CBD education

Full Spectrum vs Isolate: A Look at the Different Types of CBD

Stuck choosing between the different types of CBD? It can be difficult to sort through all of the information available and decide the perfect type of CBD for you. 

Keep in mind that CBD works differently for everybody. Your friend may have great results with one type, while you don’t feel noticeable effects. On the other hand, what works for you may not work for someone else. That’s because there are so many different types of CBD available for different needs. 

Once you’ve decided between full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, or CBD isolate, there are still more considerations to make. You may have to experiment with different methods of consumption and work to optimize bioavailability

There’s a lot of information to take in. But don’t worry. We’ll break down the various types of CBD so you can choose the perfect type for your needs without any confusion. 

What are the different types of CBD? 

When you shop for CBD, you’ll notice there are multiple types of CBD. Some products are labeled “full spectrum,” some are labeled “broad spectrum,” and others are called “CBD isolate.” These are the main types of CBD you’ll run into. 

What is full spectrum CBD? 

Full spectrum CBD comes from hemp. CBD is just one compound present in hemp, though. There are many other cannabinoids in the hemp plant besides CBD, including THC. Full spectrum CBD includes all of the cannabinoids present in the plant. This means there is some THC in full spectrum products. 

Now, you may be worried that full spectrum CBD will get you high. The answer is no. CBD is legal in the United States so long as the THC percentage is below 0.3%. This is not enough to be intoxicating. 

The benefit of using full spectrum CBD is that you may experience stronger effects. Along with cannabinoids, hemp has a lot of terpenes. Terpenes are compounds that carry unique aromas and flavors. Various terpenes provide different effects. 

With full spectrum CBD, you may experience a phenomenon coined the “entourage effect.” The entourage effect was coined by scientists who found that all of the plant parts can work together to create stronger therapeutic effects. Basically, full spectrum CBD may be more effective because all of the plant parts can work together to create a symbiosis. 

What is broad spectrum CBD? 

Broad spectrum CBD is very similar to full spectrum. It contains cannabinoids and terpenes and can provide the “entourage effect” used to describe full spectrum CBD. 

However, broad spectrum CBD contains no THC. It’s removed from the final product but the other cannabinoids and compounds remain. 

For someone who wants the benefits of the full plant effects without any trace of THC, broad spectrum is a good choice. It’s a middle ground between full spectrum and CBD isolate, which we’ll get to next. 

What is CBD isolate?

CBD isolate is exactly what it sounds like: isolated CBD. There are no other compounds present in CBD isolate. Which means there will be no “entourage effect” when you use it.  

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD, in that there are no other compounds present. For users who want to completely avoid THC and other compounds, CBD isolate is a great choice. 

What is the best type of CBD? 

Now that we’ve broken down the different types of CBD, you may have a better understanding of the products on the market. Still, you may be wondering what the best type of CBD is for your personal needs. 

There is no concrete answer. It comes down to lifestyle and personal preferences. 

You see, many people opt for CBD isolate. Sometimes it’s because they’re specifically avoiding THC, and sometimes because they believe that the highest concentration of CBD will deliver the best results. And for some people, it may. But it’s important to keep in mind that CBD is not the only therapeutic compound in hemp. And for some, the synergy between all of the plant compounds makes a big difference. 

That’s why full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD are both so popular. Many people choose to use these products because they find the effects to be more therapeutic. On the other hand, users who are strictly avoiding THC may opt to avoid using full spectrum because, even though the legal THC level is low and non-intoxicating, they don’t want any in their system. 

Finding the right CBD for you may be a game of trial and error. You may need to try a few products before you find the right one. And even then, you’ll need to play around with the dosage before you find your optimal amount. 

More tips for choosing the best types of CBD

Beyond figuring out the type of CBD you want to use, there are some other considerations. 

First is the method of consumption. Do you plan to vaporize CBD or do you plan to take a tincture under your tongue? Or maybe you’d rather eat a CBD gummy or edible. 

Vaporizing or taking a tincture under the tongue will take effect quicker than if you eat CBD. Plus, you’ll get more of the product because your digestive system will not break any of it down. It will also wear off quicker. 

On the other hand, eating CBD will take longer for effects. And less CBD may reach the bloodstream because the digestive system will break it down. However, the effects will be longer lasting when you eat CBD than if you vaporize or take it sublingually. 

Purity and potency 

Perhaps the most important factor is the quality of CBD. It’s an unregulated market that is subject to a lot of inconsistencies. 

It is crucial to shop for CBD that has been tested for purity and potency. This ensures that the amount of CBD listed is accurate and confirms that there aren’t other contaminants present. Heavy metals, solvents, and other impurities can end up in CBD products and be harmful to humans and animals. 

To ensure you are purchasing pure, potent CBD, look for a product that has been tested in an ISO-accredited laboratory. Accredited laboratories have proven that they can meet industry standards for accurate testing. 

And if you’re not sure how to read the lab results, don’t worry. Check out our guide for how to read a COA so there is no confusion. 

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Pure CBD products have no detected levels of pesticides, solvents, heavy metals, or microbial contaminants.
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Products must contain between 0-0.3% THC under the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill.
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Products should contain high concentrations of CBD and less than 0.3% THC.
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CBD is not regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration.