There is so much diversity in CBD products. Understanding your CBD label will ultimately help you get the most out of your CBD experience. So, let’s touch on the three main categories of products that you’ll come across while shopping for CBD products; full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate. These terms specify how much of the cannabis plant you’re intaking, and consequently the variety of benefits you’re receiving. From there, you can determine which category is best for you.
To make CBD products, cannabinoid content is extracted from the hemp plant. There are a variety of extraction methods, but the most popular by far is CO2 extraction. This is a highly complex and specific method that ensures the most natural results. It’s actually the same method used to remove caffeine from coffee to make decaffeinated coffee. From the extracted material, specific compounds and cannabinoids are extracted (or not extracted) depending on the desired end product. This is what full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate refer to; the range of cannabinoid content used in a CBD product.
Full Spectrum CBD
Full spectrum is the whole package; everything extracted from the plant is what you get. This means that in addition to the CBD, it also contains the other highly beneficial compounds found in the plant, like flavonoids, terpenes, CBG, CBN, and trace amounts of THC. This creates something called the “entourage effect.” The entourage effect is when all of the compounds and cannabinoids in the hemp plant work together in perfect collaboration, providing the widest array of benefits. Consequently, these products are the most popular on the CBD spectrum. People also appreciate that full spectrum CBD undergoes less processing than broad spectrum and isolate.
Now, the trace amount of THC part might alarm you, but just remember; there is less than 0.3% of THC found in hemp plants. It’s not enough to intoxicate you and get you high, unless you chug a whole bottle of CBD oil (don’t do that). However, the trace amounts of THC can cause false positives in a drug test. So, for those of you who are subject to frequent drug testing for medical or legal reasons, be wary that the THC in full spectrum products could show up in a test (even though it won’t intoxicate you).
Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad spectrum is essentially full spectrum, but with zero THC. This category of products also offers the entourage effect. If you want the benefits of the entourage effect but don’t want to worry about the trace THC in the full spectrum products, this is the better option for you. Broad spectrum products undergo additional processing to remove the THC while still offering you the same variety of benefits as full spectrum. This is less likely to cause false positives on a drug test. Often times, people who use these products typically have conditions requiring the benefits of all cannabinoids in cannabis but are particularly sensitive to THC. Or, they simply don’t want to risk having THC in their system.
Isolate is, well, isolated CBD. The CBD is isolated and all other compounds and cannabinoids in the plant are excluded from the final product. It is the purest form of CBD, and consequently also has zero THC. CBD isolate is ideal for people who might be sensitive to the other cannabinoids and compounds found in hemp. Additionally, it is best for individuals who are recommended to take higher doses of CBD for any medical reasons. It is also a good option for those who undergo frequent drug testing and don’t want to risk THC being in their system.
Remember, everybody is different. While full or broad spectrum or isolate may work great for one person, it might not be as beneficial to you. Try out each category of the CBD spectrum to see what benefits you the best. If you’re nervous about any amounts of THC and don’t want to risk having it in your system, stick with isolate or broad spectrum. Maybe you might be allergic or sensitive to some of the other cannabinoids found in hemp, so try out some isolate. If you want to go big, dive into full spectrum products. You’ll never know what works for you if you don’t try!