There are various types of cannabidiol (CBD) products in the market. The key difference between them is in the way they are produced. We have created this guide to help you navigate the world of CBD and find the right products for you. You’ve likely come across a few different options when looking at various CBD products. Full spectrum CBD oil, broad spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate are three common choices consumers come across when shopping for CBD. If you’re new to CBD, you might be wondering what these terms actually mean. Basically, they’re used
Types of CBD
Consumer sales of cannabidiol (CBD) in the United States are forecasted to reach USD 1.8 billion by 2022, a 50% increase from 2020. The popularity of CBD is rising not only in the USA but globally. With more people trying various CBD types, the terminology used to describe CBD products is becoming confusing. Manufacturers produce many forms of CBD products to stand out from the competition.
Thus we have created this guide to help you navigate the world of CBD and find the right products for you. We will talk about attributes that various CBD types have and how they are processed.
Consumer sales of CBD in the USA. Image source: Statista.com
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What Is the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?
“Industrial hemp” or “hemp” is the common name of the cannabis Sativa L plant. The core difference between this plant and marijuana is the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) ratio. THC is the chemical that causes most of marijuana’s psychoactive effects. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), it acts similarly to cannabinoid chemicals produced naturally by the human body. For some people, THC may create euphoria and interfere with how their brain processes information by stimulating the brain cells that release dopamine.
In 2018 the Farm Bill defined hemp and cannabinoids and their extracts as the cannabis plant with a maximum of 0.3% THC concentration on a dry weight basis. Thus, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) removed the term “hemp” from the definition of marijuana.
As a result, under federal law, hemp is no longer a controlled substance. While having minimal THC levels, hemp has a high concentration of CBD, making it the best CBD supplement production source. If you were wondering whether CBD is safe, this research says that “the often described favorable safety profile of CBD in humans was confirmed and extended by the reviewed research”.
Types of CBD
To understand what kind of CBD products are right for you, you need to learn more about the different CBD types, including hemp seed oil, isolate, full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and nano CBD. Continue reading so that you can better understand how CBD is converted into consumable products.
Click the link below for a specific section or scroll to read about the most common type of CBD.
What Is Hemp Seed Oil?
Manufacturers produce hemp seed oil by cold-pressing the hemp seeds until oil is secreted. The unrefined hemp seed oil has a dark to light green color and a nutty flavor. Darker colored oils have a grassier taste. Don’t confuse it with hash oil made from the Cannabis flower, which contains THC.
Hemp seed oil is produced only from the seeds, so it contains no THC or cannabinoids. As a result, it is non-psychoactive and has no impact on mood or mental state. This oil, however, contains beneficial fatty acids and other nutrients. Your skin plays a vital role in performing many essential tasks for your body, including working as a barrier to protect against injury, helping to fight off toxins, and regulating temperature. As such, treating your skin with care is important.
The research on hemp seed oil’s possible effects on various skin conditions continues to progress; here is an interesting study that talks about the general effects of CBD on skin health. Another study talks about how the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD can be beneficial in treating skin concerns like inflammation, dryness, and free radical damage. These findings make hemp seed oil a popular ingredient in many cosmetics such as soaps, washes, and lotions. Manufacturers often combine it with other natural ingredients with proven skin-soothing properties, such as shea butter, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid.
What Is CBD Isolate?
When it comes to cannabis plant extraction, CBD isolate is the second, more refined state after a distillate, which is very costly. Manufacturers remove several components from the hemp plant, including THC. After that, through the separation process and a series of washing, they isolate the CBD compound from the rest of the extraction. The winterization process that follows the initial wash removes the waxes, lipids, and fats from the extraction. It is then followed by the elimination of unwanted particles and other impurities. Manufacturers use heat and pressure to separate solvents from the compounds.
This process results in the production of pure CBD in crystal form. The crystals may then be ground to produce a powder to make the product easier to consume. CBD isolate is stark white, tasteless, and does not have a distinctive smell. Isolates can contain more than 90% cannabidiol and are the most potent form of CBD.
Actual CBD isolates consist of pure CBD and should not contain any THC. However, sometimes hemp-derived CBD oil can contain up to 0.3% THC and thus will not get you high as a traditional THC product would. There are many ways to consume CBD isolates, including sublingually and topically (by mixing it with carrier oils). Some people also ingest CBD isolates by consuming them in the form of capsules or pills. The advantage of this method is that you can measure the dosage more accurately. Isolates can also be mixed with various ingredients to create CBD-infused drinks or food.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil
CBD distillates are produced by heating hemp oil under a vacuum until it starts to evaporate. Then the condensate is collected to form the distillate. High-quality distillates are made at low temperatures to prevent the degradation of active components, like CBD. CBD distillates can be full-spectrum and broad-spectrum.
