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 You may have seen full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD and pure CBD when you have been looking at CBD. So what do these common pieces of terminology mean? Knowing the different types of CBD will help you get the exact product you are looking for. Before you buy CBD, read this comprehensive breakdown of how different C Find out more about the three different types of CBD and their benefits. Read our blog post to learn which cbd oil is best for you 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.
What are the different types of CBD?
You may have seen full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD and pure CBD when you have been looking at CBD. So what do these common pieces of terminology mean? Knowing the different types of CBD will help you get the exact product you are looking for. Before you buy CBD, read this comprehensive breakdown of how different CBD types differ, and why each has its own importance.
Types of CBD
Whole Plant CBD
Where some CBD products solely extract the CBD, whole plant utilises the entire spectrum of hemp compounds, including essential terpenes, flavonoids, waxes and oils. This makes it a premium product, however it is often too thick and unrefined for regular use.
Whole plant CBD products can include CBD oils, CBD edibles and even premium CBD e liquids. Whole plant CBD does not necessarily contain illegal amounts of THC and they can be found in the UK. However, whole plant CBD is rarer to find and only appeals to a small percentage of hemp fans.
Full Spectrum CBD
Full spectrum CBD doesn’t have the waxes and oils found in the whole plant, but it still retains trace elements of THC. Full spectrum products are more common in countries with relaxed laws around THC. Where full spectrum CBD products are legal, you will find an assortment of products with CBD oils and CBD vape liquids proving popular.
Full spectrum CBD is not legal in the UK due to the presence of THC in quantities greater than 0.2%. Most CBD users however, will not be looking for full spectrum CBD due to its psychotropic properties; zero THC is a safer and much more popular way to take CBD.
Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad spectrum CBD products contain 0% THC and retain additional cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, whilst removing the waxes and oils. This is a popular form of CBD across the UK and is commonly found in CBD balms and CBD vape liquids.
Broad spectrum CBD products offer a more ‘complete’ hemp experience but don’t offer any particular advantages for users looking for CBD. The presence of terpenes and flavonoids also create a more ‘hempy’ flavour in oral products, which may not be to the taste of many.
Pure CBD products,also known as CBD isolate, only extract CBD from the hemp plant. Pure CBD contains 0.0% THC, does not retain the additional hemp compounds found in the other categorisations, and works well when blended with specially curated ingredients.
CBD Extraction: Natural Precision
If a CBD product describes itself as ‘whole plant’ or ‘pure CBD’, it’s referring to the way the CBD has been processed and what it now contains. Whilst the phrasing “whole plant” conjures up images of a giant blender where thousands of hemp plants are thrown in, in fact it’s far more complex.
In Whole Plant CBD for example, a CO2 process forms the core of the product, while ethanol extraction is carried out simultaneously. This specifically extracts key waxes and oils that are too thick and stubborn for a supercritical extraction to procure.
Whether it’s pure CBD, broad spectrum CBD or even whole plant, it’s important that the correct extraction method is used. That way, the best quality CBD can be obtained that retains the inherent natural benefits of CBD. For more information about how to obtain CBD, checkout our useful CBD extraction guide.
Respecting Natural Cannabidiol
The natural world as we see it today is the result of many millions of years of evolution. Every blade of grass, every feather, and every opposable thumb is the result of countless organisms and biological systems gradually developing alongside each other.
Whilst modern horticultural methods allow for further honing and tweaking, Vitality CBD believe that the best CBD comes from respecting and working in conjunction with that natural order. Properly harnessing this natural balance is part and parcel of our Pure CBD products.
Learn More About CBD
At Vitality CBD, we have complete faith in each of our products because we understand the science behind them, but simply telling you that isn’t enough. We believe that a well-informed user is a happy user, which is why we’ve assembled and curated an extensive CBD knowledge base at the tip of your fingers.
If you have any unresolved questions about any of the forms of CBD, our experienced team are always on hand to field any questions. Reach out to us on our CBD contact page. We want you to feel confident when you buy cannabidiol.
Types of CBD: What are the different types of CBD?
With a number of unfamiliar words surrounding CBD oils, it is easy to get confused. You might have come across different CBD oil designations, such as: full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, or CBD isolate.
In this article, we will cover the different types of CBD oils and their benefits. While there is no clear answer to which one is the best one, we will talk about the properties of each CBD type so that you can choose which one is right for you and your lifestyle.
