Check out this article by Aaron Cadena of MEDIUM.
When shopping for CBD, you’ve probably come across products labeled as full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate.
While the three terms may sound similar, they are far from the same.
So, what do they mean and how are they different?
In a nutshell, they are used to define which type of CBD is used in a product. Each type presents important factors to consider, and understanding the difference is essential for every CBD user.
In this article, we’re going to shed some light on this important subject by explaining that difference and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Let’s start by discussing the factor that defines each type of CBD — cannabinoids.
What Are Cannabinoids, and Why Do They Matter
Within the Cannabis plant, there is a classification of compounds known as cannabinoids.
Now, here’s why these are super important:
In 1995, researchers discovered that, by interacting with receptors in the human Endocannabinoid System (ECS), cannabinoids like CBD could deliver unique health benefits to the body.
Later, they discovered that each cannabinoid could affect the body differently.
With various ranges of effects delivered by other cannabinoids like Cannabigerol (CBG) and Cannabinol (CBN), the full collection of cannabinoids forms what is referred to as the “cannabinoid spectrum.”
Exploring the Cannabinoid Spectrum
As you’ve probably figured out, the cannabinoid spectrum range contained within a product is what determines whether the product is full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate.
So, how does that work exactly?
To create a CBD product, the cannabinoid content is extracted from the Cannabis plant, using methods such as CO2 extraction.
During this process, other compounds found within the plant are also extracted, including terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids.
Depending on the strain and classification used for extraction, the composition and cannabinoid profile will differ.
Depending on the purpose of the end-product, companies will choose to extract from a strain of Cannabis that best suits their needs.
Once extracted, the company can then choose to refine the extract to contain only specific cannabinoids and plant pants.
The contents of the refined extract are what determines if the CBD extract is full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate.
Now let’s discuss what each term means and help point you in the direction of which is best for you.
What is CBD Isolate?
In scientific terms, an isolate is the purest form of a compound, which is produced by singularly extracting that compound from its environment and isolating it from all other compounds.
With that being said, CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD, which is produced by removing all other compounds found in the plant including terpenes, flavonoids, plant parts, and other cannabinoids.
CBD Isolate is typically extracted from Hemp, due to its low to non-existent THC-content.
What is Full Spectrum CBD?
Full spectrum CBD is an extract that contains all compounds found naturally occurring in the plant, including terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids.