Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis and hemp that may deliver unique health benefits.
CBD is just one substance known as a cannabinoid, which reacts with Endocannabinoid receptors in the body. While THC is known for producing the “high” effect you get from using cannabis, CBD, on the other hand, does not.
Early research suggests that CBD may actually be useful in treating a broad range of conditions. The marketplace for these products is highly unregulated, despite hemp-derived CBD now being legal. Many companies that are working within this unregulated market do not convey adequate information to consumers about the type of CBD their product contains.
When purchasing a product that features CBD, it is not enough just to see those three letters on the packaging. Consumers should also understand the difference between full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolates.
Cannabinoids are extracted from cannabis and hemp plants using methods like CO2 extraction. Other compounds that may be extracted in this process include terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids. Hemp-derived CBD is usually extracted as an isolate, which removes terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids (like THC).
Full spectrum CBD includes all of those additives and has been proven to be more effective than CBD isolate. Broad spectrum CBD is the same, but with THC wholly removed. If you are looking for the pain and anxiety relieving benefits of a CBD product, then a broad-spectrum product is the way to go.
What About Other Additives?
Some companies are mixing their hemp-derived broad-spectrum CBD with other natural remedies. Seventh Sense’s skincare line for example, is putting the emphasis on botanicals like shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and ginger. Mixing products with natural oils instead of petroleum or mineral oil offers a more natural experience for consumers. Many broad-spectrum CBD products are topicals like skin care cream, body wash, muscle balm, and more.
Other companies are experimenting with delivery methods that are easier for patients to measure their dosage. CBD gummies and edibles are a great way to maintain consistent dosage, whether they are made with full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate. These types of products make it easier for patients to measure the dosage, which is a problem in this highly-unregulated industry.
Which Is Better for You?
The short answer here is it depends on your personal preference. Full spectrum CBD products will contain trace amounts of THC since they are not derived from hemp plants. Most hemp-derived CBD is either CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD in which all traces of THC have been removed. These products contain less than 0.3% of THC, meaning there’s no way to get high.
Patients who enjoy the aroma and taste of cannabis plants will likely want a full spectrum or broad-spectrum product. Patients with a sensitivity to terpenes and flavonoids will fare better with an isolate that removes those compounds. Patients who require a high dosage of CBD may find that isolate is the only way to get the relief they seek.