You were about to buy CBD oil when all of a sudden you realized that there is a full spectrum on one side and a broad spectrum on the other. And if you’ve been browsing the catalog of your favorite CBD shop, you’ve probably also come across the term CBD isolate.

Don’t worry, The CBD Guide explains the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates oil.

Full-spectrum vs Broad-spectrum vs CBD isolate oil

As you know, CBD is extracted from cannabis. But did you know that CBD is not the only phytocannabinoid? There are in fact more than 140! And that’s not all. Cannabis, like the vast majority of plants, also contains terpenes and flavonoids.

As a result, cannabis sap (called crude for those in the know) contains all of these, not just CBD. And at the time of elaborating his product, the chemist has the choice and can :

Isolate a very specific cannabinoid such as CBD. You will have guessed it, it is what we call the isolate.
Select some active substances, most often all cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, except THC. In this case, it is called broad spectrum.

Extracting the whole molecular baggage of cannabis, that is, all the cannabinoids, including THC, as well as terpenes and flavonoids. And so in this case we will speak about the full spectrum.

To summarize, the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate is simply the composition, which varies according to the extraction method used.

Subsidiary questions: what should I buy? A full spectrum oil or a broad spectrum oil? Is the CBD isolate more effective because of its purity?

Choosing your CBD oil: Full spectrum or Broad-spectrum?

Difference between full and broad spectrum: THC or not THC. The difference between full and broad-spectrum is that the first contains THC and the other not.

Sorry to disappoint some, but no, the full spectrum oil has no psychotropic effect. THC is considered a drug, and US legislation limits the content of products made from hemp to a maximum of 0.2%. For the majority of the people, it is not enough to see pink elephants…

On the other hand, a small euphoric or very relaxing effect can possibly be felt. Some people are particularly sensitive to the effects of cannabinoids. And then, it all depends also on the quantity ingested.

Nothing very intense in all cases, but some people are extremely reluctant to consume THC, even if the quantity is tiny. That’s why there are broad-spectrum oils, they contain all the cannabinoids and terpenes, except THC.

Advantage of broad and full-spectrum oils: the entourage effect

We talk a lot about the difference between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum, but we sometimes forget to mention their common point: the entourage effect.

For those who have never heard this term, we invite you to consult our detailed article: what is the surround effect?

Let’s quickly recall that the entourage effect is a theory according to which the active substances of cannabis work in synergy. In other words, cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, CBN, THC, etc.) are more effective when combined and in the presence of terpenes present in hemp.

Well, in all rigor it should be said that the broad spectrum does not offer a real effect of the entourage, since it does not contain THC. This is debatable, and we leave it to you to choose your side: full spectrum or broad spectrum.

In any case, you will probably have anticipated it, if the cannabinoids are more effective when they are all together, then what is the interest of the CBD isolate?

The isolate: why buy pure CBD?

As explained at the beginning of the article, the isolate is the pure form of a molecule. The isolate is so pure that it comes in the form of crystals or powder, whose content is close to 100%. It is important to know that there is not only CBD isolate. One finds an isolate of CBG and an isolate of CBN for example.

Indeed, all cannabinoids have something to offer, even when isolated! For the followers of the entourage effect theory – of which we are part, let’s not hide it – the therapeutic properties of cannabis are not exploited to the maximum, of course.

However, the majority of scientific studies have been done with isolates, and the observations are quite conclusive.

In any case, CBD isolates oil is vegetable oil (olive, coconut, almond, etc.) to which CBD isolate has been added.

Here, we do not benefit from any surrounding effect, since only the CBD molecule is present in this oil. Attention, it does not mean that this type of oil is ineffective! However, without the other cannabinoids and terpenes, it is a product of lower quality.

Besides, oils formulated with isolate are generally less expensive than full or broad spectrum oils.

And there you have it, you will no longer be confused by the names full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate! Be careful though, some unscrupulous retailers do not hesitate to use the mention “full-spectrum” on products that do not contain THC… It’s selling more, so of course… In short, as always, read before you buy!

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