Full-spectrum ~ broad spectrum ~ isolate
When you search for a CBD product to add to your regimen you are faced with a plethora of options — brand, concentration, flavor. On top of that you have to choose between a full-spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate product. We strongly believe that full-spectrum is the way to go and we’ll explain why below.
A full-spectrum extract contains all phytochemicals that naturally occur in the hemp plant -- CBD, other cannabinoids found in the strain, and terpenes (the aromatic oils that give hemp that great smell). THC, a minor cannabinoid in the hemp plant, will be present in trace amounts (below 0.3%). The amount of THC present is not enough to get you “high,” however.
We recommend full-spectrum because the combination of phytochemicals work together synergistically to give you the most health benefits. This is called the Entourage Effect. Clinical research studies show the power of full-spectrum products due to the presence of other cannabinoids.
A broad spectrum extract is the same as a full-spectrum extract with the exception that it does not contain any THC. Although it is rare to fail a drug test after consuming a full-spectrum product (you would have to consume quite a bit!), you may want to choose a broad spectrum product if your job requires frequent drug tests.
Isolates contain CBD, but no other cannabinoids or terpenes. You will most likely see this in powder form. We do not recommend isolates as research shows they are less effective than full-spectrum products. Many people assume that isolates are best because they contain the highest concentration of CBD. While they can be very concentrated, if you mapped out the effectiveness of isolates on a graph, you would see a bell shaped curve. They tend to be effective at medium doses, but actually taper off at lower and higher doses, thus making effective dosing difficult to pinpoint.
Whichever product you go for, know your grower! It’s very important to buy products from a trustworthy source so you can feel confident that what you are taking is safe and contains the amount of cannabinoids as marketed.
- Gallily, R. , Yekhtin, Z. and Hanuš, L. (2015) Overcoming the Bell-Shaped Dose-Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol. Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 6, 75-85. doi: 10.4236/pp.2015.62010.
- VanDolah, H., Bauer, B., & Mauck, K. (2019, August 22). Clinicians' Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils. Retrieved June 04, 2020, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025619619300072