Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and Isolate CBD are different types of cannabis extract. Each type is distinguished by the presence (or lack thereof) of various plant-based elements. For example, full-spectrum CBD is a CBD concentrate that contains a full spectrum of hemp-based elements (minus leaves and other plant matter, of course). Broad-spectrum CBD is similar but contains no THC, whereas CBD isolate is simply pure CBD that has been isolated from all other elements.
These distinctions are important for a few reasons, which we’ll discuss more in a minute. But first, let’s talk about where processors source CBD in the first place.
Common CBD Sources
CBD is a phytocannabinoid, which means it comes from plants, or more specifically, the resinous glands that coat cannabis flowers. When ingested, CBD mimics endocannabinoids, which mammals produce on-demand to mitigate stress. This helps explain the appeal of concentrated CBD products, including full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate CBD.
Importantly, there are two primary types of cannabis: intoxicating marijuana-type cannabis and non-intoxicating hemp-type cannabis. The only difference between the two is THC level, which is the intoxicating chemical that develops alongside CBD and other cannabinoids.
Essentially, marijuana cannabis contains THC levels higher than 0.3 percent, whereas hemp cannabis contains less than 0.3 percent THC. This is important because THC is a Schedule I substance. As such, it is illegal throughout most of the country. Products derived from marijuana-type cannabis are also federally illegal, even if the product itself is pure isolated CBD.
Interestingly, some hemp products may contain minute THC levels, though generally not enough to have any psychoactive effects. However, even small amounts of THC may be beneficial according to a theory called the Entourage Effect. The concept, which was first introduced in 1998, suggests that all elements of the cannabis plant work better together than they do separately. Cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids all help contribute to improved health, according to the theory. This is an important consideration when choosing which full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate CBD products are best for you.
Cannabinoid Extraction Methods
As mentioned, CBD and other cannabinoids develop in the resinous glands that coat cannabis flowers. These sugary particles are called trichomes. Importantly, trichomes contain numerous beneficial compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Processors concentrate these elements, often to infuse into other products, by removing them from the rest of the cannabis flower.
There are many ways to extract cannabinoids from hemp flowers, which is the first step in the overall refinement process. For the sake of brevity, we’ll lump various cannabinoid extraction methods into two categories: solvent and solvent-less.
Solvent Cannabinoid Extraction
Some processors use solvents like CO2 or butane to absorb trichomes and other elements like chlorophyll from cannabis flowers. They then purge the solvent from the solution, leaving only valuable plant-based residues like cannabinoids and terpenes. Solvent cannabinoid extraction is quick and efficient and helps capture a broader chemical profile. Notably, processors often continue the refinement process well after solvent extraction, thus leaving no residual solvents behind.
Solvent-less extraction methods rely on temperature and pressure changes to extract cannabinoids from cannabis flowers. For example, processors may freeze ripe hemp buds or stir them vigorously in ice baths turn the trichomes brittle and make them fall off. Distillation, which is another solvent-less extraction method, works the opposite way by heating concentrated products to specific boiling points. Both methods produce clean, potent CBD hemp extract.
Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and Isolate CBD: What’s the Difference?
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the growth, processing, and commercial sale of hemp-based cannabinoids. Consequently, we now have the capacity to process, distribute, and consume precise cannabinoid formulas that target our unique health goals. Notably, CBD products may contain different types of concentrated CBD, each of which may be ideal under various circumstances.
Here’s what you should know about the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate CBD before making your next purchase.
Full-Spectrum Hemp CBD
Full-spectrum CBD oil is an oily substance, usually a tincture or vapeable oil, that contains a full spectrum of cannabis compounds. Though CBD is the primary ingredient, full-spectrum hemp CBD oil also includes things like natural hemp-based terpenes and flavonoids. Importantly, it may also contain very small traces of THC which likely won’t cause a “high,” though it may show up on a drug test. Consumers who seek the benefits of the Entourage Effect generally favor full-spectrum hemp CBD oil.
Broad-Spectrum Hemp CBD
Broad-spectrum hemp CBD oil is very similar to full-spectrum oil minus any THC. Essentially, processors use the distillation process to heat the extract to precise boiling points and then collect the elements that evaporate along the way. They then re-infuse all elements (except THC) into the finished product. Broad-spectrum is ideal for those who wish to reap the benefits of the Entourage Effect without risking intoxication or a failed urine analysis. Those who are especially sensitive to THC may particularly benefit from broad-spectrum CBD hemp oil.
CBD isolate is what remains after the distillation process. Basically, processors distil the concentrated product and then put the extracted CBD through a recrystallization process to remove any remaining elements. The resulting product is a crystalline powder that is 99 percent pure CBD. Notably, some processors add CBD isolate to other carrier oils to improve its consumption process and bioavailability. Those who seek the more focused benefit of CBD may prefer Isolate CBD products, though most don’t witness the same results as they would with other CBD types. Nevertheless, pure, isolated CBD is great for those who prefer precise CBD dosing.
Buy Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, or Isolate CBD from Doc’s Oils
Don’t overwhelm yourself with choices when it comes to the best CBD for your needs. We offer many CBD formulations, all aimed toward specific health potentials. Whether you want to focus your intake solely on CBD or you’d like to add other cannabis-based elements to your regimen, we have the perfect product for you.
Shop our selection of premium CBD products now or contact us for help determining the best CBD product for you. We feature an extensive line of full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate CBD, and can’t wait to share them with you.