Full Spectrum - Broad Spectrum - Isolate

Customers often ask us: What is the difference between a full spectrum, broad-spectrum or CBD isolate? Although all three terms/products may sound similar, they are not necessarily the same.

So what do they mean and how do they differ?
Briefly, they are used to define what kind of CBD is used in a product. Each type represents important factors to consider, and understanding the difference is important to each CBD user.
In this article, we will introduce you to explaining the differences and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Let’s start with – cannabinoids.

What are cannabinoids and why are they so important?
The Cannabis plant contains compounds known as cannabinoids.
These include CBD and THC, as well as over a hundred other cannabinoids naturally occurring in various cannabis species that scientists have discovered.

Here’s why they are so important: In 1995, researchers discovered that by interacting with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors, cannabinoids like CBD could bring unique health benefits to the body as a whole.
They later discovered that each cannabinoid can affect the body differently.
For example, while THC provides the psychoactive effects associated with the “high” effect, CBD does not. In fact, CBD can counteract the psychoactive effects of THC.

With the full spectrum of effects provided by other cannabinoids, such as Cannabigerol (CBG) and Cannabinol (CBN), the full collection of cannabinoids forms the so-called ‘cannabinoid spectrum’.

Spectrum of cannabinoids.
The spectrum of cannabinoids presence in a product determines whether the product is a full spectrum, broad-spectrum or CBD isolate.

So how does it work exactly?
To produce the CBD product, cannabinoids are obtained from the Cannabis plant using techniques such as CO2 extraction.
Other compounds found in the plant, including terpenes, flavonoids and other cannabinoids, are also extracted during this process.
Depending on the species and classification, the composition and profile of the cannabinoids will vary.
For example, Cannabis Sativa has little or no THC compared to Cannabis Indica strain Pennywise, which has a 1: 1 ratio of CBD to THC.
Depending on the purpose of the final product, the company will choose to get what best suits their needs.
After extraction, the company may choose to upgrade the extract to contain only specific cannabinoids and other plant compounds.
The content of the refined extract determines whether the CBD extract is a full spectrum, broad-spectrum or CBD isolate.

Now let’s take a look at what each term means and help you determine which product would be the best for you.

What is a full-spectrum CBD?
Full-spectrum CBD is an extract containing all the compounds naturally occurring in the plant, including terpenes, essential oils and other cannabinoids.
The full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes and essential oils derived from the plant work together to maximize the therapeutic benefits of each individual cannabinoid. This is commonly referred to as the ‘neighborhood effect’.

What is broad spectrum CBD?
Broad-spectrum CBD is a bit of a mix between full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.
Like the full spectrum CBD, the other compounds found in the plant are retained in the extract; however, like CBD isolate, THC is completely separated.
Because CBD contains a broad range of cannabinoids, it can provide enhanced “entourage effect” benefits without the risk of THC psychoactive effects.

What is a CBD Isolate?
From a scientific point of view, an isolate is the purest form of a compound obtained by isolating this compound from all other compounds.
Against this background, CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD produced by removing all other plant compounds, including terpenes, flavonoids, plant parts and other cannabinoids.
CBD isolate is usually obtained from Hemp because of its low or non-existent THC content.

Then which of the CBD types should you use?
Now that you have a general understanding of each type of CBD, you probably wonder why one prefers one over the other; and more importantly, the type you should choose.
First of all, one way is not better than the other. Each individual has different needs and determines which type of CBD is best suited to their unique circumstances.

To help point you in the right direction, each type of pros and cons is summarized.

CBD isolate.
The purest form of CBD in which all other plant compounds and cannabinoids are completely removed.

Suitable for:
⦁ persons advised to take high doses of CBD specifically;
⦁ individuals with a sensitivity to THC or other cannabinoids;
⦁ persons who regularly pass drug tests;
⦁ persons who prefer light or no taste;
⦁ persons living in countries with strict THC laws;
⦁ first-time users who are afraid or hesitant to try other cannabinoids.

⦁ does not contain all the benefits that the plant can provide.

Full-spectrum CBD.
CBD derived from the Cannabis plant along with all other compounds and cannabinoids.

Suitable for:
⦁ persons who were recommended a certain ratio of THC to CBD;
⦁ persons with more severe or isolated conditions and a broad spectrum of CBD could not be mitigated;
⦁ persons living in countries where Cannabis is legal.

⦁ can have psychoactive, sedative and other potentially unwanted side effects;
⦁ may appear in drug tests;
⦁ can smell and taste very naturally.

Broad-spectrum CBD.
CBD obtained from the Cannabis plant together with all compounds and cannabinoids other than THC.

Suitable for:
⦁ persons with conditions that the CBD isolate alone could not alleviate;
⦁ persons sensitive to THC;
⦁ persons living in countries with strict THC laws;
⦁ first-time users who are hesitant with THC.

⦁ less research and availability;
⦁ can smell and taste very naturally.

In conclusion, we want to reiterate that none is better than the other.
There are many factors that determine how cannabinoids will affect the body, such as the chemical composition of each person, the weight of the individual, as well as the human health history of reactions to other substances, medications.

For some individuals, a broad spectrum CBD may be the best choice as they provide all the benefits of the cannabis plant without the psychoactive effects of THC. For others, the effect may be from higher doses of pure CBD isolate, and others may require benefits that only THC can provide.

Researching the effectiveness of each spectrum at the individual level is still in its infancy, so it may take some time and experimentation to find out which is best for you.
As scientists continue to learn more about this compound, it can serve as an essential ingredient for future medicine. Cannabinoids like CBD have already been discovered in dozens of health benefits and have the potential to affect countless people’s lives.
As scientific research continues, a brighter, healthier and more natural future may be just around the corner!

The GWEEPRODUCTS range includes all 3 of these products. Currently, only full-spectrum CBD oil with an acceptable THC content is available for purchase. Other products are currently being upgraded, but will be available again early this year.
We hope this article helps to clarify some of the obscure topics and make it easier to navigate CBD-containing products in the future.
We are delighted with the work we have already done, and we are even more pleased that you enjoy our GWEE products and they are working!

Photo from Unsplash.

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