For CBD Oil products, there are three main classifications: Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD, and CBD Isolate, each with great importance and varying roles. The three may equally be vital when it comes to providing therapeutic effects and relief, but each classification is prepared with a specific purpose in mind.
In general, cannabinoids enter the human body and directly interact with the body’s own receptors called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Each type of cannabinoid has a distinct effect on humans and they also come with their own unique effect varying from case to case.
From the Cannabis plant, cannabinoids are extracted through different methods but the most widely used extraction method is known as CO2 extraction, where Cannabidiol (CBD) is harvested along with other compounds which are also naturally present. Numerous other naturally occurring compounds in plants such as terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, and even other plant parts can be extracted from the Cannabis plant, especially when using a highly organic and natural extracting method such as CO2 extraction. Depending on the end product or the specific amount of CBD that is particularly needed, medical companies and laboratories can curate the cannabinoid profile and composition that is targeted. They can opt for pure CBD, CBD mixed with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), or even have CBD with all its other natural compounds retained.
With the process and the CBD content in mind, the three classifications differ in what actually composes the CBD profile and which compounds are retained and which ones are removed. Hence, the question of whether to choose CBD isolate, full spectrum, or broad spectrum should be considered.
Known as the purest form possible of the cannabinoid compound, CBD isolate only contains only Cannabidiol (CBD) itself, with all other compounds removed during the extraction process. Typically, hemp is used to extract this specific type of CBD as hemp is known to have very low and close to non-existent levels of THC. Without THC and minus all other natural compounds like flavonoids, essential oils, and terpenes, CBD isolate is generally considered to be safe for use, especially for those who are new to CBD and are just trying out its medicinal value. It is tasteless and odourless, purely containing only CBD in its purest form. With the absence of THC, individuals can benefit from its therapeutic qualities without any psychoactive side effects and without the risk of testing positive on drug tests.
However, CBD isolate only has the one cannabinoid, Cannabidiol, and therefore its effects aren’t as fully potent as the other two types. For prolonged use or for severe conditions, CBD isolate won’t be able to produce highly effective therapeutic results as the full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD could deliver on a case to case basis. It is ideally recommended to be used by:
- Those who are first-time users of CBD and those sensitive to strong odours and flavours
- Those who need to specifically high doses of CBD only
- Those who regularly take drug screening tests and who might live in states with strict THC regulations and Cannabis laws
- Those who are highly sensitive to THC and its unwanted side effects
Full Spectrum CBD
As the name suggests, full spectrum CBD contains all compounds in the Cannabis plant, which are all naturally occurring in its rawest form. Along with Cannabidiol, other cannabinoids and compounds are extracted from the plant such as terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, and even tiny plant parts which can all work together to produce potent therapeutic benefits for the patient. With each compound taken alongside the other natural occurring compounds present in the cannabis plant, full spectrum CBD takes pride in having an “entourage effect”, wherein the body’s receptors can maximise absorption of the cannabinoids as well as the other natural compounds. With each dynamic component complimenting the others, full spectrum CBD can be highly effective in providing relief since the natural profile is almost preserved even after extraction.
One of the main drawbacks of full spectrum CBD is the presence of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, it is the compound known for its psychoactive effects and other unwanted Cannabis plant side effects. THC may show up in a drug test, which in turn could have legal implications, especially when mobile drug testing is becoming more prevalent on Australian roads, particularly in New South Wales.
Also, since full spectrum CBD retains most of its natural compounds and profiles, it has a strong distinct odour and potent natural flavour. It might be too much to handle for people with sensitivity to odours, easily nauseated patients, or even for those who are new to CBD products.
Full spectrum CBD products are ideal to be used by:
- Those who need a more potent CBD to experience maximum therapeutic effects, especially if using the two other CBD types aren’t enough to provide relief
- Those who have used THC before (eg. marijuana smokers) and are accustomed to its effects
- Those with a specially prescribed or recommended THC to CBD ratio for high effectivity
Broad Spectrum CBD
Like a mix of full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate, broad spectrum CBD offers the best of both types when it comes to its special composition. Similar to full spectrum, broad spectrum has retained all naturally occurring compounds to achieve the enhanced “entourage effect” of cannabinoids when taken with other compounds. However, like CBD isolate, broad spectrum has THC completely removed to get rid of the unwanted psychoactive side effects and to also be risk-free when dealing with regular drug screenings. Basically, broad spectrum is full spectrum without THC.
Using broad spectrum CBD means getting to benefit from the two other types without the risks involved when dealing with THC. Broad spectrum CBD, however, has just recently been introduced which translates to having lesser scientific studies done to prove its effectivity versus the two other more established types. Availability is also a drawback as it isn’t as easily accessible as CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD.
Because of its unique blend and great therapeutic qualities, broad spectrum CBD is ideal for:
- Those with conditions that are not responsive to CBD isolate alone
- Those who are first-time users of CBD and are hesitant to try THC
- Those who live in states with THC restrictions and who regularly undergo drug test screenings for THC
Which one is the best?
Though each type has its own unique composition, its own distinct profile, and its own specific effects to the human body, all three are equally useful depending on the user. Choosing which one is to be used may be an objective decision based on the individual’s personal preference, condition, and therapeutic needs.
So the best way to figure out which CBD type might be perfect for you is to get recommendations from doctors and user reviews, and to take some time to experiment on what works for you and what doesn’t. As it is getting recognition and acceptance worldwide, cannabinoid studies are getting more and more popular since it has been proven to hold so much potential in terms of its therapeutic qualities. With the existing studies coupled with more advanced research and on-going experiments, CBD products will be able to achieve its full potential as an essential game-changer in the field of medicine and in the lives of countless people all across Australia.
New to Medical Cannabis and CBD?
Explore Our Beginner's Guide to CBD Today
Our mission is to educate and inform the Australian community about Medical Cannabis and Cannabidiol (CBD) products, so they are equipped with the correct information about the different types, products, dosages to make the right buying decisions for themselves or whom they care for. Learn more