What’s the Difference Between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate CBD?

What’s the Difference Between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate CBD?

Selecting a CBD product ideal for your needs isn’t always straightforward. The world of CBD carries a jargon of its own, and product labels can use obscure, even confusing language.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many cannabinoids found in the legal hemp plant. In recent years, it has gained mainstream popularity due to its many health benefits and variety of uses.

When shopping for CBD, you may have noticed the following descriptors printed on different CBD product packaging: full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate. What do these terms mean, and how might they influence your CBD wellness regimen? Read on to learn more!


What is Full Spectrum CBD?

Full spectrum CBD invites consumers to experience the full benefits of a CBD product by including all compounds found in the hemp plant. These compounds include cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.

Cannabinoids interact directly with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) by triggering receptors throughout the body. Although CBD is the main cannabinoid at play in full spectrum products, others like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinol (CBN), or cannabigerol (CBG) are involved, as well.

Unlike cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids do not interact with the ECS. They do, however, work with cannabinoids to induce an entourage effect, which occurs when different compounds interact to produce new and potentially more powerful health benefits.

Terpenes are aromatic compounds that affect scent and flavor, whereas flavonoids influence color. When consumed, these two compounds also act as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antianxiety agents, amongst other wellness benefits.

It should be noted that, as legal hemp and CBD permits, full spectrum products do contain up to 0.3% THC. THC is the psychoactive compound responsible for the “high” experienced when ingesting marijuana. CBD products, however, typically do not cause any psychoactive effects.

Although legal full spectrum CBD products will not produce that characteristic high due to the negligible amount of THC found in them, THC may nonetheless show up on a drug test. If a positive drug test poses any risk in your personal or professional life, it may be wise to steer clear of full spectrum CBD and opt for broad spectrum or isolate CBD products instead.


What is Broad Spectrum CBD?

Broad spectrum CBD is fairly similar to full spectrum CBD, carrying with it a wide variety of cannabinoids and other naturally occurring compounds found in the hemp plant. The key difference is that broad spectrum CBD does not contain THC or any other psychoactive ingredients.

Due to the absence of THC, broad spectrum CBD products are ideal for those concerned about the ramifications surrounding a positive drug test. They allow people to consume a helpful range of cannabinoids without potentially sacrificing their careers or other important personal ventures.


What is Isolate CBD?

Isolate CBD is exactly what it sounds like: isolated CBD. These products contain CBD alone, with no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids to be found.

Isolated, purified CBD is perfect for consumers seeking very specific benefits of CBD without the cannabinoid interacting with other compounds. This interaction can change the way CBD affects your body, and some favor the benefits of CBD alone.

Similar to broad spectrum CBD, isolate CBD contains no THC, making it a great choice for those who prefer to avoid the psychotropic cannabinoid.

Bee’s Knees Wellness founder Marilee Scruton compares full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate CBD with an elegant analogy:

“You can think of the three types of CBD the way you think of a symphony. Full spectrum CBD is like having the whole symphony on stage. Broad spectrum CBD is like having most of the symphony on stage, but maybe there’s no cello. Isolate CBD is like a violin solo, just the one instrument, but it’s still beautiful.”

With this in mind, we hope you have a better understanding of the differences between these types of CBD products and, by extension, an easier time developing a CBD regimen that suits your individual needs.

time Sep 21, 2023

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