Everyone’s talking about the benefits of CBD oil but which of Full-spectrum CBD, Broad-Spectrum CBD or CBD Isolate is the best for you? If you’re confused, read on for my run-down of all the pros and cons.
With CBD becoming so popular, many new products continue to hit the market and it’s tough to figure out which product best suits your needs.
CBD was only legalised in 2016 so there’s still a shortage of reliable information out there to help you make a decision. Searching through CBD oil reviews sometimes just adds to the confusion as they’re often full of scientific jargon.
And what exactly do the terms full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate even mean?
Let’s start with CBD and cannabinoids
It’s important to know that CBD is just one of a full spectrum of over 400 cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids found in the cannabis Sativa plant. Research shows that these compounds can interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to produce wide-ranging and positive health benefits.
(Interesting fact: the endocannabinoid system is actually named after the cannabis plant as the study of the effects of cannabinoids on humans actually led to its discovery!)
Each of these compounds affects the body in different ways. In fact, although it’s widely known that the cannabinoid THC is psychoactive and can get you high, few people know that CBD can actually counteract this effect. But they can also work together as a team to deliver a host of beneficial effects – something referred to as the “entourage effect”.
So is FULL SPECTRUM CBD the best?
The PROs 👍
When CBD is extracted from the cannabis Sativa plant, so too are all of the other compounds and this whole plant extract is called full-spectrum CBD.
Great if you want THC and/or a specific ratio of THC/CBD, and you benefit from the whole spectrum of compounds working together – the “entourage effect”.
So it’s obviously the best, right? Not necessarily…
The CONs 👎
The problem is that it still contains a small amount of the potentially illegal THC which some people don’t like. They may also worry that it will make them feel high or nauseous, affect their ability to drive or even show up on routine drug screening.
Some find its smell and flavour overpowering.
So is CBD ISOLATE better?
The PROs 👍
One solution is to further refine the full-spectrum oil. This removes all of the THC (and any unwanted side effects), leaving only pure CBD isolate (with its desirable side effects). Until recently this has been considered the gold standard of CBD and often has a premium price tag to match.
It’s completely legal, so guaranteed to pass any drug screening.
It’s very versatile as the CBD Isolate crystals can be added to most products cheaply by suppliers.
It’s convenient as it can be dabbed for personal use.
But there are drawbacks…
The CONs 👎
The refining process also removes all of the other, non-psychoactive cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids – and all the benefits of the “entourage effect”.
It’s also been found that CBD isolate may have to be taken at higher doses to get the desired benefit.
Plus it can, and often is, diluted down much more than full spectrum CBD - so it’s strength and quality can’t always be guaranteed.
This is where the relative newcomer, BROAD SPECTRUM CBD, comes in…
The PROs 👍
You could say it offers the best of both worlds. With Broad Spectrum CBD, a specialised process of extraction, filtration and distillation removes all of the THC, without losing all of the goodness contained in the rest of the extract.
If you want to take CBD that is THC-free but still benefits from the entourage effect, then this is the product for you.
The CONs 👎
It doesn’t contain the full range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, only a selection.
I like to think of broad-spectrum as the happy medium between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD oil, but I hope I’ve helped you decide which is best for you.
These are the three CBD terms I wanted to talk about this week. If you enjoyed this and found it useful, please go ahead and share! And if you have any questions, just let me know below and I or one of my team will get back to you.
Jamie Wood, Founder & CEO
→ This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any ailment, illness or disease.
→ For a full report on the recreational use of CBD read WHO's Critical Review Report on CANNABIDIOL (CBD)