How many types of CBD are there?
Though in theory there can be hundreds of different CBD oil types, depending on their cannabinoid content and extraction process, there are three different types of CBD you will likely come across:
- CBD Isolate
- Full Spectrum CBD oil
- Broad Spectrum CBD oil
As the name suggests, CBD Isolate is an isolated form of cannabidiol, or CBD. To put it simply, CBD Isolate oil corresponds to the purest form of CBD oil, since it does not contain any other cannabinoids or natural compounds of the cannabis plant. For this to be possible, all of the plant’s compounds are thoroughly removed, except for CBD, through an extensive extraction process.
Depending on the extraction process type, high-quality CBD isolates are usually over 99% pure. This level of purity is the biggest benefit of this type of CBD since you can maintain the potency of CBD even when added to other substances, such as foods, lotions or shampoo.
CBD Isolate can also be a great choice if you want to avoid THC altogether, since Isolates do not contain any other cannabinoids, including the famous psychoactive constituent of cannabis. This CBD type is highly used therefore by people who have to undergo drug testing, though there is always a slight possibility that THC will show up too, since all CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC.
Finally, CBD isolate might be right for you if you’re looking for a flavourless and odourless product. However, you can find CBD isolate oils with added flavouring if you prefer flavoured products.
Our Pro CBD oil with Vitamin D3 has a peppermint flavour and is great for athletes or anyone who wants to support their active lifestyle. It is BSCG tested and approved, so you can trust you’re compliant whether you’re a drug tested sports professional or hard working blue lighter.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Full Spectrum CBD oil corresponds to an oil rich in CBD, alongside small amounts of THC (up to 0.2%), terpenes and flavonoids. Some people prefer to take full spectrum CBD oil over CBD isolate due to the entourage effect theory. This theory defends that taking CBD and THC together, along with other cannabis compounds may be more effective than taking cannabidiol alone.
Moreover, most full spectrum CBD oils will contain a wide range of terpenes and flavonoids, which can have their own beneficial effects. Therefore, this type of CBD oil can be right for you if you prefer a less refined product and if you don’t mind its earthy flavour, though you can find flavoured full-spectrum varieties.
It’s worth noting that from the 1st of April 2021, this type of CBD might no longer be available to buy in the UK due to the Novel Foods act. This act basically applies to foods that weren’t consumed in large quantities before 1997, and as such need to be regulated and licensed. Since full spectrum CBD oil contains small amounts of THC and other cannabinoids, it might be challenging for CBD brands to get this CBD oil type licensed. At fourfive, we don’t sell this product but we offer a range of CBD broad spectrum oils made from 100% natural ingredients.
Broad Spectrum CBD Oil
Broad spectrum CBD sits somewhere in the middle between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD. To put it simply, this CBD oil type contains mostly cannabidiol alongside small amounts of other cannabis compounds, but it doesn’t contain THC. However, some products will contain trace quantities.
Like full-spectrum CBD, this form of CBD may also produce heightened effects because they contain additional components that work together. Some of the usually added compounds include cannabinol (CBC) and terpenes, such as limonene, myrcene and pinene.
People who want to benefit from the entourage effect without having to take THC usually prefer this type of CBD for greater benefits.
What is the best type of CBD oil?
Not enough scientific research has been done to determine which type of CBD produces the best benefits with the least side effects. Therefore, the best type of CBD oil will completely depend on your lifestyle, personal preference and what you use CBD oil for.
Other factors might also influence your decision. For example, if you’re an athlete you will likely want to stick to THC-free products.
For instance, if you prefer a refined product that can be added to a variety of substances without losing its potency, you will likely opt for CBD isolate. On the other hand, if you don’t mind small amounts of THC, you can benefit from full spectrum CBD for greater benefits, though as mentioned above, this type of CBD oil will likely stop being sold in the UK from the 1st of April this year due to the Novel Foods act. Therefore, CBD broad spectrum is probably your best bet if you’re looking for a CBD oil that can produce heightened effects.
Whether you pick broad spectrum or isolates, CBD oil supplements are not an all-size-fits-all sort of thing, so sometimes you might have to do a bit of trial and error and see what works best for you. This also applies to finding your optimal CBD dosage .
If you’d like to get up to date with the latest laws on CBD regulation and legality, make sure to read our CBD legality in the UK article for 2021. You can also find multiple blog posts about all things related to our CBD on our learn articles section .