Isolate vs Broad Spectrum
There are three main types of CBD, including CBD isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum products.
While many people prefer one over another, most don't fully understand what makes these products different. The primary distinction between isolate vs broad-spectrum CBD is the compounds they contain.
Let's take a closer look at what each of these terms actually mean and why you might choose one product over another.
What is CBD Isolate?
The term "CBD isolate" refers to a product with an isolated form of cannabidiol, which has been processed in such a way that only the cannabidiol compound remains pure and untouched.
This is done by extracting and filtering out all other plant materials such as terpenes and other cannabinoids, like THC.
Once the material has been extracted, it's processed further to ensure there are no traces of miscellaneous ingredients left behind. This is done by using a series of increasingly fine filters that remove all other compounds, leaving only the cannabidiol compound behind.
The result is a pure CBD product that's free of all plant compounds. CBD isolate is completely free from THC, so it won't get you high.
Pros of CBD Isolate:
• The purest form of CBD available.
• 100% free of other cannabinoids, plant compounds, and impurities
Cons of CBD Isolate:
• Lacks the entourage effect, which refers to the cannabinoids working together in synergy.
What Is Broad Spectrum CBD?
Broad-spectrum CBD products contain CBD and other plant compounds, such as terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids like CBN. All THC has been removed from these products.
The idea is that these additional compounds work together with the pure cannabidiol compound to provide a therapeutic effect — without the psychoactive effects of THC.
Pros of Broad Spectrum CBD:
• Contains additional compounds that may provide a therapeutic effect
• THC is removed, so you won’t experience a high or impairment
Cons of Broad Spectrum CBD:
• There's still a lot of research needed to verify these effects.
• Some broad-spectrum products may still contain small amounts of THC.
How Does CBD Isolate Differ from Broad Spectrum?
While both CBD isolate and broad-spectrum products are usually THC-free, there are some distinctive differences between them.
The main difference is that CBD isolate only contains pure CBD, while broad-spectrum products also contain small amounts of other cannabinoids.
These other compounds include CBN, which is what gives cannabis its sedative effects; CBC, which has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties; and terpenes.
CBD Isolate Benefits
CBD isolate is a type of CBD that has been purified down to just the compound CBD. This means it doesn't contain any other cannabinoids, terpenes, or plant matter that would alter the effects.
This also means that isolate products are free of THC, so they won't get you high. CBD isolate is an ideal choice for anyone who wants the benefits of pure CBD, without the worry of additional additives or failing a drug test.
CBD Isolate Effects
The advantage of CBD isolate is that you know for sure you're getting what's advertised. You also don't have to worry about additives or other ingredients that can slow down the effects of CBD.
Hemp plants are naturally high in terpenes, which are responsible for their aromatic qualities. When hemp is grown for consumption, it's also made up of mostly pure CBD with only trace amounts of other cannabinoids.
CBD isolate may help:
• Reduce inflammation
• Relieve pain and muscle aches
• Improve mood by reducing anxiety and stress
• Support joint health
• Promote better sleep
• Restore balance within the body
• Ease nerve pain
• Improve focus
One of the biggest benefits of using a broad-spectrum CBD product is that it's rich in other cannabinoids.
CBD, CBN, CBC, and terpenes are all present in these products. There’s some evidence that these additional cannabinoids work together to provide a therapeutic effect — without the psychoactive effects of THC.
Each of the cannabinoids in broad-spectrum products has a unique effect:
• CBD: Balancing the body's internal systems to promote homeostasis; reducing inflammation and pain perception
• CBN: Acts as a sedative to provide restful sleep
• CBC: may have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects
Broad-spectrum products also contain a wide range of terpenes. These aromatic molecules give them their distinct flavors and aromas. Terpenes also act together with cannabinoids to produce different effects. For example, myrcene is thought to help CBN produce its sedative effects.
Because of the entourage effect, broad-spectrum CBD products may produce a more therapeutic effect than some other forms of CBD.
Studies have shown that cannabinoids work better together than they do alone. When taken together, they may ease symptoms more effectively than if they were taken alone.
Though there's still a lot of research needed on this topic, it makes sense that all the compounds in broad-spectrum CBD work together to provide a therapeutic effect.