The Difference Between Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and Isolate CBD

This short article will teach you the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate CBD.

When beginning a CBD regimen, choosing the right product can often feel like a daunting task. However, it doesn’t have to be. Understanding the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolate CBD is a breeze with this easy-to-understand guide. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!  

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, most famously known as the abbreviation CBD, is a 100% natural plant-based compound secreted by cannabis and hemp. Due to its wide variety of potential research-backed therapeutic applications, CBD has become a popular health and wellness trend in several different countries around the world. 

The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 legalized hemp-derived CBD in all 50 states, so long as all state and federal regulations are met. Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared CBD a safe compound, and it is readily available in a variety of different formats, which we will explain below. 

Types of CBD

Every CBD-based product incorporates cannabidiol in one of three different formats: full and broad-spectrum, and CBD isolates. To understand the difference, it helps to have a basic understanding of the primary components of the cannabis plant. We have already published a detailed article that you can read here

In short, the cannabis plant (and hemp) incorporates three primary components: cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. The full extent of the therapeutic capabilities of each of these compounds remains unknown. While diligent researchers continue to uncover some pretty amazing discoveries, no health claim has yet to be substantiated.  

Full-Spectrum CBD

Products advertised as “full-spectrum” include a much fuller scope of plant-based compounds. All cannabinoids (including CBD), terpenes, and flavonoids are present within the final product. As we will discuss later, consuming plants as a whole (whole-plant medicine) demonstrates superior to any single, isolated compound on its own

Broad-Spectrum CBD

Similar to full-spectrum CBD, products advertised as “broad-spectrum” incorporate a fuller profile. All plant-based compounds are present within the final product, except for the cannabinoid THC (delta-nine-tetrahydrocannabinol), which is filtered and removed from the final product. 

Some consumers may be opposed to the euphoric, sedative-like effects of THC. Broad-spectrum products cater to these individuals. It is crucial to keep in mind, however, that the amount of THC in full-spectrum products cannot (by law) exceed 0.3%, which is typically a non-intoxicating amount.

CBD Isolate

As the name implies, products incorporating CBD isolate strictly contain cannabidiol. All other compounds within the plant matter (terpenes, flavonoids, and all other cannabinoids) are filtered and removed from the final product.

Which Type of CBD is Best?

While CBD isolates have demonstrated beneficial, products that incorporate full or broad-spectrum CBD typically prove superior due to a phenomenon coined as the “entourage effect.”

In short, the entourage effect is a phrase used to describe the synergistic relationship shared between all cannabis-based compounds. When consumed collectively (known as “whole-plant”), the overall therapeutic potential exponentially increases.

Thanks for reading! We hope that you now have a clearer understanding of the different types of CBD. Check out our other great content here

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