There are three main types of CBD: Full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate.

Not all CBD is the same. With so many types of CBD products available, it’s important to know what the differences are between them. Full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate are the three primary types of CBD, and they’re all created differently — and produce different effects. If you’re not sure which type of CBD is best for you and your needs, this post will give you the run-down. We’re going to cover the differences between full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. We’ll also cover the entourage effect and why it matters when you’re shopping for CBD.

About Cannabinoids and Our Well-Being

Cannabinoids are the naturally occurring phytochemicals found within the Cannabis plant. There are more than 113 identified cannabinoids, with THC and CBD being the most abundant – and most researched. Cannabinoids interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complicated network of cannabinoid receptors and neurotransmitters found throughout the body. This endocannabinoid system maintains homeostasis within the body by controlling a wide range of functions, such as cognitive function, memory, pain perception, mood regulation, and immune response, in addition to several others. Cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, benefit the brain and body in numerous ways. Furthermore, each cannabinoid interacts with the endocannabinoid system in its own unique way. THC, for example, is psychoactive and will induce a “high” or “stoned” feeling. CBD, in contrast, is non-psychoactive and will not cause a high. In fact, it can reduce the effects of THC. CBD offers a wide range of health benefits, from relief from pain to management of seizures. At low doses, CBD can be stimulating, while higher doses tend to cause drowsiness and sedation. The full array of cannabinoids is collectively called the cannabinoid spectrum.

The Three Types of CBD

There are three types of CBD, and they each have their own unique set of benefits.

CBD Isolate 

We’re going to start with the purest product – CBD isolate. CBD isolate is pure cannabidiol, with nothing else. You will usually see isolate in the form of CBD powder, called CBD crystalline.

CBD has anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and anti-anxiety effects, but also has plenty of drawbacks.

The most important drawback is the bell-shaped dosage-response of CBD. While CBD is effective in treating inflammation, pain, and anxiety, its effectiveness reaches its max at a medium dose, but then tapers off for higher and lower doses — imagine an upside down “u.”

This means CBD isolate is limited in its effectiveness, because its ideal dose is narrow and hard to pinpoint.

Broad Spectrum CBD 

The middle point between CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD is broad spectrum CBD.

Broad spectrum CBD oil is extracted in the same way as full spectrum oil. The difference lies in what is taken out. Broad spectrum CBD products are further refined to remove the THC.

Broad spectrum CBD products are ideal for those who want to avoid THC, regardless of the reason. This extract allows you to reap the benefits of the cannabis plant, but while not having to worry about failing a drug test.

Full Spectrum CBD 

The most effective type of CBD is full spectrum CBD.

Full spectrum contains all the phytochemicals that are naturally found in the cannabis plant, including terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids. Full spectrum CBD products also contain a negligible amount of THC —  0.3% or less.

The full cannabinoid spectrum comes together synergistically, boosting the health benefits of each individual cannabinoid. This is the entourage effect.

The terpenes present in Cannabis are also beneficial. Terpenes, the aromatic compounds produced by plants, have different effects. For example, myrcene is a powerful analgesic, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and antimutagenic.

By leaving all the terpenes in the full spectrum CBD products, the users can benefit from these compounds in addition to benefiting from the phytocannabinoids.

Although full spectrum CBD is non-psychoactive, the traces of THC can lead to a positive reading during a drug test, especially if you take full spectrum CBD products on a daily basis.

Overall, full spectrum CBD products are most effective, due to the entourage effect with the boost from the THC.

Taking CBD

Now that you know the difference between the three main types of CBD, head on over to this post on CBD Tinctures.