Full or Broad Spectrum or Isolate - That is the question?
Understanding the difference between the three major types of CBD is a major step on your CBD journey. Knowing the difference between isolate, broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD will help you make a more educated decision on which CBD products will best suit your needs.
Full Spectrum CBD
Full spectrum or “whole plant” products contain everything the cannabis plan contains. That means they contain CBD as well as flavonoids, the natural fatty acids found in hemp, terpenes and other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN and trace amounts of THC. All these naturally-occurring elements have their own important therapeutic value. Full spectrum products are by far the most popular. One reason for the popularity of full spectrum CBD is something called the “entourage effect.” No, this isn’t the effect of bingeing too many hours of the HBO show Entourage. This is the effect of cannabinoids and terpenes are working together in perfect synergy.
Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad spectrum CBD products contain an array of cannabinoids and terpenes but zero THC. Think of Broad Spectrum CBD as Full Spectrum without the THC. To create Broad Spectrum CBD, manufacturers will put their products through additional processing to isolate and remove as much trace amounts of THC possible while preserving the other natural cannabinoids and terpenes. Broad Spectrum CBD is an excellent choice for individuals that can’t have any traces of THC in their system, whether for medical, personal or legal reasons.
CBD Isolate is typically the CBD product of choice for those who are sensitive to other cannabinoids such as THC. Isolates are just that – CBD isolated from all other cannabinoids. During the CBD isolate extraction process, everything contained in the plant matter is removes, including any traces of THC, terpenes, waxes, oils, chlorophyll and more. What’s left is 99+% pure CBD. When looking at isolate, it’s very important to verify the purity. While many are in the 99.9+% range with no identifiable amounts of THC, there are lower purity options (such as 99.5% of lower) that may still have trace amounts that will show up in a lab test. This small a percentage of THC is usually negligible, but its still something to be aware of for those seeking the purest CBD Isolate they can find.
Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum or CBD Isolate – Which One Is Right For Me?
There is much debate on which form of CBD is best. Some studies, like this 2015 study, leans in favour of full spectrum CBD oil products. Many people believe that other cannabinoids, especially THC, are necessary to activate every benefit the cannabis plant has to offer. Those in favour of a more holistic approach to medicinal cannabis treatment may favour Full Spectrum CBD for this reason. Ultimately, however, each CBD user is different. Each user must determine for themselves whether Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD or CBD Isolate is better for their individual needs and concerns.