Like other prominent cannabinoids, CBDa is biosynthesized onsite in the glandular trichomes of hemp plants. Trichomes are distributed over the plant surface in varying amounts with the highest concentrations occurring on the female flowers.
The widespread use of mechanized harvesting equipment from other agricultural sectors and large scale extraction practices have made the most common hemp commodity on the market a material referred to as “bio-mass.” Bio-mass consists of flowers, stems, stalks, leafs and often seeds. What we are seeing is that large scale extraction and processing equipment is being developed to deal with bio-mass rather than developing ways to scale up flower-specific harvesting. The majority of these massive hemp farms all over the world just harvest the whole plant and wrap it all up in giant bales or grind it into bins and send it off to huge extraction facilities.
Remember how we talked about the fact that most of the CBDa is in the flowers? These extraction facilities are using extremely resource intensive practices to extract, remediate and refine the product until they finally have crude oil that is mostly CBD, or they go a little further to isolate “pure” powdered CBD (find out more about the difference between CBDa and CBD->here<-).
When bio-mass is the base material input, the initial extraction pulls tons of other unwanted constituents out of the material along with the CBDa which is why remediation and refinement is necessary. During the process of stripping away the unwanted compounds from the crude bio-mass extract, many of the good compounds that contribute to the value-added experience of the entourage effect are also lost as well as converting most of the CBDa to CBD. So when you hear companies saying they are using a “whole plant extract,” they are often referring to a concentrate made from bio-mass where the final product actually contains little-to-none of the naturally occurring beneficial components found in well-grown hemp flower.
At Circle Labs, we refer to our products as Whole Flower Hemp Oil because we literally only use hand-harvested, high-grade hemp flower. Stems, stalks, leafs and seeds don’t make it into our infusion process, making it possible for us to retain and preserve the wide array of potentially beneficial components from healthy, single source, single cultivar hemp flower.