CBD or CBD oil has become the mainstream vitamin. Pharmacies to gas stations all sell it. But just seeing “CBD” on a bottle will not mean much. Firstly, you should know that CBD products fit into three main categories: CBD isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum. Remember that knowing the differences is so important as getting your CBD dosage right. Each category has different impacts on the user. So, it is crucial to know the differences between CBD isolate vs. broad-spectrum vs. full-spectrum CBD.
Living amid an obscure unregulated market, CBD consumers need a clear explanation of key terms so that they can differentiate CBD products. We are regularly having a lot of confusion around the words “full-spectrum,” “broad-spectrum,” and “isolate.” Here is our effort to help you understand the differences between these three choices- CBD full spectrum vs. broad-spectrum vs. isolate or isolate vs. broad-spectrum vs. full-spectrum CBD oil
Each type of CBD presents essential factors to consider, and understanding the differences between CBD isolate vs. full-spectrum vs. broad-spectrum is essential for every CBD user. In this article, we help you remove your confusion by shedding some light on this critical subject explaining the differences between full-spectrum CBD vs. broad-spectrum vs. an isolate and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Different types of CBD have different health benefits. But you don’t know which one is the best for you until you can compare them as all are high in potent. Research and studies are insufficient to gain all-out knowledge. That’s why our primary goal is to bring you an extensive study to help you learn about the differences in effects, benefits, and other aspects of all types of CBD so by gaining foresight, you can and make a preference for yourself.
Exploring the Cannabinoid Spectrum
While CBD seems to be the next great thing for the hemp and cannabis markets, other markets also continue to emerge as researchers unveil the seemingly unlimited potential of the various compounds in the cannabis Sativa plants. Although whole-plant extracts are considered superior in general, isolation of specific cannabinoids and terpenes may allow for specific formulations for different health and wellness products and specialized medications designed for complex ailments and diseases.
In more developed markets, savvy cannabis consumers have already started to seek out minor cannabinoids as well. Although THC and CBD, the most abundant and most well-known of the active compounds found in cannabis, preserve the majority of the headlines and press time, there are hundreds of cannabinoids that we’ve just begun to understand.
Through understanding each of the cannabinoids distinctively, researchers may uncover the secrets hidden deep within the plant’s leaves. Some of the more popular cannabinoids gaining momentum in the cannabis and hemp industries are as follows,
- Cannabigerol (CBGA)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
- Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (∆-8-THC)
- Cannabichromene (CBC),
With many different ranges of effects delivered by other cannabinoids like Cannabigerol (CBG) and Cannabinol (CBN), the complete collection of cannabinoids forms is referred to as the “cannabinoid spectrum.” The cannabinoid spectrum range determines whether the product is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolates. The cannabinoid content from the Cannabis plant is extracted to create a CBD product using methods like CO2 extraction.
During this process, other remaining components than CBD found within the plant are also extracted. They include terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids. The composition and cannabinoid profile will differ subject to the strain and classification used for extraction. For example, Hemp is a classification of Cannabis Sativa, and it contains little to no THC, compared to the Cannabis Indica strain- Pennywise containing a 1:1 CBD to THC content ratio.
Depending on the purpose of the end-product, companies choose extraction from the strain of cannabis that best suits their needs. Once extracted, the company refines the extract so that it contains only specific cannabinoids content. The contents of the refined extract determine whether the CBD extract is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolates.
Full-Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum CBD: Which is Better?
Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate are the types of cannabis extracts. These are also called concentrates. The terms indicate the amount of cannabis plant-produced therapeutic chemicals present, in addition to the primary cannabinoids- CBD and THC. They are a shortcut way of imparting the diversity of bioactive material of an extract.
Two of the three main types of CBD extract are full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD. The main difference between the two depends on the other natural chemical compounds present in the extract. It means that the main difference between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD lies in what other compounds they contain besides CBD.
Full-spectrum CBD is, in general, a CBD-rich product having the whole layout of all organic compounds available in the hemp plant.
The full-spectrum CBD comprises all the natural chemical compounds existing in the cannabis plants, such as:
- Fatty acids
Many CBD consumers believe that all the chemical compounds present in cannabis, including CBD, can play a significant role in the body. These people often refer to a theory known as “the entourage effect.” All the elements of full-spectrum CBD have a therapeutic value and help in creating the entourage effect. The clear indication is that– all the compounds existing in hemp work synergistically to create an effect that can not be achieved by only one compound on its own.
The full-spectrum CBD also has the other most famous cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is another natural chemical compound with psychoactive properties that gets a person “high.” That is why if CBD or CBD products contain more than 0.3% THC, they are illegal. The original full-spectrum extracts are not as available as you expect. Most extracts may lose terpenes and flavonoids during their processing because they are much more unstable and have less affinity than cannabinoids.
