CBD Isolate, Broad Spectrum or Full Spectrum: Which one should I choose?

What is the difference between  Isolate, Broad Spectrum & Full Spectrum CBD Oil?

I get this question a lot on my website.  Which one should I take?  Does one work better than the other?  . Understanding the difference between the three major types of CBD is a major step on your CBD journey. Knowing the difference between isolate, broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD will help you make a more educated decision on which CBD products will best suit your needs.

Full Spectrum CBD

Full spectrum or “whole plant” products contain everything the cannabis plan contains. That means they contain CBD as well as flavonoids, the natural fatty acids found in hemp terpenes and other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN and trace amounts of THC. (Usually .03%) All these naturally-occurring elements have their own important therapeutic value. Full spectrum products are by far the most popular. One reason for the popularity of full spectrum CBD is something called the “entourage effect.” This is the effect of cannabinoids and terpenes are working together in perfect synergy. Use the link provide to get more information on the entourage effect then you probably would like to learn. 

NuLeaf Full Spectrum
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There are many great examples of full spectrum CBD.  NuLeaf Natruals is one of the best out there.  They only make full spectrum CBD oil, and are GMP compliant.   Here is how they describe themselves: We are one of the only CBD suppliers in the world that offers a true full spectrum cannabinoid extract. Our unique, superior genetics allow us to naturally create a CBD product that is highly concentrated in CBD and also contains significant amounts of secondary cannabinoids like CBC, CBG, CBN, and more. These cannabinoids work synergistically with each other and are more effective when they are found together versus when they are isolated. This synergistic relationship is known as the entourage effect.

Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad spectrum CBD products contain an array of cannabinoids and terpenes but zero THC. Think of Broad Spectrum CBD as Full Spectrum without the THC. To create Broad Spectrum CBD, manufacturers will put their products through additional processing to isolate and remove as much trace amounts of THC possible while preserving the other natural cannabinoids and terpenes. Broad Spectrum CBD is an excellent choice for individuals that can’t have any traces of THC in their system, whether for medical, personal or legal reasons.

A good example of a broad spectrum product is Joy Organics  Here is how they describe their process:  “All of Joy Organics’ products are crafted using phytocannabinoid-rich hemp; our extraction process is careful to preserve many of the beneficial compounds present. During the refining process, we remove all traces of THC from the final product. Due to this, we consider our THC-free line to be broad spectrum”.  cbdMD is another great company that is endorsed by many professional athletes as it is THC free and keeps them safe in regards to occasional drug testing.  

CBD Isolate

CBD Isolate is typically the CBD product of choice for those who are sensitive to other cannabinoids such as THC. Isolates are just that – CBD isolated from all other cannabinoids. During the CBD isolate extraction process, everything contained in the plant matter is removes, including any traces of THC, terpenes, waxes, oils, chlorophyll and more.

Many well know brands such as Charlotte’s Web and CBDistillery offer Isolate as well as full and broad sprectrum.

A 2015 study at the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology (at the Hadassah Medical School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) recently set out to study the effectiveness of a completely purified CBD oil isolate as compared to a full-spectrum extract of cannabis flowers containing large quantities of CBD. The study concluded the whole plant extract was significantly more effective than the CBD-only isolate. Here is a link to the full study findings.

Knowing this, why would anyone choose CBD isolates over full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD oil? One potential reason is that CBD isolates have a neutral flavor; full spectrum CBD oil has a fresh green flavor similar to wheatgrass. Additionally, CBD isolates are cheaper to produce, creating a less expensive cost to the consumer, though with fewer benefits.

Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum or CBD Isolate – Which One Is Right For Me?

There is much debate on which form of CBD is best. Some studies, like the 2015 study that  leans in favor of full spectrum CBD oil products. I personally believe that the difference between a Full Spectrum and Broad spectrum is minimal, but some may disagree.  Many people believe that other cannabinoids, especially THC, are necessary to activate every benefit the cannabis plant has to offer. Those in favor of a more holistic approach to medicinal cannabis treatment may favor Full Spectrum CBD for this reason. Ultimately, however, each CBD user is different. Each user must determine for themselves whether Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD or CBD Isolate is better for their individual needs and concerns.

I recently read a quote that says: “Finding your perfect CBD product is like dating: There is tons of crap on the market. Some make you feel good, some suck…. But once you find the right one, it’s happily ever after!”

I hope this helps you on your CBD Journey, and please feel free to submit any questions you might want answered regarding any CBD topic, and I will be happy to respond. 

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