When you’re deciding which CBD products would best suit your needs, there’s more to the decision-making process than just the price or taste. The quality of the cannabis plant and the extraction method are often overlooked, but they largely influence the final product. In addition to the extraction method, CBD also comes in a few different forms: full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate.
The three most common extraction methods are olive-oil, solvent, and CO2 extraction. Regardless of the process used, the resulting product is a full-spectrum CBD oil. This oil can then be further refined into broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate. Understanding what each type of CBD offers will help you determine which one best suits your needs.
Full-spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other valuable compounds that are naturally found in the cannabis plant. Because this type of CBD oil possesses a comprehensive range of cannabinoids and terpenes, the therapeutic effects of the oil is greater than what broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate have to offer. This is known as the entourage effect, where all the cannabinoids – each with their own distinct therapeutic benefits – work together naturally to maximize their effects. As full-spectrum CBD retains all the plant’s compounds, this also includes trace amounts of THC – the chemical compound in cannabis that produces the blissful high that many have come to associate with cannabis as a whole. Trustworthy brands will be fully transparent about the THC content in their products and impose strict measures to ensure they meet regulations and standards. For example, Way of Will’s full-spectrum CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC, which is insufficient to give you a high.
Broad-spectrum CBD is similar to its full-spectrum counterpart – without the trace amounts of THC. As mentioned earlier, the most common extraction methods yield full-spectrum CBD oil, so additional steps must be taken in order to create broad-spectrum CBD. Specifically, the full-spectrum extract undergoes a process known as liquid chromatography, during which the THC is removed at low temperature settings while the cannabinoids, terpenes, and amino acids are left intact. Alternatively, broad-spectrum CBD can also be produced by taking a CBD isolate (we’ll get to that next) and adding the desired cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids to it. For those who cannot have any THC in their system for whatever reason, broad-spectrum would be the ideal type of CBD to enjoy.
Put simply, CBD isolate is 99% or more pure CBD. This means that other cannabinoids and terpenes are eliminated from the final product, but it also takes away the entourage effect and the therapeutic benefits that come with the excluded compounds. This type of CBD is most suitable for those who are sensitive to other cannabinoids, or who desire high doses of CBD. It is created by separating and isolating the CBD from all other compounds in the plant, and then winterized so that any remaining unwanted components are filtered out. The resulting product is a white, flavorless, purified powder that some companies offer in a crystalline form. As a powder, it can be ingested sublingually (i.e., administered directly under the tongue) for fast-acting results, like a tincture. It can also be mixed into gummies or creams for an indirect application. As a crystal, CBD isolate can also be consumed sublingually, inhaled via a vaping pipe, or taken with liquids such as teas or juices.
With so many options when it comes to CBD products, it is crucial to understand what each type of CBD offers and how it works with your specific needs. A better comprehension of different types of CBD will allow you to make a better, more informed decision when choosing the right products and get the most out of your CBD-using experience.