In full-spectrum CBD, all the compounds work in harmony. It contains essential fats, vitamins A, C, E, and B, and up to 20 amino acids in addition to flavonoids and terpenes. It also contains compounds from the cannabis plant, including CBD, cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), and up to 0.3% THC. Full-spectrum CBD comes in many forms, including capsules, balms, tinctures, and salves.
The difference between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD is that the latter does not contain any trace amounts of THC. Broad-spectrum CBD does contain a range of other cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, CBC, and cannabinol (CBN)).
To produce Nano CBD, manufacturers break down CBD into tiny particles and then coat it using micro-carriers to release particles into the targeted areas slowly. One of the most used carriers are nano-liposomes – bubbles shaped vesicles made of lipids or fatty acids. Nano-liposomes allow your body to absorb the CBD easier. As a result, your body can absorb the CBD easier. As a result, some people consuming nano CBD could feel the effects more rapidly. That’s why this CBD type is used in many edibles, oils, and hemp products.
Best Types of CBD for Different Purposes
Now that you’ve learned all about different CBD products, you should know which one to choose to fit your personal goals. For example, CBD isolates and broad-spectrum CBD are perfect for those who would like to experience CBD’s potential wellness effects without even the smallest trace of THC.
You should keep in mind that CBD effects can vary from person to person. It may depend on your genetic makeup, nutrition, lifestyle, physical health, or body composition. Nonetheless, here we have covered the most common benefits of each CBD product type.
The safety of cannabidiol on body function in several studies; here is a recent review: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/ CBD isolate could be an option for some people who have to refrain from having any THC in their bodies. Always read the labels and contents carefully.
Its most significant trait, as mentioned previously, is that it could potentially work longer to maintain well-being than isolated CBD. Full-spectrum CBD’s “team effect” is long-lasting because the cannabinoids are bundles to work in harmony. It could offer some users more effective and sustainable options.
Full-spectrum contains terpenes and flavonoids that will enhance your comfort and personal goals. However, it carries the natural flavor and aroma of hemp, which is pretty strong. If you’re not a fan of its taste, then we recommend going for flavored products like this Pina Colada CBD Tincture.
Many people find themselves in a position where they cannot have any THC in their system, so broad-spectrum products are becoming one of the most popular forms of CBD. A real broad-spectrum CBD will have no trace amounts of THC but will give you an otherwise full cannabinoid profile, allowing you to maintain the “entourage effect” or the synergistic effect that occurs when the whole plant of cannabinoids, terpenes, and botanical compounds are consumed together. For some people looking to get restorative benefits without being concerned about the plant’s psychotropic component, these CBD products are the most conservative choice.
Another reason why you might want to choose a broad-spectrum product would be due to having a job where you have to go through drug screening regularly. Numerous people fall into this category, from bus drivers, nurses, government employees, and construction workers. If you are one of them, you should be careful when choosing the right CBD products.
Ways to Consume CBD Products
Some people seeking CBD effects often find the product’s versatility appealing, as there are many different ways to consume it. Depending on your preferences and the results you are trying to achieve, here are the various ways to consume CBD products:
It is one of the most common ways of using CBD. You can directly apply the CBD oil tincture or the powder of CBD isolate under your tongue, allow it to absorb for about 60 to 90 seconds, and then swallow. With this method, the mucous membranes absorb the CBD and deliver it directly to the bloodstream, bypassing the liver and digestive system to provide more immediate and efficient relief. The effect could last for several hours, and is a good option for people who seek quick and long lasting soothing effects.
For even faster availability and absorption, you could choose inhalation. This way, CBD bypasses the digestive system and enters the bloodstream through the lungs. Some consumers enjoy this as a carry-with-you-always type of product for tranquility on the go.
Some people mix the CBD isolate with terpenes to create homemade CBD concentrates that could be vaped or dabbed. Or make the isolate into crystal slabs to dab on a traditional oil rig.
Nowadays, edibles are a popular method of consuming CBD. There are many different forms in the market to choose from, but with products like oils and isolates already available, some prefer making their own.
