The difference between full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD and CBD isolate is determined by how much of the hemp plant is used and which compounds are included or removed before adding to a product, like CBD oils or tinctures.
Full spectrum products contain all of the cannabinoids present in the entire cannabis plant, many from the seeds, leaves and stalk. Yes, the CBD is there. But so are the more than 100 other naturally occurring phytocannabinoids, too, including THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient in hemp and marijuana. Among the others are CBG (cannabigerol), CBC (cannabichromene), CBCV (cannabichromevarin), CBDV (cannabidivarin), CBGV (cannabigerivarin) – the list goes on.
Broad spectrum CBD products include the cannabis plant’s compounds except THC. In addition to cannabinoids, the cannabis plant contains approximately 500 compounds. These can include fatty acids, flavonoids, terpenes, essential oils and other compounds deemed by many to be therapeutic for a variety of ailments. Broad spectrum CBD provides the benefits of full spectrum or multiple compounds without the psychoactive effects of THC.
These substances combine to create what’s known as the ‘entourage effect’ that amplifies each substance’s individual benefits. Both full spectrum and broad spectrum provide this synergy of effects.
CBD isolate, though, is what it sounds like – it contains only the cannabidiol component from the cannabis plant. Manufacturers separate – or isolate – the CBD, making CBD isolate the purest form of cannabis. Once separated out from the rest of the hemp plant’s cannabinoids, it is then added to a product. This is the method that produces the highest amount of and most accurately measured CBD content because it is the only cannabinoid present.
Producers of the highest quality CBD isolate products ensure their purity by having them third-party lab tested. Lesser products can contain microbes, pesticides and insecticides – and even some metals. Plus, for consumers who want to steer clear of THC, it’s essential that CBD isolate and broad spectrum products are independently verified to be THC-free.