The Three Major Types of CBD: Differences and Benefits

Full Spectrum versus Isolate CBD versus Broad Spectrum

Cannabidiol, or CBD as it’s most often called, is a natural chemical compound from the Cannabis sativa plant – known as marijuana or hemp. Unlike marijuana, CBD is not psychoactive and won’t make you feel “high.” But CBD does offer you other great benefits, such as beautiful skin, pain relief, or alleviation of symptoms of chronic illness in conjunction with your doctor’s care.

CBD products come in three major types: full-spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate. Let’s explore the similarities and differences between these three formulations so you can make a choice about which may be the best for you. As always, consult your doctor before starting a CBD or supplement regimen.

All About Full-Spectrum CBD Products

There are more than 100 different cannabinoids in the world, two of which are CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana responsible for making you high. CBD, on the other hand, is known for helping you feel calm without any type of psychoactive effect. 

When multiple cannabinoids are consumed simultaneously, you experience what is called the “entourage effect.” When you combine the cannabinoids, you essentially get a stronger impact than any single one could ever provide. Full-spectrum CBD products also contain terpenes, the primary ingredient in many essential oils, which give you added benefits.

Full-spectrum CBD contains all the natural chemicals from hemp, including multiple cannabinoids and terpenes. Thank the entourage effect for helping your body absorb and use the CBD!

The potential downside to, say, a full-spectrum CBD tincture, is that if you are consuming it, you can expect it to contain up to 0.3 percent THC. This is a miniscule amount that won’t get you high, but it may show up on drug tests, especially if you regularly use CBD. A CBD lotion, on the other hand, may not affect a drug test, but it is up to you to take precautions.

What are Isolate CBD Products?
Isolated CBD is 99 percent pure CBD, but it doesn’t contain any terpenes or flavonoids found in full-spectrum CBD products.

Although you will get benefits from the CBD contained in an isolate product, you don’t get the entourage effect from the other compounds derived from the hemp plant. This is why CBD isolate tends to be cheaper than full-spectrum CBD oils and CBD products. There is a slightly lower risk of testing positive for THC on a drug test if you use an isolate, but there may still be a small chance.

Isolate CBD products can still be quite effective, so don’t let the fact that you’re missing out on cannabinoids influence you to choose a product that may not be the best for you.

What’s the Deal with Broad-Spectrum CBD Products?
A broad-spectrum CBD product is the best of both worlds of the full-spectrum and isolate products. 

With broad-spectrum CBD, you get all the benefits of the entourage effect because these products contain cannabidiol and other natural compounds that occur in a marijuana or hemp plant, minus any traces of THC.

You may have better luck getting results from broad-spectrum products than an isolate, but it depends on how sensitive and receptive your body is to CBD; everyone is different.

A Quick Note About Potency

The concentration of a CBD product is measured in milligrams (mg). Concentration is not the dosage! The larger numbers indicate a more potent CBD oil. The dosage you take will be indicated on the bottle. 

For some people, the recommended dosage is too much or not enough. Listen to your body to figure out whether you need more or less to experience the benefits of CBD.

Which CBD Type is Right For You?
It can be confusing to choose the right CBD product for you, but ultimately it is your decision. If you need help picking which tincture, lotion, oil, or other product to help you, we advise speaking with a CBD expert in a local supplement store. They can usually advise you on which CBD products can help with which health issue you’re facing or the benefit you’re looking for and make a recommendation to try.

Don’t expect adding CBD to your daily health practices to be a quick-fix for your problems. Not only may it take a couple of tries to find the right CBD product for you, but it takes time to take effect on your system. Patience and a willingness to experiment with different formulations and strengths is key!

Written by Jordan

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