If you’re new to CBD, you may be completely lost when it comes to determining the difference between CBD (cannabidiol) products and understanding the CBD spectrum. Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate are used on product labels, but what do they really mean?
Simply stated, full-spectrum CBD contains all of the compounds found in the cannabis plant. There can be hundreds of different types of cannabinoids in one cannabis plant. There are several that are the most common and among them are CBD and THC. Others include CBGA, CBCA, CBGVA, THCVA, CBDVA, and CBCVA. The primary component in the full-spectrum CBD will still be cannabidiol, but it will also contain trace amounts of other types of cannabinoids –including THC—terpenes, and flavonoids. Cannabis plants that contain very little THC are considered “industrial hemp” by U.S. law. They contain less than 0.3% of THC. Because the THC content is so low, the psychoactive effects commonly associated with THC are not produced. The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill made these hemp extracts legal on the federal level. Because it includes all the components of the cannabis plant, full-spectrum CBD produces the entourage effect. The compounds synergize, amplifying the effects of each individual cannabinoid.
Broad-spectrum CBD gives you the full range of cannabinoids—aside from the THC. In that sense, it is a mix between full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. Because the full range of cannabinoids are included in broad-spectrum CBD (except THC), you will still get the entourage effect.
When products are labeled as “CBD Isolate,” that means the only cannabinoid in the product is CBD. This is the purest form of CBD on the spectrum because it does not include all the other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids. There is no entourage effect with CBD isolate. The cost for CBD isolate is typically lower than its counterparts because it only contains CBD and it is a bit costlier to manufacture full-spectrum CBD.
Choosing the Right Product for You
Before you decide on a product, you must understand that no CBD spectrum is better than the next. All CBD spectrums can be beneficial for different people; it is just a matter of choosing the one that best fits your needs and lifestyle. For instance, if CBD isolate alone doesn’t provide the benefits you’d like, you can try full or broad-spectrum to experience the entourage effect. If you are nervous about THC or you are sensitive to it, you can try the broad-spectrum or CBD isolate.
Trial and error can help you determine which spectrum works best for you. If you have further questions, we’d be happy to answer them.