Full-Spectrum CBD vs Broad-Spectrum CBD vs CBD Isolate: Which is Better?

Trying to sort out the difference between full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate or determine if one is better than the other for your needs? You’ll see all three variants on packaging today and it can be a bit confusing since they’re seemingly used interchangeably. However, there are big differences between them.

In this article, we’ll give a brief introduction to CBD, then break down the differences between full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate, so it’s easy to choose the right CBD products for your needs.

What’s CBD?

Short for cannabidiol, CBD is one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Unlike its psychotropic cousin tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, CBD is not associated with the high people get from certain cannabis strains. Quite the opposite. Although both compounds come from the same plants, researchers think CBD actually counters the high when it’s consumed alongside THC.

Perhaps more importantly, doctors believe CBD could be a potential treatment for a variety of issues ranging from epilepsy to anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Dr. Peter Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School further notes it may be especially helpful with difficult-to-treat inflammatory pain, such as arthritis and neuropathic pain too. While the FDA has been hesitant to label CBD as a cure or treatment for any condition, the agency has approved medications that include it.

There Are Three Types of CBD

Because CBD is a compound of the cannabis plant, the trick, then is how to extract and isolate it so it can be easily integrated into medications and other products. This is why we have three forms: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. Each one separates CBD from the plant differently and therefore is a slightly different substance with unique benefits.

What’s CBD Isolate?

CBD isolate is generally considered the “purest” form of CBD. It goes through chemical processes until all other cannabinoids are removed, leaving behind a crystal-like powder that’s 99.9% CBD.

CBD isolate used to be one of the most popular forms of CBD for this reason—being absent of THC, it was a “safe” bet for anyone who might worry about being tested for THC, such as athletes. This also made it a bit friendlier for people new to CBD products and those who don’t enjoy the mild earthy taste and smell that sometimes accompanies CBD products.

The problem, however, is that without any additional cannabinoids, the medicinal value may be limited. More on that in just a moment.

What’s Full-Spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD retains additional cannabinoids as well as flavonoids and terpenes. That means it’s packed with healthy compounds, including antioxidants that are linked with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. Researchers have found that full-spectrum CBD is more effective for pain than CBD isolate and that health benefits, in general, may be greater too. They refer to this as the “entourage effect,” attributing the increased effectiveness to the preservation of additional compounds.

The extraction process is much gentler to preserve all this goodness, but it’s also a bit more expensive to produce.

Full-spectrum CBD can be extracted from both marijuana and hemp plants. When it’s extracted from a marijuana plant, the THC content can vary. When it’s extracted from a hemp plant, the THC content legally cannot exceed 0.3%. This is a federal mandate and products must be tested to prove they have concentrations below the threshold to ensure they don’t produce psychotropic effects.

What’s Broad-Spectrum CBD?

Broad-spectrum is sometimes thought of as a hybrid between full-spectrum and isolate. It can be produced in a variety of ways, but more often than not, all cannabinoids are stripped out through chemical processes and then select cannabinoids are added back in.

This means broad-spectrum CBD is free of THC or only contains trace amounts. However, it may or may not have benefits similar to full-spectrum CBD, as these are afforded by the entourage effect and the compounds included in broad-spectrum CBD will vary depending on the manufacturer.

Full-Spectrum CBD vs Broad-Spectrum CBD vs CBD Isolate: Which is Better?

People have historically opted for CBD isolate over concerns of THC content or stigma, but it’s being used less these days in favor of full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD to maximize the benefits of CBD. If you’re new to CBD and concerned about the level of THC in a product you’re considering, look for a published chemical analysis of the product or request one directly from the manufacturer.

ORL CBD Products Include THC-Free Full-Spectrum CBD

As noted earlier, hemp naturally has little-to-no THC, which makes it an excellent choice for those who want the benefits of CBD and the full entourage effect without the THC. ORL CBD products are created with hemp-derived full-spectrum CBD, but they’re all lab tested independently with THC being not detected. (However, we do not recommend ORL if your employment or other commitments require any type of drug testing). We proudly post the lab analysis for each CBD product right here on the site. You’ll note the letters “ND” to represent “none detected” in the THC column.

CBD May Boost Your Oral Health

The latest research shows:

  • CBD may kill the bacteria responsible for cavities.
  • By killing bacteria, CBD can help rebalance your oral pH and promote remineralization of teeth.
  • Cannabinoids can reduce inflammation associated with gum disease.
  • CBD may slow bone loss associated with periodontal disease.

Experience the Entourage Effect for Yourself

ORL’s formulas blend powerful full-spectrum CBD with cavity-fighting organic xylitol, nourishing plant-based essential oils and fortifying vitamins and minerals, and a pop of natural mint for lasting freshness. With toothpaste, mouthwash, and breath spray available, ORL can help you attain a naturally healthy smile. Visit our online shop to explore the full line now.