With the rapid growth of the hemp and CBD industries, we recognize that many people have questions, and are often confused by some of the terminology. Unfortunately, some disreputable companies are taking advantage of this by using misleading advertising to sell inferior products. At General Processing, we want you to be informed. We want you to know the difference between full spectrum and broad spectrum hemp oil.  We want you to understand the difference between cryogenic alcohol extraction and CO2 extraction methods. We want you to know what a COA is and be able to read one.

In order to accomplish this, we have compiled a list of common questions and answers, defined terms and attached articles to help you better understand hemp and CBD – what to look for and what to avoid.  If you have a question that is not answered below, feel free to message us and we’ll get it added. We believe that CBD is an amazing natural product and we want consumers to be able to make informed, educated decisions when they are choosing CBD products.

Click on any question from the list below to view the answer.  Please note this page is under construction with more questions and answers coming soon. 


What is a Cannabinoid?

A cannabinoid is one of many diverse chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors in the body, also known as the endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoids may be called Endocannabinoids, Phytocannabinoids or Synthetic cannabinoids, depending on where they are made. Endocannabinoids are produced naturally by the body in animals. Phytocannabinoids are produced naturally by plants. Synthetic cannabinoids are manufactured artificially.
All of the cannabinoids found in hemp extracts, therefore, are phytocannabinoids. They can be broken down further into the following subclasses:
CBD (Cannabidiol)
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)
CBG (Cannabigerol)
CBC (Cannabichromenes)
CBN (Cannabinol)
The most well known of these compounds are CBD, known for its many health benefits, and THC which is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that creates the “high”.
To read more on Cannabinoids click here  

What is a Phytocannabinoid?

You may see some companies advertising their CBD products as “Phytocannabinoid extracts” and wonder how they are different?  “Phyto” means plant so phytocannabinoid simply means a cannabinoid that is made by a plant. Every CBD product made from hemp extract is a “phytocannabinoid”, some people just think using the bigger scientific word makes it sound more legitimate.

What is Winterization or Dewaxing?

Winterization is a lengthy extra purification process to remove undesirable lipids and waxes that are extracted with the beneficial hemp compounds when the CO2 extraction method is used. Winterization is only necessary when the CO2 extraction method is used and can adversely affect the final cannabinoid and terpenoid profile of the extract. Dewaxing is similar to winterization, but a different solvent is used. 

What does Phytoremediation mean and why is it SO important for CBD products?

Phytoremediation is the use of certain types of plants called bioaccumulators to remove toxins from contaminated soil. These plants absorb and collect toxins like heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides from the soil, thereby cleansing it. This process is being used all over the world to clean land that has been poisoned by factories or mining and even to help remove radioactive isotopes from places like Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Hemp is one of these amazing bioaccumultors which makes it very good for the planet. However, when it is grown in a polluted area and then processed for CBD, these toxic substances can be found in the extracts. This is why it is EXTREMELY important to know where the hemp that produced your CBD was grown and to always see a COA -Certificate of Analysis. 

What are “Bioaccumulators” and why are they important?

Certain plants like sunflowers or hemp are bioaccumulators, which mean they absorb and collect toxins like heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides from the soil. This amazing ability is being used all over the world to clean land that has been poisoned by factories or mining and even to help remove radioactive isotopes from places like Chernobyl and Fukushima. This is great for the planet but not so good for you, when the hemp grown in a polluted area is then processed for CBD – unless, of course, you don’t mind consuming arsenic, cadmium, lead, herbicides, and pesticides. All of these concentrated toxic substances can be found in the extracts. It is always good to know where your food is grown, but in the case of products made from bioaccumulators it is imperative! Always ask where the hemp that produced your CBD was grown, and to see a COA (Certificate of Analysis).

What is the difference between Full spectrum, Isolate, and Broad spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum means that the product contains the full spectrum of compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) from the hemp plant, including the cannabinoid, THC. (Only products with THC levels of less than 0.3% are federally legal at this time).  The range of this full spectrum can vary greatly depending on…click here to read more.

What are Terpenes (or Terpenoids)?

You may not be familiar with the word terpenes, but you’ve experienced them all your life. Terpenes are the organic compounds produced by plants and flowers that contribute to how things smell and taste – the unique pungent aroma of pine, the tangy smell of citrus. They are the primary components of many essential oils, and are widely used in fragrances and aromatherapy. BUT THEY ARE MORE THAN THAT…
Research has demonstrated that hemp terpenes provide not only flavor and aroma, but they also work synergistically to support other cannabinoids (like CBD) found in hemp. This is known as the entourage effect. What this means is that when taken alone, cannabinoids may not achieve the same level of benefits as when combined with terpenes. Hemp plants contain over one hundred different terpenes, and depending on the type of extraction process used, these can (and should) be preserved in the final product. This is why the type of processing used is so important. Click here for more information on the differences in CO2 and Ethanol extraction.


Alcohol versus CO2 Extraction – Why is Alcohol Better? 

The two most common CBD extraction techniques use either CO2 (carbon dioxide) or alcohol (ethanol) as a solvent. Ethanol is a commonly used alcohol that is derived from plant fermentation and has been designated safe for human consumption by the FDA.

CBD oil extracted with ethanol can be certified organic. CBD oil extracted with CO2 cannot.

One of the most important differences in the two solvents is that CO2 only extracts non-polar, oil-soluble compounds. This results in a very limited extraction and many valuable components of the hemp plant are left behind. Ethanol, on the other hand, because it is both polar and non-polar can extract a much wider range of water and oil- soluble molecules, that includes… click here to read more


What is THC-Free

THC-free on the label means that there is none of the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, in the product. This is important for people who may be tested for THC (at work or as part of an athletic program) and can not risk having a positive drug test. Even though, at the low legal levels of THC (<0.3%) that risk is minimal, if it’s your livelihood, any risk is unacceptable and THC-Free products should be used. However…
THC-free does not tell you anything else about the product – whether it is broad spectrum and contains the other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes, or whether it was made from a CBD isolate so it contains only CBD and nothing else. Has it been tested by a third party laboratory and shown to not contain heavy metals or pesticides? Before you jump in and buy a product just because it is THC free, do your research and ask a few questions. Make sure it has all of the beneficial components you are looking for, and none of the bad. Ask for a Certificate of Analysis (COA). Any reputable company will be happy to provide it to you.

Next question content. Click here to read the full study on cannabinoid/terpenoid entourage effect in the British Journal of Pharmacology.