We’re all familiar with the benefits of CBD, and how it can be used to help treat anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, chronic pain, and various other conditions.
But where many people get confused is in understanding the difference between its various spectrums: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. These terms are used to tell the kind of CBD oil a product is made of.
Their chemical compositions are different, each with its unique potential benefit that you may not necessarily get from another.
In this article, we’ll be going over the main differences between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate so that you’ll know the one(s) that best fits your needs.
But before we get into all that, let’s first understand the basic principle behind the various spectrums.
FULL-SPECTRUM, BROAD-SPECTRUM, AND CBD ISOLATE: WHAT’S BEHIND THE DIFFERENCE?
The Cannabis plant, from which CBD is obtained, is a complex plant. It’s made up of hundreds of chemical compounds, some of which are referred to as cannabinoids. CBD and THC are the most popular of these cannabinoids, but they’re only a small fraction of the compounds that make up cannabis.
The hemp plant contains other important compounds like other terpenes, flavonoids, and essential fatty acids. Together, these compounds are thought to work synergistically to provide what’s called the “entourage effect.”
We give you this background because this is where the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate lies.
Let’s now get to know the various spectrums and their differences.
WHAT IS FULL-SPECTRUM CBD?
Full-Spectrum CBD is a type of extract that contains the full spectrum of phytochemicals found in the hemp or cannabis plants. It contains all the cannabinoids naturally present in hemp, including THC, as well as terpenes and flavonoids.
Most full-spectrum CBD products generally contain less than 0.3% THC, which often isn’t enough to elicit any psychoactive effects. Though the THC content of the full-spectrum CBD oil is negligible, consuming it in high doses could trigger a false positive on a drug test. But it typically never causes a “high.”
Let’s now talk about broad-spectrum.
WHAT IS BROAD-SPECTRUM CBD?
Broad-spectrum CBD products contain all the compounds in full-spectrum CBD, except THC, which is the psychoactive part of the hemp plant.
Broad-spectrum CBD oil is gotten by further refining of the full-spectrum CBD oil. During this refining process, companies decide which cannabinoids to eliminate.
However, most manufacturers remove only THC because they are aware of the synergistic powers of the other cannabinoid. Especially when it comes to creating the “entourage effect” (more on this later).
Broad-Spectrum products are a great choice if you want to reap the benefits of the entourage effect, but don’t want THC in your body, whether for legal, professional, or personal reasons.
We now move to CBD isolate.
WHAT IS CBD ISOLATE?
CBD isolate, also known as pure crystalline cannabidiol, is CBD in its purest form. With no extra cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids. It is made by refining and isolating CBD from its naturally occurring terpenes and other cannabinoids.
Isolated CBD is the most concentrated form of CBD and is usually 99% CBD. However, it isn’t necessarily better or more beneficial to the body, apart from the fact that it never gets you high and doesn’t show up on a drug test.
CBD isolate can be used by those who are sensitive or allergic to other cannabinoids. It can also be used to make CBD edibles and for mixing with foods and beverages.
While CBD isolate is helpful, it is not as effective as the full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oil. It also doesn’t offer the benefits created by the entourage effect.
We’ve mentioned the entourage effect a couple of times, but what’s it all about? Let’s take a look at what this phenomenon is about.
WHAT IS THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT?
The entourage effect is a phenomenon where the effective components of the hemp plant (CBD, THC, CBG, etc.) work together to augment each other’s medicinal properties.
The entourage effect is created by the synergy between cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. The idea of the entourage effect is that the benefit of the entire plant extract is greater than that of its isolated parts.
This effect explains why more often people are taking full-spectrum CBD or broad-spectrum CBD products instead of isolates. As mentioned before, isolated CBD does not offer this benefit.
FULL-SPECTRUM VS BROAD-SPECTRUM VS CBD ISOLATE: WHICH ONE IS BEST FOR YOU?
So, now you know the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate, which one should you choose? It really comes down to your own personal needs and the state you live in.
Full-spectrum CBD both provides all the benefits of cannabinoids, including terpenes that can modify other cannabinoids’ effects on your body. It is the least processed and most potent form of CBD oil, and it’s believed to best lend to the entourage effect.
Broad-spectrum CBD contains all the compounds available in full-spectrum CBD, except for THC. It gives users the benefits of full-spectrum CBD—including the entourage effect— with fewer odds of raising a false positive in a drug test, or of THC accumulating in the body due to prolonged use.
CBD isolate on the other hand is the most refined form of CBD. It is legal in almost all states and is best for people who are sensitive or allergic to other cannabinoids.But is generally less potent compared to full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD.
YOU NOW KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE VARIOUS CBD SPECTRUMS
While the effects of each might be similar, you now know what makes each spectrum different. Which means you can now make more informed buying decisions.
Still have questions about the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate? Feel free to contact us anytime. We’d be glad to help!