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Full-Spectrum vs. Broad-Spectrum vs. CBD Isolate

High-quality CBD has been known to improve quality of life and offer numerous benefits to humans and animals alike with regard to pain relief, anxiety reduction, and other aspects of functioning. If you’ve been shopping for CBD in North Carolina, you’ve probably heard the following terms:

  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Broad-spectrum CBD
  • CBD isolate  

Here’s a guide to the types and what they’re typically used for.

Full-Spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum is rich in CBD and has the full organic compounds profile of the hemp plant. Extraction of CBD and other cannabinoids is done using common methods like supercritical CO2 extraction. This is then put through the process of winterization, where it is purified by removing undesirable elements. Decarboxylation follows, where acid-form elements of the extract are turned into active form, resulting in full-spectrum CBD.  

Although it does show the presence of THC, since it’s derived from hemp, the THC content is low. Full-spectrum CBD offers all the benefits available through the cannabis plant. It’s best when used by people suggested to take a specific THC:CBD ratio or for those with severe illnesses that can’t be relieved by the use of broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate.

Often, full-spectrum CBD and the whole plant are considered to be the same, but they're not. The whole plant is derived from using all the parts of the hemp plant as opposed to just CBD rich flowers. Higher CBD content in final products is derived from the use of CBD rich flowers.  

Broad-Spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD is derived from the removal of THC from full-spectrum CBD through chromatography. This leaves a formulation that’s rich in CBD and contains several organic compounds, other cannabinoids, and terpenes. This also offers the same benefits as all-natural CBD without the risk of any psychoactive effects. It’s good for those with high THC sensitivity or people concerned about using any product with THC content.    

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD that has additional steps after extraction so that CBD can be isolated from other extracts of the hemp plant. After decarboxylation, the extract is distilled until what’s left is a white powder containing 99% CBD and 1% plant matter traces that couldn’t undergo removal. The end result is available for purchase in the form of crystalline powder, vape juice, tinctures, or other CBD isolate-based products. This is great for people prescribed to take high CBD dosage or those who are highly sensitive to THC or other cannabinoids. To use it, you can consume it in the same way as you would a CBD oil tincture or add the crystalline form to drinks, food, vape juice, or even creams. Be sure to dilute it to get the right dosage as it contains 99% CBD.

Which One is Right for You?

While THC-free CBD isolate and broad-spectrum CBD will keep you safe on drug tests, full-spectrum CBD can give a positive result on drug tests due to its THC content. CBD isolate should be your choice if you’re looking for something odorless, flavorless, or colorless because the other 2 have a hemp flavor due to the presence of organic elements.

If you’re looking to get maximum benefits from CBD, full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD should be used as they produce an "entourage effect," being more effective due to the presence of other compounds. CBD isolate, by contrast, requires a very specific dosage range to produce the required effect.