It’s an excellent way to get a daily dose of CBD while enjoying a tasty experience and benefitting from the longest-lasting benefits amongst CBD methods. Once infused, the process starts in your digestive tract and spreads through the body via the bloodstream. Due to the nature of ingestible and consumables, it could take up to 2 hours for the body to process the CBD before you could start feeling potential benefits.
If you have a CBD isolate in the form of crystalline, you could measure it out and put it into capsules or pills. This way, the dosage is measured precisely. You could also mix CBD isolate with a variety of ingredients to create CBD-infused food and drinks.
Topical application could be the most effective way to notice the effects of CBD on revitalizing skin. With this application method, CBD avoids the bloodstream entirely and is absorbed directly into the skin and muscle tissue. While research on the benefits of CBD continues, here is a 2019 study that deals with topical applications of CBD and discusses how it has potential as a non-invasive alternative for improving the quality of life in patients with some skin disorders.
When trying to determine how to use CBD products, you should consider your lifestyle and select a method that works best for you. For example, if you have a tight schedule that leaves you with little to no free time, applying CBD oil under your tongue could be the quickest way to deliver CBD to your system. If you’d like to incorporate CBD into your already established day-to-day routine, adding it into your usual meals or even your morning drink could work great.
How Much Should You Consume to Experience CBD Product Effects?
How much CBD you take is just as relevant as the type of product you choose and the sourcing of the hemp. If you are using too little, the impact could be not as strong as you’d like. The amount of CBD is expressed in milligrams (mg), while the overall quantity of products is typically in grams for a solid or ounces for a liquid.
When starting any new habit, some people begin with a low serving and slowly work the way up as needed. Many oils come in one milligram per drop concentration, so increasing dosage is relatively straightforward. However, be careful to read product labels closely to ensure you know what amount each drop provides.
In What Forms Are Different Types of CBD Sold in the Market?
Now that you know the ins and outs of all CBD types, you might be curious about what products to try. You can find different forms of CBD in stores that usually fall under one of these categories:
- CBD Oils and Tinctures: Taken sublingually, CBD oils could maximize the amount of active CBD compound available for use by the body’s cells. Even though some people don’t like the taste, it is the right choice for some people who can’t take pills or capsules.
- CBD Pills/Capsules: If you’re looking for long lasting effects in an easy to use configuration, CBD pills/capsules are the way to go. Keep in mind that the time from ingestion to onset of effect can take a while.
- CBD E-liquid and Concentrates: If you are looking for the fastest way to experience effects, CBD vapes could be a way to go. The difference between the two is that CBD E-Liquids use a CBD isolate, and Concentrates contain a full-spectrum distillate. Both are consumed by vaping and usually have flavors added to them for a better experience.
- Topical CBD Forms: Best for spot treatment, these CBD products come in the form of lotions, oils, creams, balms, serums, gels, salves, sprays, and even lip balms. Some manufacturers combine CBD oil with other essential oils.
- CBD Edibles: They are available in different flavors, strengths, and formulations. You can choose CBD gummies, cooking oils, chocolates, candies, drinks, shots, and many more.
In this article, we have covered the basic concepts of each CBD product type, their effects, consumption methods, and forms they appear in on the market. Here is the takeaway to make sure you’ve got it all covered:
- The difference between marijuana and hemp is in the THC ratio – the chemical that causes marijuana’s psychological effects. Hemp is the CBD supplement production source, containing up to 0.03% THC.
- Hemp seed oil contains no THC or cannabinoids, although it has beneficial fatty acids and other nutrients that soothe various skin conditions.
- CBD isolate is a single strain of CBD removed from a cannabis plant and “isolated” from other marijuana-based compounds. It is the most potent form of CBD and contains no other cannabinoids.
- Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all cannabinoids naturally found in the cannabis plant, including THC.
- The main difference between isolates and full-spectrum CBD is intensity and longevity. Isolates have a relatively weaker impact and shorter shelf duration.
- Broad-spectrum CBD has multiple cannabinoids naturally found in the cannabis plant but doesn’t contain THC.
- Nano CBD is used in many edibles, oils, and hemp products.
- For some people looking to get positive benefits without the concern of the plant’s psychotropic component, broad-spectrum CBD products are the right choice.
- Forms in which you can find different CBD products in stores are CBD oils and tinctures, pills or capsules, e-liquids, concentrates, topical forms, and edibles.
The critical thing to remember is that CBD effects depend on your unique body chemistry, your weight and your lifestyle.
Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Isolate CBD Oil: What’s the Difference?
