When looking for CBD, you’ve probably noticed there are different cannabinoid spectrum options to choose from.
You can buy full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, or CBD isolates.
While these three types of products may sound similar, they’re actually worlds apart from each other.
So, what does each spectrum tell you about your CBD oil products and how are they different?
1. What is Full-Spectrum CBD?
If an extract is full-spectrum, this means it contains all phytochemicals naturally found in the plant, including CBD, trace cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils. Full-spectrum extracts from hemp also come with a negligible THC content — below 0.3%
The full spectrum of the active compounds extracted from hemp work together to amplify the health benefits of each individual cannabinoid. This phenomenon is referred to as the entourage effect.
Although non-psychoactive, full-spectrum CBD can give you a false positive during a drug test, especially if you consume high doses of CBD oil daily. For consumers worried about a possible random workplace drug test, I would suggest using an isolate or broad spectrum product.
2. What is Broad Spectrum CBD?
Broad-spectrum CBD contains cannabidiol and all the other compounds within the plant, save for THC, which is completely removed after the initial extraction.
Because broad-spectrum extracts contain multiple cannabinoids, they also produce the “entourage effect,” but without the THC.
In a very simplified manner, broad-spectrum CBD is like a mix between full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. It contains the entire spectrum of cannabinoids EXCEPT for the THC part.
3. What is CBD Isolate?
CBD isolate is the purest form of this compound, made by pulling it from its natural environment and removing it from all other ingredients.
The advantage of using CBD isolate over other formats is the highest concentration of CBD per serving. Isolates are usually 99% pure, meaning that one gram of isolate powder carries about 990 mg of CBD. There’s no entourage effect, though — you can benefit solely from the effects of cannabidiol, hence the lower price of such products and lower demand than full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD.
The Entourage Effect Explained
Despite the complicated name, the entourage effect is fairly easy to understand.
It refers to the synergy achieved by all the components in cannabis. These components work together to enhance the potential benefits of the plant. Each compound can amplify the therapeutic properties of the others while mitigating their potential side effects (1).