Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs CBD Isolates
CBD is such a hot commodity right now, it’s hard to keep track of what’s happening in the industry. If you’ve read our intro guide to CBD blog, you’re already a bit familiar with cannabidiol by now, and you probably noticed a section that we glossed over, which was this very topic.
As we delve a bit deeper into just how proper CBD oil is produced, we’ve created this blog to be a more expansive guide in introducing the types of extractions in the industry so we can help you make better choices when purchasing CBD products.
The 3 CBD Extraction Types
There are three leading “final forms” of extracted CBD. This basically means three different extraction processes that yield solutions that have varied compositions and benefits. They are:
- CBD Isolates
To put it simply, full-spectrum is a whole extraction and contains all cannabinoids present in the plant. Isolates are exactly what they imply (pure CBD), and broad-spectrum lies somewhere in between.
Let’s break it down further, but first!
Glossary of Terms
We’ll be throwing around a few words with which you may not be familiar, so we’re making them available here as a quick reference guide.
Terpenes: Think of these as your aromatic oils. Terpenes are found in many plants are responsible for their color and aroma. High levels of terpene can provide more pronounced flavor profiles in products.
CBD/cannabidiol: Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most prevalent compound found in cannabis and is also found in organic hemp.
Cannabinoid: Cannabinoids are the chemical substances that react with our body’s receptors, they are found in the cannabis plant, but also from other sources.
Phytocannabinoid: Are the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant that react to the cannabinoid receptors in our bodies.
Entourage Effect: In full-spectrum and broad-spectrum, the entourage effect is the term used for the benefit of the phytocannabinoids working in unison.
Basically, full-spectrum CBD is an unrefined hemp extraction compound that contains all of the cannabinoids present in the hemp plants except THC, which is only found in trace amounts. Products created with full-spectrum CBD are popular with people who want a more natural product because it’s a pure extract and contains all of the compounds, or phytochemicals, present in the hemp plant, including trace amounts of THC – less than 0.3 percent.
Benefits of full-spectrum CBD
High-quality full-spectrum CBD products are sought after for their numerous beneficial properties like anti-inflammation, relaxation, muscle pain and more. While data is a bit scarce on CBD as a treatment for cancer and neurological ailments, it still has many beneficial qualities.
- It’s a natural pain reliever
- It’s all-natural
- It’s plentiful and sustainable
Broad-spectrum CBD is the same concept as full-spectrum, but with the THC removed during the initial extraction. Basically, you’re looking at a distilled oil which contains all of the cannabinoids contained in the plant, save for the THC. With broad-spectrum, people who feel uncomfortable with any amount of THC in their products can still reap the benefits of a full-spectrum product, since it still contains a large amount of other active cannabinoids found in hemp.
Benefits of broad-spectrum CBD
While more distilled, broad-spectrum CBD still contains all the terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids. It still has many of the benefits of full-spectrum extraction including:
- It keeps the entourage effect
- It’s less processed than isolates
- It retains its flavor and aroma
You guessed it, as the name implies, isolates are pure extracted CBD and contains the highest level of CBD per part than its counterparts. At 99% purity on average, people who want to experience CBD to its fullest potential usually opt to purchase products made with isolates.
Isolates usually have a more attractive price point since it doesn’t have the range or the entourage effect from products that contain many phytocannabinoids. So yes, pure CBD isolate has all of the beneficial effects of cannabidiol. If you’re interested in cost-effective and potent products, isolates should be your first choice.
Benefits of CBD isolates
Isolates are pure CBS isolates, and although it doesn’t have all of the benefits of its counterparts, it’s still very useful for a number of reasons.
- It’s pure CBD and doesn’t even have trace amounts of THC
- It’s statistically less expensive
- Still has the anti-inflammatory and relaxation benefits of CBD
How to Choose the Best CBD Products
No matter if you go with full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolates, always do your research when purchasing these products. You should look into where the hemp is sourced, how it’s extracted, and whether it has passed tests for pesticides, heavy metals and similar contaminants.
You should also note that only full and broad-spectrum products that are compliant can only contain 0.3% or less THC, while isolates have none. In short, always make sure that the company you’re buying from is upfront about their practices and can provide testing and documentation. You’ll start developing a good eye for ethical and professional CBD companies simply by the way they engage with and inform their potential customers.
Some quick tips on what to look for in your extracts.
USA Organic hemp- US farmers are required to get certified by the department of agriculture, so you’ll know it’s top quality.
Aim for C02 extracted CBD- While more expensive, c02 extraction is one of the safest ways to produce high-quality CBD. So be wary of cheap CBD products!
Whole plant or full-spectrum- As covered above, if you’re looking for the full wellness benefits of CBD, full-spectrum CBD is the way to go.
Some Final Takeaways
CBD is a large and growing industry with lots of information. While science is trying to catch up the hype, ethical companies will try their best to connect people with the latest information and updates. As leaders in wellness and CBD, it’s our mission to help provide the most up-to-date content to keep you in the know.
If CBD is right for you, we want to ensure that you’re making the most informed decisions when shopping for full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or CBD isolate products.