You’ve likely come across a few different options when looking at various CBD products. Full spectrum CBD oil, broad spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate are three common choices consumers come across when shopping for CBD. If you’re new to CBD, you might be wondering what these terms actually mean.
Basically, they’re used to describe what kind of CBD oil is used to produce a product. Each contains CBD and has an array of potential benefits, yet each has a slightly different chemical composition. As a result, you may have an experience with one product that you might not necessarily have with another.
What is the difference between full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD, and what is CBD isolate?
Here we’ll take a deeper look at the different types of CBD—full spectrum vs. broad spectrum vs. isolate—to make it easier to determine which option might be best for you.
What’s the Difference Between Broad and Full Spectrum CBD Oil?
Cannabis is an extremely complex plant, composed of hundreds of different chemical compounds. Over 100 of these compounds have been identified as cannabinoids. The most popular, of course, are CBD and THC—but they’re only a small fraction of the cannabinoid content and chemical profile of cannabis. Other important compounds include terpenes, flavonoids, and essential fatty acids.
We mention these cannabis compounds because they determine the difference between a full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate oil.
All these compounds are believed to work harmoniously together to provide what’s known as the “entourage effect.”
What exactly is the entourage effect, and what does it have to do with full spectrum vs. broad spectrum CBD oil?
Let’s take a look.
The Entourage Effect Explained
We’ve mentioned the complexity of cannabis and the harmonious way its contained compounds work together to create the entourage effect.
The entourage effect is commonly defined as “the combined effect of different compounds found in cannabis that work together as a whole to produce a greater effect than if working separately to produce separate effects.”
The three major cannabis compounds that lend to the entourage effect are cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. The idea of the entourage effect is that whole plant extracts often have greater benefits than their isolated counterparts. This is exactly why CBD isolate is considered the “least” beneficial CBD option.
As their names imply, full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD oil both contain a wide range of cannabinoids and other cannabis compounds that could potentially lend to the entourage effect. However, to understand the difference between them and the benefits they might contain, it’s best to understand them individually.
What Is Full Spectrum CBD Oil?
Before CBD oil becomes CBD oil, it must first be extracted from the cannabis plant. Hands down, one of the most popular extraction methods that has quickly become an industry leader is CO2 extraction. It’s safe, sustainable, and results in the cleanest and purest CBD products.
Full spectrum CBD oil is the result of CO2 extraction. The words “full spectrum” refer to the full spectrum of cannabinoids and other compounds found in cannabis associated with the entourage effect.
Full spectrum CBD oil has had zero cannabinoids removed, including intoxicating compounds like THC. The reason for this goes back to the entourage effect. All of the cannabinoids work in unison for the betterment of the whole—THC included.
If you see “full spectrum” on the label, be sure to check out the company’s lab reports. Although the industry has not regulated the terms, a full spectrum CBD oil will most likely have THC in the formula.
That being said, most full spectrum CBD products generally contain less than 0.3% THC, which typically isn’t enough to elicit any psychoactive effects.
There are, however, individuals that can’t tolerate THC or have any THC in their system but might still want to benefit from the entourage effect.
Here’s where broad spectrum CBD might be beneficial. Broad spectrum CBD is very similar to full spectrum CBD except that THC has been removed. This means they still get all the benefits of the entourage effect, minus the THC.
What Is Broad Spectrum CBD Oil?
After initial extraction, some CBD companies opt to remove THC from their products. They will, however, keep the other cannabinoids in the formula. Companies that remove THC from the final product tend to market their products as broad spectrum CBD oil.
The refining process is critical for crafting broad spectrum oil. During this step of the process, unwanted cannabinoids are removed from the formula. Companies are given an option of which cannabinoids are eliminated.
Understanding that many consumers aren’t keen on THC but still want to benefit from the entourage effect, most remove only THC to create broad spectrum CBD oil. Broad spectrum CBD still offers the synergy of the other cannabinoids. The only one missing from the party is THC.
Because the THC has been removed from broad spectrum CBD oil, it’s commonly assumed that it doesn’t lend to the entourage effect.
Here’s the thing, though: Broad spectrum CBD still contains all the other cannabis compounds, including other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, meaning it still allows consumers to experience the entourage effect.
Consider this: The only compound that has been removed from a broad spectrum CBD product is THC. All the other beneficial compounds that lend to the entourage effect are still in there—cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, and CBC; terpenes like myrcene, linalool, pinene and limonene; various flavonoids known to support homeostasis and overall wellness—working harmoniously together to create the widely accepted concept of the entourage effect.
