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Understanding CBD Phytonutrients

When you take a broad-spectrum or full-spectrum hemp extract, you’re getting much more than just CBD.

CBD is a cannabinoid, and it’s one of many found within the cannabis plant. And that’s not all, as your CBD oil also contains dozens of other compounds, known as phytonutrients.

What are Phytonutrients?

Phytonutrients are naturally-occurring chemicals produced by the hemp plant. The plant uses these chemicals to support its health and protect it from the sun and insects.

These chemicals are not there for your benefit, that’s just a happy accident.

If you purchase a full or broad-spectrum hemp extract, you’re getting most of these compounds. If you purchase a CBD isolate, you’re only getting the CBD and could be missing out on a host of additional phytonutrients.

What Nutrients Are Found In CBD Oil?

A high-quality full-spectrum CBD oil will contain an array of phytonutrients, including cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals.

What Are The Vitamins And Minerals In CBD?

CBD contains 20 amino acids. 9 of these are essential amino acids, which means that the body cannot produce them on its own.

Amino acids are often referred to as the building blocks of proteins, and they play many essential roles in the body, including those related to hormone function and muscle growth.

CBD oil also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which assume many important roles in the body, as well as nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc, selenium, and other trace compounds.

CBD oil is consumed in very small quantities and amino acids constitute a fraction of the total weight, so it won’t meet all of your daily requirements. CBD oil is not a multi-vitamin, nor should it be seen as such. However, it can support a balanced diet and ensure your nutrient levels remain topped up throughout the day.

What are the Cannabinoids in CBD Oil?

CBD oil is extracted from industrial hemp that has been bred to produce high levels of CBD and low levels of THC.

This ensures that the hemp plant stays within federal legal limits for THC while allowing for a high CBD harvest. CBD and THC are the two most abundant cannabinoids in hemp, but they are not the only ones.

A full-spectrum CBD oil may also contain CBN, CBG, Delta-9 THC, and CBC, including precursors such as CBDA and CBNA.

All of these could play a role within the body’s endocannabinoid system, especially when they are combined.

What are the Terpenes in CBD Oil?

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in all plants, fruits, and vegetables. These naturally-occurring compounds are what give plants their unique aromas and they are highly concentrated within the cannabis sativa plant.

The most common terpenes include myrcene, pinene, limonene, linalool, and beta-caryophyllene. They impart sour, citrusy, floral, fruity, and earthy fragrances and the unique combination of these terpenes is what creates the distinctive scents associated with hemp strains.

Terpenes can be found in most full-spectrum CBD oils, but the exact terpenes and concentrations will depend on the extraction process, as well as the strain from which the oil was extracted.

What are the Flavonoids in CBD Oil?

Flavonoids, like terpenes, are found throughout nature. They are incredibly important compounds and are one of the reasons a diet rich in whole fruits and vegetables is so good for you.

There are over 20 flavonoids in the cannabis sativa plant, the most common of which include quercetin, cannaflavin A, and apigenin. 

Does CBD Oil Contain Omega 6?

Hemp is a source of omega-6 fatty acids and you may find traces in CBD oil, as well. It’s far from a great source, though.

Hemp seed oil is a much better source. Not only does it contain high levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, but it’s also packed with vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, it’s completely vegan, and when you consider that fish oil is the usual go-to source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, that’s great news for vegans and vegetarians.

Hemp oil, like CBD oil, can vary in quality, so make sure you buy from a reputable supplier and know exactly what you’re getting.

Other Nutrients in CBD Products

Oftentimes, when you buy CBD products, you’re not just getting CBD and other naturally-occurring cannabis compounds. There may be a few other compounds in there, some bad, some good, some pointless:

Additional Herbs and Extracts

As the CBD market grows, producers are seeking more ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. One of the ways they do this is by adding other herbs and plant extracts.

For instance, you may find edibles and oils with extracts of lemon balm and lavender. You can buy hemp tea with added chamomile flowers and even products that contain caffeine.

Some of these herbs make for very useful additions, but only if they are used in the correct dose. 

For instance, CBD products made with a little lemon balm extract aren’t going to do much if there are just trace amounts in each serving.

When buying these products, make sure the added ingredients actually serve a purpose (whether that be as a preservative/flavoring, or to improve results) and are used in recommended and effective doses.

The Carrier Oil

A carrier oil is a base oil that “carries” the active ingredient (CBD).

Carrier oils are used to dilute the CBD to a recommended dosage and to improve bioavailability. MCT oil, hemp seed oil, avocado oil, and olive oil are the most common, but other oils may be used.

The fact that you’re only consuming small amounts every day means you don’t need to worry too much about calories or fat. However, the quality of the oil could impact the speed and rate of absorption, with many experts believing that MCT oil is best due to its rapid absorption.

Sweeteners and Flavorings

Natural sweeteners and flavorings are often used to make the oil more palatable. You may find extracts of herbs and plants in your oil, for instance, and while these aren’t enough to provide any nutritional benefits, they can make the oil easier to swallow.

However, some edibles may use artificial flavors and refined sugars, and if you’re watching your calorie/sugar intake, or just want to stick with all-natural edibles, it’s best to avoid them.

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