If you are in the habit of having a close look at the label of your CBD product, then we are pretty sure that you must have come across the terms: CBD Isolate, Full Spectrum CBD and Broad Spectrum CBD. These terms basically represent the type of CBD present in the product. Let’s dig a little deeper into the topic and see how these three types are different from one another:
They represent the refined extract
CBD is extracted from the hemp plant through a method known as the CO2 extraction process. However, it is not possible to get CBD alone through this process. What you get is a mixture of all the cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, etc.
The cannabinoid profile you get varies depending on the classification of cannabis and the kind of strain used. For example, hemp, a classification of Sativa plant, does not contain more than 0.3% of THC; while Pennywise (no not the clown from ‘IT’ but), an Indica strain contains equal THC and CBD (1:1).
Once the mixture is available, you can refine it and get the cannabinoids needed for your end product. Thus, the contents of this final extract will determine whether your CBD extract is Isolate, Broad Spectrum, or even Full Spectrum.
The key to understanding this term lies in the scientific meaning of the word ‘isolate.’ An isolate is the purest form of any compound produced by singularly extracting it from its source and then isolating it from all other compounds.
Therefore, a CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD achieved by ‘isolating’ the non-psychoactive compound from its accompanying cannabinoids, plant parts, flavonoids, terpenes, etc.
Notably, CBD isolate is typically extracted from the hemp plant because of its next-to-none THC content.
The benefits/properties of CBD Isolate
- Since this is the purest form of CBD, what else can one expect?
- No study so far has raised concerns regarding its safety. Hence, you can rest assured.
- No psychoactive effects whatsoever
- It is tasteless and odorless
Full Spectrum CBD
This extract basically comprises of all compounds found naturally-occurring in the plant. Remember, the entire ‘mixture’ (extract) we were referring to in the above paragraphs. That’s a full spectrum CBD. Mathematically, you can express it as:
Full Spectrum CBD = CBD + All other cannabinoids + Chlorophyll + Fatty Acids + Minerals + Vitamins + Terpenes + Proteins + Various oils + Fiber
So, in a nutshell, full spectrum CBD contains complete, unfiltered extract from the whole plant.
Previously, it was believed that CBD isolate was better than full spectrum CBD; however, a study conducted at the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem, contradicted this belief. During the study, researchers found that subjects who were given full spectrum CBD reported higher levels of relief as compared to those who took CBD isolate. Furthermore, it was seen that the effects of full spectrum CBD increased manifold with higher dosages, while CBD isolates didn’t change much.
The positive and negative aspects of Full Spectrum CBD
- Brings the ‘power’ of the entire cannabis plant
- Requires only a few processes to be extracted
- May be psychoactive or sedative (negative)
- May pop-up on drug test reports (negative)
- Has strong natural flavor and odor (negative)
Who all should choose Full Spectrum over Isolate/Broad Spectrum?
Full spectrum CBD is, of course, not recommended for everyone. So people who fall in the following three categories may give it a try:
1) People in states where marijuana is legal
2) Patients who have been prescribed a certain fix ratio of CBD and THC
3) Patients with severe, chronic diseases/conditions that can’t be treated either with CBD isolate or broad spectrum CBD.
Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad Spectrum CBD is basically full spectrum CBD without the THC. So like CBD isolate, BS will not bestow you with any psychoactive effects. Mathematically,
Broad Spectrum CBD = Full Spectrum CBD – THC
Since broad spectrum CBD has all the cannabinoids besides THC, just like full spectrum CBD it can provide you with the “entourage effect” — the therapeutic benefits of each individual cannabinoid — and that too without any high.
The positive and negative aspects of Broad Spectrum CBD
- Offers almost all the benefits of the cannabis plant
- The absence of THC ensures that there is no psychoactive effect involved
- Of the three types, Broad Spectrum CBD is the least researched (negative)
- Like FS, BS CBD may also have strong flavor and odor (negative)
Who all should prefer Broad Spectrum CBD?
- First-timers who want to experience the benefits of the entire plant but are hesitant about THC.
- Patients with conditions/diseases which can’t be treated with CBD isolate.
- People who are sensitive to THC.
There is no ‘best’ type when it comes to choosing a particular extract. Each CBD type has its own target audience. For some people, broad spectrum may be the best as it provides the ‘entourage effect’ without the THC; while, for others, a high dose of CBD isolate may be the ideal choice. Then there are some who will not benefit without the THC, so full spectrum would be the perfect choice for them.
Furthermore, a person’s weight, history with other substances and the ‘chemical balance’ in the brain are a few more factors that determine the way their bodies interact with different types of CBD.
However, as more research continues on the three, we may soon have an answer as to which one is the best.