The first time you shop for cannabidiol (CBD) products, you’ll notice three common labels on the tincture, capsule, edible, and topical products:
- CBD isolate, or pure CBD
- Full spectrum
- Broad spectrum
To help you navigate the different types of CBD oil on the market, we’ve put together this easy-to-follow guide about the three main types of CBD products and their comparisons:
- CBD isolate vs. full spectrum
- broad spectrum vs. full spectrum CBD
- broad spectrum vs. CBD isolate
Understanding the Compounds in Hemp
Hemp is a botanical powerhouse when it comes to organic compounds. In addition to cannabidiol—or CBD—hemp contains more than 100 natural cannabinoids, and over 300 other chemicals, including terpenes, flavonoids, polyphenols, fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. All of these compounds work together in synergy to amplify the total effect.
To create different types of CBD oil, the oil is first extracted from the flowers, stems, and leaves using one of several extraction methods. This oil is then used three different ways: as-is (full spectrum), as-is with some compounds removed (broad spectrum), or purified into an isolate (pure CBD).
Full spectrum hemp CBD oil is the “original” of hemp oil. It comes complete with all of the plant’s cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial components. Because this oil is unrefined, it is the darkest color of the different types of CBD oil and has the strongest flavor and smell.
People who purchase full spectrum hemp CBD oil typically do so because they wish to benefit from the entourage effect. Conceptually similar to synergy, the “entourage effect” refers to the effect experienced as compounds interact with each other to enhance absorption and amplify any benefits that are experienced.
Good to Know
Full spectrum oil from licensed hemp typically contains up to 0.3% THC, which is nowhere near enough to cause any intoxicating/psychoactive effects. However, as some states ban THC entirely, it’s best to check your state and local laws before purchasing a full spectrum CBD product.
Of the different types of CBD oil, broad spectrum hemp CBD oil is probably the most popular. To create broad spectrum CBD oil, the THC (and sometimes other compounds as well) are removed from the unrefined oil, leaving the rest of the cannabinoids intact. Because of the partial refining process, broad spectrum oil has a more moderate color, flavor, and smell.
The primary advantage of broad spectrum vs full spectrum CBD is that broad spectrum CBD contains 0.0% THC. This makes it ideal for those who live in a state where THC is banned or for those who prefer not to consume THC at all. Some people may also find the more moderate flavor and smell appealing.
Good to Know
While broad spectrum hemp CBD oil doesn’t contain 100% of the original compounds, it still contains a wide enough range of cannabinoids and terpenes to assist with absorption and offer the much sought-after entourage effect. This best-of-both-worlds approach to the different types of CBD oil is the reason that broad spectrum CBD is often used in CBD capsules.
Pure CBD—also known as CBD isolate—is the purified form of cannabidiol. Pure CBD contains no terpenes or other cannabinoids and is always THC-free. Because it is completely refined, pure CBD takes the form of tiny white crystals and needs to be mixed with a carrier oil for use.
If you’re choosing between CBD isolate vs full spectrum, keep in mind that CBD isolate is the most commonly sold of the different types of CBD oil. This is due to the ease of extraction and complete absence of THC. CBD isolate is also popular due to its absence of odor—making it perfect for sublingual drops and CBD cooking.
Good to Know
Most research studies on CBD use CBD isolate to observe the effects of cannabidiol specifically. If you use a broad spectrum oil rather than CBD isolate, you may observe a different result.
Find the Best CBD Products for You
The good news is that the different types of CBD oil all offer beneficial properties when the oil comes from high-quality, organic hemp. The only decision that remains is which product is right for you. Generally, broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD products are thought to be the most easily absorbed, which is an advantage if you’re wanting a more potent product. Due to the more notable hemp odor and flavor, you may prefer to take these in capsule form. If you live in a state where THC is restricted or banned, pure CBD may be the best option for you. Pure CBD may also be preferable if you’re planning to use the product sublingually.
Above all, be sure to select a product that is third-party tested and made in a facility that follows current Good Management Practices guidelines, such as the different types of CBD oil from Green Gorilla™. Your health is your greatest treasure– it’s worth finding the best CBD product for yourself. Take our CBD quiz to find what’s right for you and to learn more about our products.