no more than 0.2% THC content. Healthspan adheres to a stricter rule of less than 0.05% THC in its CBD oils. The products always display exactly how much CBD you are getting, per dose and per pack. Some manufacturers may only list the total amount of 'cannabinoids', not the specific level of CBD - and could be overstating how much actual CBD is in their products.
Find out more about CBD and Healthspan's CBD products here.
Healthspan is a member of the Cannabis Trades Association UK (CTA UK), a body created to ensure legal and ethical CBD trading standards in the UK.