CBD and other cannabinoids are detached from the hemp plant using any one of the existing extraction methods. The following most commonly used methods can pull out full-spectrum extracts:
- Supercritical CO2 extraction
- Ethanol and shallow heat- the RSO method or whole plant oil
- An extremely long vacuum extraction process
Then the extract is sent through the winterization process that drives away any unwanted substances, further purifying them. Full-spectrum CBD extracts seem to be pretty dark in color, with their flavors being slightly earthy and vegetal. The objective of a full-spectrum extract is to keep the scales of desired compounds in a cannabis plant unchanged through decarboxylation or oxidation. Through the decarboxylation process (removing a carboxyl group from the molecule), components of the extract are transformed from acid form (CBDa, THCa, etc.) to their active forms (CBD, THC, etc.).
Broad-spectrum CBD or broad-spectrum CBD products also contain few additional compounds such as terpenes and other cannabinoids than CBD. The one crucial fact that differentiates the broad-spectrum CBD from the full-spectrum is the presence of THC.
The broad-spectrum CBD is processed by eliminating THC and is mostly sold as an oil. Broad-spectrum CBD may be a strong choice for some people as it cannot have any chances of carrying THC in the system.
Many different chemical compounds along with CBD form the broad-spectrum CBD, which includes-
- Cannabichromene (CBC)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Terpenes such as myrcene, limonene, or pinene
The pressure during the extraction process of the cannabis plant and its classification may harm CBD’s construction. Broad-spectrum CBD may take place anywhere between full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. There are a lot of CBD brands selling broad-spectrum CBD products, making it easier for buyers to achieve the benefits of full-spectrum CBD, leaving out any trace of THC. For further distinctive illustration and clarification of ideas, an explanation of CBD isolate is essential.
CBD isolate pure with up to 99.9% CBD without any other compounds from the hemp plant. Other natural chemical compounds prevailing in cannabis, including THC, terpenes, waxes, oils, chlorophyll, and some others, are removed during the extraction process of CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD products containing THC may maximize the “entourage effect.”
Some of the potential health effects of full-spectrum CBD are:
- Pain relief
It may also ease and mitigate the symptoms of some psychotic conditions and provide relief from muscle spasms. On the other hand, broad-spectrum CBD products also carry more other compounds from the cannabis plant, including terpenes, cannabichromene, and cannabinol (CBN) but excluding THC. CBN may offer the following potential health effects:
Although most broad-spectrum CBD products do not contain THC, these products may have trace amounts of THC on occasion. Broad-spectrum CBD products too may offer some additional benefits to health, like full-spectrum CBD, due to its consequent “entourage effect.” The suitability and adaptability of cannabinoid extract differ from person to person as their power of tolerance and conditions are not the same. It’s totally up to you to decide which cannabinoid extract is right for you.
Full-spectrum CBD may be a better choice if-
- You want to experience the benefits of the entourage effect. The amount of THC in legal CBD is less than 0.3 percent. So you shouldn’t experience any of THC’s psychoactive effects from those.
- You don’t mind an earthy flavor outline. Flavored full-spectrum products are an option, but unflavored ones may also carry a slightly earthy taste.
- You prefer a less refined product. For example, CBD isolate goes through more refining processes than the full-spectrum CBD.
Again, if you just want to avoid THC, you can try broad-spectrum CBD. In this way, you can get some benefits of the entourage effect but with no THC. So, if you desire a broad range of benefits by avoiding THC, broad-spectrum products should be better for you.
What Type of CBD Should You Use?
The benefits of the entourage effect are fantastic and hard to pass, but it is essential to mention that the best CBD product for you is the one you feel most comfortable with after using. Some people are likely to jump to using full-spectrum CBD from the very beginning and love the results. But this isn’t the same for everyone. So it is better to differentiate between CBD full spectrum vs. broad-spectrum vs. isolate before using them. If you still feel a bit unsure or insecure about the idea of introducing CBD into your life, we encourage you to start with isolates or broad-spectrum products.
Although some early research suggests that broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD might be beneficial for humans more than CBD isolates, isolates are still able to make you feel better and improve your wellbeing. If you want to maximize the benefits of cannabis, full-spectrum CBD will be your best bet. Since full-spectrum CBD products contain THC, you may have a higher risk of testing positive if you take a drug test. If you want to achieve a health boost from CBD but skipping the effects of THC, then broad-spectrum CBD will probably be your best bet. If you’re drug tested, you should avoid CBD products altogether.
After going through this article, you should be able to differentiate between the full-spectrum CBD vs. broad-spectrum vs. an isolate and know what type would be a better fit for you. As with most things, the CBD you choose finally goes to personal preference and priorities. Full-spectrum CBD offers lots of promise for effectiveness for the entourage effect, but the risk of failing a drug test is not something to take lightly.
Again, isolate CBD is the most versatile, but you should be more careful to get the correct dosage if you want to use it in its powder form. For these reasons, you may find that broad-spectrum CBD combines the best of both worlds. Whatever you choose to move on, always make sure to buy your CBD products from a reputable source that offers third-party test results.
Carlos B. graduated from Oxford in 2014 after pursuing biological sciences, and his passion has been so much about health and lifestyle. He later quits his career as a health consultant to focus on writing. His love for hemp and endless possibilities, including the practical medicinal functions in making CBD is among the reasons he now writes about it. Carlos is an informative writer that delivers timely content about hemp, its uses, and its potentials of hemp. He enjoys his leisure time visiting the people suffering neurological conditions and advises them on the best practices that can change their lives.