Herbal and natural medicine has grown in popularity over the past few years, but there’s still a lot of debate over the best methods of creating and ingesting herbal or natural supplements. There is a great deal of information out there to do your research with, but it can still seem inconclusive. One example is weighing the difference between full-spectrum and standardized extracts in supplements.
Making the choice to take a supplement is a decision that a great many people are making. Whether to assist in the treatment of a problem or for more general health reasons, the supplement industry rakes in about 28 billion per year in the US alone. If you’re one of that group, you probably do a lot of research before choosing which supplement is best for you. When it comes to extraction methods, research is a good thing. If you’re using cannabidiols, that difference is even more crucial.
Simply, these are two different methods of extracting and preparing natural plants to put into supplements. There is some debate about which of these is best. Let’s explore the differences so you can make your own informed decision. No matter which you think is better, make sure you talk to your doctor before starting or stopping any supplements or medication.
Full-Spectrum – Getting It All
To talk about full-spectrum supplements, we have to discuss where supplements come from. An herb or plant is not just made of one substance. Even if you consume the herb for one of it’s chemical parts, there are supporting qualities in the herb that can assist in your body’s processing of the supplement. For example, you might eat spinach for it’s vitamins, but you’re also benefiting from the fiber in spinach as well. The benefits you get from the fiber help your body process the vitamins you’re getting. They work together.
A full-spectrum supplement takes all the elements of the herb or substance your supplement is made out of, so you get all of it. When supplements are not made with a full-spectrum approach, they leave out trace elements or minerals that may play a roll in the efficacy of your supplement.
On the other hand, using a full spectrum approach makes it more difficult to create a uniform, standard dose from batch to batch. Raw materials can respond to full-spectrum extraction with slight differences. For some supplements, this is not a concern. For other supplements, researchers recommend a standardized dosage. With CBDs the recommendations can go either way. You can find dosage recommendations at cbdbeginner.com.
Standardized Extracts – Uniform Dosage
Standardized extracts happen when the active ingredient of your supplement is extracted from it’s raw source before being put back into an herbal base of the product source. This gives a uniform and concentrated dose of the active ingredient that stays the same batch to batch. Clinical trials require a standardized extract method to be used so that results can be verified and replicated.
This method is often doctor recommended for a number of reasons. It allows a controlled dosage and a more measured protection against interactions with other medications a patient might be taking. If a patient is taking a supplement as an adjunct to medical treatment, the treating physician might require the supplements to utilize a standard extraction method.
The possible downside comes in the absence of trace minerals and compounds that are present in the raw product. One example of why this can matter comes in the form of oceanic salt water. Science has come a long way, and synthetic ocean water can be produced. It has every compound we know that oceanic salt water contains. The problem is, ocean fish can’t survive in it. There are things in salt water that allow fish to live it in, and those things are present in a synthetic ocean water.
Because of this, proponents of full-spectrum extraction hypothesize that the same can be true for supplements. St John’s Wort is one such supplement that has been the center of this debate. As scientists have studied it, they’ve found that mistakes in standardized extract with St John’s Wort have compromised efficacy because of the way the compounds in it work together.