Full Spectrum CBD vs Broad Spectrum CBD vs CBD Isolate

Apr 29th 2020

When shopping for CBD there are three names you will see frequently. Isolate, broad spectrum and full spectrum refer to three common types of CBD and each type is distinctly different from the others. With so many types available it can be confusing when attempting to choose one. If you’re not sure which type you need then read on to find out about the different types of CBD and how they are created.

Extracting CBD

CBD is a compound found in hemp and cannabis plants. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and will not get you “high”. It is one of 113 cannabinoids present in the plant. CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC are legal in all 50 states.

The process of turning the hemp plant into CBD products is called extraction. The method of extraction used determines the type of CBD – either Isolate, broad spectrum or full spectrum.

Defining the Extraction Methods

Here we look at each type of CBD based on its extraction process. When purchasing CBD products, you will see these terms listed and this will explain the extraction process so you know what you’re getting. It will help you to know and understand each type so you can choose the product that is right for you. Remember that there are multiple cannabinoids in hemp plants, CBD and THC are only two.

Isolate CBD

Isolate is exactly as the name describes, it is an extraction process that isolates CBD from all the other compounds in cannabis. It is a concentrate that undergoes a process where terpenes, cannabinoids, and waxes are stripped away to create a product that is considered “pure” CBD. This removal process is known as “winterization.”

Full Spectrum CBD

The term Full Spectrum CBD describes the process of utilizing all the cannabinoids and terpenes present in the plant. It is often referred to as “whole plant CBD” because all parts of the plant are used in the extraction. Since all parts of the plant are used there may be trace amounts of THC, but still not enough to produce a high.

Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad spectrum CBD is a combination of isolate and full spectrum CBD. It is a full spectrum oil with all the cannabinoids and terpenes that is put through a process similar to winterization to remove any and all THC.

Hemp is a very fibrous plant and naturally contains fats and waxy materials that are present in whole plant CBD. This are the materials that are removed from Isolate and when making Broad Spectrum CBD.

CBD and Employer Drug Tests

In most cases, occasional use of CBD products will not produce a positive test result. However, there have been reports of people failing drug tests after consuming CBD products. There was no indication as to what type of product they were using and if they were using products containing more than 0.3 % THC. It is a possibility that they were using full spectrum products in significant amount that added up over time creating a positive test result.

Researchers tested CBD products and found that as much as 70% of the CBD products that were tested were mislabeled, according to a study performed in 2017. It’s possible that individuals were unknowingly consuming small amounts of THC not listed on product labels.

CBD isolate is probably the best product to use if you are worried about being tested.

Another thing you can do is to check that the product you are purchasing is 99% pure CBD, to be sure you aren’t consuming unknown amounts of THC. You can ask to see a lab report and most companies are more than happy to provide you with one. 

If what you want on the other hand is whole plant benefits, then full spectrum CBD would be the way to go. But use this option only if you’re not concerned about test results.

Researchers have discovered that the benefits of cannabis are the most effective when all parts of the plant are used. All the compounds work together to create what is known as the entourage effect. You get the most benefit from this situation when all the parts are working together in harmony. Full spectrum CBD is the most effective product because the whole plant is used in its creation. Another benefit here is that there is no measurable threshold of effectiveness as with other types. CBD isolate on the other hand does have a minimum and maximum threshold of effectiveness. That means that you have to consume a certain amount for it to be effective and the benefit wears off quickly. It is also a bit more difficult to find the correct dosage and it does not produce the entourage effect.

So, now that you know the different types of CBD, which one should you choose?

Again, you have to think about the important factors here. Are you concerned about drug tests? Or, do you want the full benefit of a full cannabinoid profile?

When choosing a CBD product keep these factors in mind to help you determine which product to choose. Now that you know a little more about CBD and how it is made, you will have an easier time with product labels and knowing how the product will affect you. Check out our CBD products to experience the benefits of this amazing plant.