When you’re shopping for CBD oil, you’ll see that there are many kinds to choose from with various terms used to describe the CBD: full-spectrum, isolate, broad-spectrum, and other variations similar to these. These unfamiliar terms can make shopping for CBD confusing and difficult, but we’re here to help you understand what they mean and what makes them different from one another.
These CBD terms refer to the number of different plant materials and cannabinoids found in the product. CBD products are measured on a spectrum, where on one end the CBD product contains a variety of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, and on the other end of the spectrum the product only contains CBD.
To better explain the differences between these terms, we must first define the compounds that differentiate these terms. All plants contain phytochemicals, which are the chemical compounds created in plants to help them thrive. Cannabinoids are the active compounds found in cannabis plants that have the ability to interact with the human body’s cannabinoid receptors.
Terpenes are found in all plants and they are what give plants their aroma. Flavonoids are what give plants their flavor, pigment, and prevent plant diseases. When CBD oil is first extracted from cannabis, it contains all of these components.
What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of many cannabinoids naturally found in cannabis plants. Cannabis is the broad term to describe both hemp and marijuana, but the most common plant used to extract CBD is hemp. The way in which the CBD is made and refined differentiates where on the spectrum the CBD product will fall.
CBD is such a popular wellness product because it offers various health benefits. These health benefits are made possible due to the way in which CBD interacts with the body’s cannabinoid receptors found in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for regulating a wide range of functions throughout the body to create a sense of balance and wellness, also known as homeostasis.
There are two known cannabinoid receptors called the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Researchers believe there are more undiscovered receptors that exist in the ECS and interact with cannabinoids. The different types of CBD will interact with the body’s ECS differently due to the entourage effect.
What is the Entourage Effect?
The entourage effect refers to the enhanced effectiveness of the other components extracted from the cannabis plant. These components are found in full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD, which includes flavonoids, cannabinoids, and terpenes. When these components in CBD oil are taken together, they work together to improve the effectiveness of the CBD oil.
Research has shown CBD interacts with different cannabinoid receptors than THC does, meaning both of these cannabinoids can simultaneously interact with different receptors in the ECS. With the help from the other cannabinoids and plant extracts, full- and broad-spectrum CBD are able to work more effectively to help boost and stimulate the ECS.
What is Full-Spectrum CBD?
At the furthest end of the CBD spectrum, full-spectrum is the least refined CBD. Full-spectrum CBD contains more than just CBD. It also contains other cannabinoids, including traces of THC, and the plant’s other natural elements, like terpenes, vitamins, proteins, flavonoids, and more.
In other words, after CBD is extracted from the hemp plant, it isn’t further refined to strip excess plant ingredients. This may seem to be pointless to have extra ingredients in CBD oil, but these ingredients can help increase the performance of the CBD oil. Full-spectrum oil can be viewed as leaving the CBD in its purest form with the full range of natural nutrients found in hemp. Some also call full-spectrum CBD “whole-plant CBD” because it includes all the natural nutrients from the whole plant.
Does Full Spectrum CBD contain THC?
Yes, full-spectrum CBD does contain a small amount of THC. THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the cannabinoid found in cannabis plants that create the intoxicating or high effect in users. Hemp-derived CBD legally cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC. Since there are such small amounts of THC in full-spectrum CBD products, you will not get high from using them. CBD may also have the ability to counteract the effects one might get from the small amounts of THC. So, even though full-spectrum CBD does contain some THC, you won’t get high from it at all.
What is CBD Isolate?
On the opposite side of the spectrum you will find CBD isolate as the most refined CBD. CBD isolate will only contain purely CBD without the terpenes, other cannabinoids, THC, and other plant nutrients. After the initial hemp extraction, the CBD is refined until only CBD is left or isolated. Some may see CBD isolate as superior because of its “pure state,” but there are benefits to CBD containing other cannabinoids and phytochemicals. The entourage effect is not possible with CBD isolate. However, even without the entourage effect, these THC free products are good for people who live in states where even trace amounts of THC are illegal.
What is Broad Spectrum CBD?
In between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD you will find broad-spectrum CBD. While Full Spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes found naturally in the hemp plant, Broad Spectrum is defined as containing at least two cannabinoids and one terpene found naturally in the plant. A typical use of the term is to describe oil from which the THC has been removed. Some states require hemp oil to contain zero THC, and because THC is one of the cannabinoids found naturally in the hemp plant, that means Full Spectrum is not eligible for sale in those states.
What are the Benefits of Full-Spectrum CBD?
Since full-spectrum CBD contains more than just CBD, it may have the ability to be more effective than CBD isolate. This is due to the entourage effect, including the various other cannabinoids that are present to improve the ECS. These cannabinoids include cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabidiol acid (CBDA), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabigerol (CBG), and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Because full-spectrum CBD contains a wide range of cannabinoids, they can work together to interact with the different receptors in the ECS. The phytochemicals from the cannabis plant can also offer more benefits by improving aspects of cognitive function.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil Takeaways
Full-spectrum CBD oil is the least processed CBD available on the market and it can offer more benefits due to the entourage effect. Even though it does contain THC, it doesn’t make the user high because it is so minute. CBD isolate contains pure CBD while broad-spectrum CBD is similar to full-spectrum without the THC. Full-spectrum CBD works with the various aspects of the endocannabinoid system to offer more effective results. Test out a few types of CBD to figure out what’s best for you.
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Our proprietary nanotechnology sets us apart from other CBD companies because it allows us to create full-spectrum CBD with smaller particles that allow for quicker absorption. We use high-quality ingredients and terpene-rich hemp to create top of the line CBD products.
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This article first appeared on cbdamericanshaman.com/blog It was lightly edited.