Broad spectrum CBD gives consumers all the benefits of the entourage effect without having to consume THC. It’s an excellent choice for those people that can’t or don’t want THC in their system, whether for legal, professional, or personal reasons.
The entourage effect is real. Those that are interested in its benefits but aren’t interested in THC will find that broad spectrum CBD products offer exactly what they’re looking for, including the peace of mind that they’re consuming a 0.0% THC product.
What Is CBD Isolate?
CBD isolate is what it sounds like: Isolated CBD.
To create CBD isolate, the refinement process is taken a step further to remove all other cannabis compounds. This includes other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and all other plant compounds. The result is a product that is 99%+ CBD. By definition, CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD there is.
Typically, those who choose CBD isolate are sensitive to other cannabinoids. CBD by itself does have its benefits. However, the results may not be as promising as a broad spectrum or full spectrum CBD oil.
When you are purchasing a CBD isolate, make sure it is 99+% pure. Otherwise, there will be traces of other cannabinoids in the formula. Although these numbers are most likely negligible, it does defeat the purpose of seeking out a pure CBD product.
Choosing CBD: Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. CBD Isolate
Wondering what type of CBD might be best for you?
Now that you’ve got an understanding of the difference between full spectrum vs. broad spectrum vs. CBD isolate, it can be easier to determine which form of CBD will fit your personal needs.
When it comes to taking CBD, everyone has different needs. These needs will reflect which type of CBD might be best suited for someone personally, despite the daily serving.
Keep in mind that activation time (how long it will take to feel the effects) and bioavailability (how much CBD is absorbed by the bloodstream) of full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate both depend on the type of product being used, not the type of CBD oil one is consuming.
Let’s quickly recap each to see how each might fit the needs of different individuals.
Why Choose Full Spectrum CBD?
This is CBD that contains all cannabinoids and chemical compounds naturally present in cannabis. Full spectrum CBD is believed to best lend to the entourage effect and has gone through the least amount of processing and refinement.
Full spectrum CBD does contain trace amounts of THC. While typically less than 0.3%, THC found in full spectrum CBD oil might still show up on a drug test. Those with acute sensitivities to THC might also find that a full spectrum oil comes with some undesirable effects.
Why Choose Broad Spectrum CBD?
Broad spectrum CBD is CBD oil that has gone through further refinement after extraction to remove THC. Although THC has been removed, broad spectrum CBD oil still lends to the entourage effect. The only thing usually missing from the vast array of cannabinoids and other cannabis compounds is THC.
Because broad spectrum CBD is 0.0% THC, it’s excellent for those with sensitivities to THC or who can’t have THC in their system for whatever reason. Broad spectrum CBD products are a great introduction to the world of CBD for those who might be uncertain about trying a product that contains THC. Broad spectrum CBD products are also beneficial to individuals living in states that still have strict laws concerning the use of THC.
Why Choose CBD Isolate?
CBD isolate is 99%+ pure CBD. It has gone through several refinement processes to remove all other cannabinoids and various plant compounds. This odorless, tasteless form of CBD is considered the purest form of CBD that exists and contains zero probability of any intoxicating effects.
Because all other compounds have been removed to create CBD isolate, this type of CBD does not lend to the entourage effect like a full or broad spectrum product. CBD isolate is typically best for those with extreme sensitivities to THC or other cannabinoids, people living in states with strict THC laws, or CBD newbies who are tentative to use cannabis-based products.
Final Thoughts: CBD Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Isolate
Staying educated about CBD is key for the best experience possible. If you’re new to CBD, understanding all the different terminology and plethora of products can be really confusing!
We’re here to ease this confusion by offering consumers the information they need to choose the best CBD products to fit their personal wellness needs.
Whether you’re looking at purchasing CBD online or at a local retail location, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is the type of oil you buy. Knowing the difference between full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate is key.
While the effects of each might be similar, you’re now equipped with the knowledge of what makes them different, which is paramount in making an educated buying decision. Still have questions about the difference between full spectrum vs. broad spectrum CBD? Feel free to contact us anytime. We’re always here to help!
Joy Smith is Joy Organics Co-founder and visionary. After her own life-changing experience with CBD, Joy started Joy Organics to create a line of sustainable and premium CBD products consumers could trust. Before founding Joy Organics, Joy worked as an itinerant speaker, traveling to over four continents to empower women across the globe.