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CBD 101 – Isolate, Broad Spectrum & Full Spectrum

If you’re here, chances are you’re already somewhat of a CBD aficionado. 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

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 favor 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 favor of a more holistic approach to medicinal cannabis treatment may favor 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.

 

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14 thoughts on “CBD Isolate, Broad Spectrum and Full Spectrum – What’s The Difference?
    1. I can speak from my experience that generally speaking, broad spectrum is 99% as effective as full spectrum. Full spectrum products at most contain 0.3% THC which is a trace amount. This tiny, tiny amount of THC is the only difference between broad and full – which means they are NEARLY identical. If you’re after the benefits of CBD, then the presence of this tiny amount of a supporting cannabinoid won’t have a major impact. If you’re looking for THC benefits specifically, then still a full spectrum CBD product isn’t the right place to be looking as it barely contains the cannabinoid at all.

  1. I’m still not clear about whether I should consider broad or full – I am leary of the THC – not wanting this affect, but looking for pain relief from arthritis, rheumatoid, and awaiting hip surgery so I experience much groin pain during the course of the day I would like to eliminate as much as possible. Can someone give me a good solid choice based on experience? And can I take it internally? or is it topical only?

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