The Different Types of CBD Oil Explained

Originally published by Tom Brown at Honahlee

CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum CBD vs Broad Spectrum CBD

Most people use the term CBD oil interchangeably for multiple products. The term CBD oil, however, is not necessarily accurate because many CBD oil products contain several cannabinoids. A majority of the CBD oil that you can get for medical and wellness purposes come from the hemp plant (vs marijuana). We differentiate CBD oils by their cannabinoid content.

There are three main types of CBD oil that you’ll hear about:

  1. Isolate (CBD)
  2. Full Spectrum CBD oil
  3. Broad Spectrum CBD oil

What is the difference between broad spectrum, full spectrum and isolate in CBD oil?

The difference between broad spectrum, full spectrum and CBD isolate is simply the chemical compound content found in each of the products.

Full spectrum CBD contains all of the cannabinoids and other plant compounds. Broad spectrum CBD contains all cannabinoids and plant compounds other than THC.

CBD isolate only contains CBD and is often found in crystal or powder form.

What is CBD isolate?

CBD isolate is a true ‘CBD or CBD oil’ because an isolate only contains CBD (cannabidiol) and does not contain any other cannabinoids, terpenes, or healthy fatty acids from the plant. Most companies sell isolate as a crystal or a powder, however, some sell it as an oil.

It is made through the same extraction process as other CBD oils. The difference is that once the cannabinoids are extracted, the CBD is filtered out. It then goes through a chilling process called winterisation, which removes all other chemical compounds.

Isolate is often used for vaping, and when in crystal or powder form is generally administered by putting it under the tongue. The benefits of isolate over other types of CBD are that it’s generally cheaper and it has no THC. The downside is that you miss out on the potential entourage effect which exists when a full spectrum of the cannabinoids is present in the oil.

What is Full Spectrum CBD Oil?

Full spectrum CBD oil is very different from CBD isolate. We say this because full spectrum CBD oil has CBD and all of the other cannabinoids (including THC), terpenes and fatty acids that naturally occur in the cannabis plant. Full spectrum CBD is often called a full or whole plant extract. 

In a full spectrum extract, the oil goes through the cannabinoid extraction process and filtration, however, none of the cannabinoids or other compounds are removed. While full spectrum CBD does have THC, it does not contain enough THC to get you high. It will however likely show up on a roadside mouth swab test.

The benefits of a full spectrum CBD oil is that many of the other chemical compounds and cannabinoids in a full-plant extract have healing properties. For example, the terpenes in the cannabis plant are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Other cannabinoids found in a whole plant extract are thought to enhance the overall benefits of taking CBD.

In 2005 a study concluded that a CBD oil with a full-plant extract had greater medicinal properties than only CBD. Because the oil has all of the cannabinoids and other chemical compounds, you will get the positive effects of the chemical synergies called the entourage effect.

What is Broad Spectrum CBD Oil?

Broad spectrum CBD oil is a middle ground between CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD oils. It has all of the cannabinoids and other chemical compounds except for THC. It has all the beneficial chemical compounds except for THC, so you’re likely to gain some of the beneficial effects of the entourage effect.

Broad spectrum CBD oil is not as easy to find as the other types of CBD oil. Like its counterparts, broad spectrum CBD oil goes through the normal extraction process. For places where THC is illegal, the benefit of broad spectrum CBD oil is that in the final stages of processing, the THC is removed from the extract. Therefore, broad spectrum CBD oil will not show up on a drug test if the test is looking for THC.

Not sure which extract is right for you? Chat to us to get your personalized recommendation!

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