Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, or CBD Isolate…Which CBD option is best for you?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is the primary cannabinoid found in Hemp Extract and in Therapeutic Naturals LLC’s CBD products. CBD is a non-intoxicating molecule found in the cannabis plant that works directly with your endocannabinoid system. It is one of over 100 naturally-occurring cannabinoids that can be extracted from the cannabis plant, has a wide variety of medical applications, and is among the most thoroughly researched alongside THC.
CBD does not give the consumer the high that psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) is known for, and when used in concurrence with a higher THC product, CBD has been shown to reduce the effects of a high and to influence a body’s own cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid system regulates a broad spectrum of biological and physiological processes. When CBD is introduced to these receptors, it can trigger various physiological actions that help to regulate pain, inflammation, sleep, mood, digestion and more.
What is the difference between Isolate, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD?
The difference relates to the contents of each form. The CBD extracts can be categorized as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate. If all extracts of the Cannabis plant, including CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, and other cannabinoids, are utilized, the extract is called full-spectrum CBD and the THC concentration should be 0.3% or less. Broad spectrum is similar to full spectrum with the exception that it is THC-free. Finally, CBD isolate, is pure CBD. CBD is usually derived from hemp, the cannabis sativa plant, with less than 0.3% THC, which is commonly grown specifically for CBD extraction.
Full Spectrum CBD
Full spectrum CBD, sometimes also called “whole plant extract,” means the full plant extract is included. This means it contains all phytochemicals naturally found in the plant, including terpenes, CBD, CBG, CBN and other trace cannabinoids such as THC, and other essential oils. Full spectrum extracts from hemp are legally allowed to contain up to 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Full spectrum provides more of the plant’s molecules in ratios and amounts that nature intended. Because full spectrum CBD contains all cannabis plant compounds, it may have a more potent effect than pure CBD. Research suggests that CBD’s health benefits may be more prominent when multiple compounds from the cannabis plant are present. This is what researchers call the ‘entourage effect.’
In some instances, non-psychoactive, full spectrum CBD can trigger a positive result for cannabis. Individuals who are subject to urine drug testing in their place of employment or elsewhere should understand that even very small amounts of THC in a CBD/hemp product can trigger a positive result for cannabis, especially if consuming high doses daily, and that conventional drug tests cannot distinguish whether THC present in someone’s system came from cannabis, or a federally-legal hemp product. If this is a concern, the broad spectrum and/or Isolate options of CBD may be your better option.
Broad Spectrum CBD
A true broad spectrum product is high in CBD and does not contain any THC. However, it retains some of the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and similar beneficial cannabis plant compounds as that of full spectrum products, where an isolate does not. However, it goes through an additional process to remove the trace amounts of THC, and in that process, some of the terpenes can be lost. At Therapeutic Naturals LLC, we take great consideration of this process, so we enhance each batch of our broad spectrum CBD tinctures with added cannabis and essential oil terpenes, targeted at pain and inflammation management and also for calming effects, to provide you with a more-effective broad spectrum CBD product. When considering a broad spectrum CBD product, we find it utmost important to have available to you the Certificate of Analysis from an Independent Laboratory, which documents the potency and purity and also verification that 0% THC was detected within the product for your specific batch #. If a company is not willing to provide their Certificate of Analysis either on their website or at a customers’ request, then buyer beware.
Broad spectrum CBD products are better suited for those who prefer not to have the trace amount of THC, for those who are sensitive to THC, or for those who get tested for any amount of THC in their system for CDL certification or other work-related testing, etc.
CBD Isolate is a pure form of CBD. It contains no other cannabis plant compounds. It most commonly comes from hemp plants, which typically contain very low amounts of THC yet very high amounts of CBD. CBD isolate is a crystal form of CBD, and it is often ground up and sold as a powder, or combined with a carrier oil to use as a tincture, in edible products or topical products. CBD isolates allow users to easily get large amounts of CBD and know how much they’re getting. With the growing amount of evidence behind CBD and CBD alone it definitely should not be overlooked as a potential benefit for so many conditions such as anxiety, pain, inflammation, diabetes, depression and more.
Some people find the taste of hemp extract unpleasant, in which they should try a CBD isolate (or another method of taking CBD such as CBD gummies) if the hemp extract taste is intolerable. Being that it is refined, it has no discernible taste or odor, therefor may be more appealing to those with taste sensitivities and also for adding to foods. It may be a suitable product for first-time CBD users who wish to experiment with the potential health benefits, without the addition of other cannabis compounds.
Isolates undergo more extensive refinement and require more plant matter in order to get high levels of isolated cannabidiol, therefore, can sometimes be reflected in a slightly higher pricing than full spectrum CBD products. While CBD isolate may offer certain health benefits, the effects may be less notable than when using a full spectrum CBD product. The research also indicates that CBD isolates effects against pain and inflammation may only occur at a specific dose. This is in contrast to full spectrum products, where effects typically increase as the dosage increases. For this reason, people who wish to take high doses of CBD may prefer a CBD isolate. This is not necessarily a negative quality of CBD isolate. Some people may prefer a product without THC, or they might be sensitive to this substance.
As there is no THC in CBD Isolate products, this substance should not show up in any drug tests. However, people should be careful when purchasing CBD Isolate products, and again, make sure the company they are purchasing from have their Independent Laboratory Test results available either on their website or at request.
Research suggests the entourage effect may increase the effects of full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD products.
However, continued research is needed on the many health benefits and effects of all three CBD types.
People may still want to try CBD isolate, especially if they want a product that is THC-free. However, unregulated CBD markets may mean that this substance is still present in trace amounts, even if labels claim their product is THC-free, so we can not reiterate enough to make suer the company you purchase from provides their COA’s on their website or upon customer request.
CBD isolate, broad spectrum CBD and full spectrum CBD products all have their advantages. People should always carefully read labels before buying CBD products, trust the company they are purchasing from, and discuss using CBD with a doctor or healthcare provider.