If you’ve spent much time trying to buy CBD online, you’ve almost certainly come across the terms full spectrum and isolate. This will describe the cannabinoid content in the product you are purchasing, and is one of the most important factors in choosing a CBD product.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of around 120 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. CBD is the compound most consumers are shopping for, and will typically be the most abundant cannabinoid found in hemp. Note-worthy minor cannabinoids in hemp-derived products include THC, CBG, CBT, CBN, and CBC. While these compounds are found in the hemp plant, they are typically found in extremely low concentrations. Lets take a look at what products contain different cannabinoids and why they matter when choosing a product.
What is CBD isolate?
CBD isolate is just the CBD molecule by itself. Typically, isolate will be pure white in color and come in a crystalline powder form. CBD isolate is very popular among consumers because of how versatile it is. It can be mixed into custom formulations or even be added to your favorite lotion to easily make a CBD cream.
Isolate-based products are also preferred by consumers who are sensitive to THC. Since it’s just the CBD molecule by itself, there are no other cannabinoids to cause a possible reaction. Isolate is also the go-to for people who must undergo regular drug screenings by their employer. Drug tests typically look for metabolites of THC, so while it is not impossible to fail a drug test while using an isolate product, it is highly unlikely.
What is full spectrum CBD?
Full spectrum means that an oil or product contains all of the cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant, rather than just CBD like isolate. Full spectrum CBD products will contain all of the minor cannabinoids we talked about, including THC at levels less than the 0.3% limit allowed by law. Full spectrum products are associated with the “entourage effect” – this refers to the increased effectiveness of these products due to the different cannabinoids working synergistically.
Full spectrum products are typically used by consumers looking to maximize their potential benefits and have no reservations about the product having trace amounts of THC. While the THC content will be no where near enough to make the user high, you should avoid full spectrum products if you must submit to random drug screenings.
What is broad spectrum CBD?
Broad spectrum CBD is full spectrum oil that has had the entirety of it’s THC removed by the manufacturer during processing. Products labeled broad spectrum will allow the consumer to receive any potential benefits of minor cannabinoids like CBG and CBT without any THC. While broad spectrum products are typically safer than full spectrum for the person trying to avoid THC, the process isn’t always perfect so make sure you see a lab result for the product!
So which product should I choose?
It will all come down to your personal needs. If THC isn’t of concern, we typically recommend full spectrum products. That isn’t to say that isolate doesn’t have its own merits, but most consumers will find they have better success. Regardless of where you’re shopping, always make sure lab results are listed open and clear to make sure the product contains only what it promises, nothing more and nothing less!