What is the Difference Between CBD Isolate, Broad Spectrum, and Full Spectrum?


When looking for CBD, you’ve probably noticed there are different “spectrum” options to choose from and to the average consumer these can be quite confusing. You can buy full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, or CBD isolates.


While the three terms may sound similar because they all have CBD at the end, they are far from the same.


Basically, they are used to define which type of CBD is used in a product. Each type presents important factors to consider, and understanding the difference is essential for every CBD user.

I’m here to take away some of the confusion by helping you understand a bit more about the different spectrums of CBD, what they mean, how they are different, and how it could be of benefit to you.


To create a CBD product, the cannabinoid (CBD) content is extracted from the Cannabis plant, using methods such as CO2 extraction. Once extracted, the extractor can then choose to refine the extract to contain only specific cannabinoids and plant terpenes. The contents of the refined extract are what determines if the CBD extract is full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate.


What is CBD Isolate?

In scientific terms, an isolate is exactly as it sounds, which it to isolate a compound to its purest form. This is done by singling out that compound from its current form and isolating it from all other compounds. CBD isolate is 99.9% pure CBD. During the CBD isolate extraction process, everything contained in the plant matter is removed, including any traces of THC, terpenes, waxes, oils, chlorophyll and more. CBD Isolate is typically extracted from Hemp, due to its low to non-existent THC-content.


What is Full Spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD contains everything the plant contains. Full-spectrum CBD is full of all the terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids found in the hemp plant, all of which have therapeutic value of their own and help create what’s know as the “entourage effect”.

It was originally believed that CBD isolate was more effective than Full Spectrum CBD; however, in 2005, a study from the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem changed the view on this theory.


In the study, researchers found that test subjects that were given full spectrum CBD received higher levels of relief, compared to subjects that were given CBD isolate. The results also showed that full spectrum CBD provided enhanced effects with higher dosages, while the effects of CBD isolate maintained consistent with increased dosages.


What is Broad Spectrum CBD?

If you haven’t been confused enough with all these terms, lastly, we have Broad spectrum CBD, which is a mix between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate. Similar to Full Spectrum CBD, the other compounds found within the plant are preserved in the extract; however, like CBD Isolate, THC is almost completely removed. There can still be very small trace amounts of THC, that are not detectable to most lab equipment, as it can be difficult to remove 100% of the THC. Nonetheless, you would never feel the effects THC, however, it is important to understand what THC “Free” really means in this marketplace.


Because Broad Spectrum CBD contains multiple cannabinoids, it offers all the entourage benefits associated with full-spectrum CBD, without the risk of psychoactive effects of THC.


Broad-spectrum CBD is an excellent choice for individuals that are looking to limit the chances of having any traces of THC is their system, whether for legal purposes, passing a drug test, or anything else but still getting the benefits of a full spectrum product.


What Type of CBD Should You Use?


Now that you’ve gone through the different spectrums of CBD, you’re probably wondering why someone would prefer one over the other; and more importantly, which type you should choose.

First and foremost, you should abandon the thought that either spectrum is inherently better than the others. Everyone has different reactions to CBD and experiences different benefits, so this is what you should base your judgment on — specifically, which CBD spectrum will work best for your needs.


To help you in the decision-making process, we’ve mapped out some of the pros and cons of each type, along with examples each spectrum would probably work best for.



Final Thoughts on the Different CBD Spectrums


It is important to understand that any one type of CBD isn’t better than the other. There are many factors that determine how CBD will impact your body, including your individual chemical makeup, your weight, and your history with other substances.


Research into the effectiveness of each spectrum at the individual level is still in its early stages, so it may take some time and experimenting different products to figure out which is best for you.

With continued research, a brighter, healthier, more natural future could be right around the corner! As always, at SOTA CBD we believe in introducing CBD to people, educating them on the benefits, and then asking them to try it. We always encourage you to talk to your physician about CBD and how it interacts with your body.


We take great pleasure in what we do and it’s an honor to serve the community!

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