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Blog | CBD

The Different Types Of CBD Compared – Full VS Broad Spectrum VS Isolate

Are you new to CBD and finding comparing the different types of CBD difficult?

Looking at various CBD oils, wondering what’s the difference between this brand and another or even within product ranges on a website. 

Don’t worry. You’re not alone, the vast array of options can be confusing even for a CBD connoisseur!

If you are new to CBD, you might assume products that contain only pure cannabidiol (known as CBD Isolate) will offer the best results…As it’s the purest right?

Research suggests otherwise…So it’s good you landed here!

Let’s dive right in so you can find the right CBD product for you!

The Entourage Effect

In 1998, a groundbreaking study examined the use of CBD in different forms and how it interacted with our body. Concluding that a combination of cannabinoids and the other components found in hemp worked more effectively together, via the endocannabinoid system than the sum of each individual part in isolation.

What does this mean exactly?

CBD is thought to work better with our bodies if used in conjunction with other cannabinoids and plant constituents including a variety of terpenes, as found naturally in hemp. 

This is known as the entourage effect.

Now you have the context, let’s move on to the different types of CBD on the market today:

model holding a bottle of cbd oil

Full Spectrum CBD Oil

Full-spectrum CBD oil translates roughly to a whole hemp plant extract. 

What does this mean?

Depending on how a CBD product is made, its contents can vary in terms of its constituent parts.

CBD is extracted from hemp, and hemp naturally contains other compounds in addition to CBD. These include a variety of cannabinoids, mostly in very small concentrations, along with terpenes and flavonoids. 

The entourage effect suggests CBD products which contain these other beneficial compounds are more useful than CBD In Isolation. 

Full-spectrum CBD oil is where a hemp extract containing CBD in addition to these other useful plant constituents is combined with a carrier oil such as MCT or hemp oil

Full-spectrum CBD usually tastes earthy as it contains the ‘whole plant’, potentially including chlorophyll depending on the level of refinement. 

It is about as close you can get to consuming the hemp plant itself without actually doing so; albeit in a liquid form with a carrier oil to dilute the concentration.

This is why full-spectrum CBD is one of the most popular forms of cannabidiol and favoured both by researchers and users.

hemp oil isn’t cbd oil

Broad Spectrum CBD

The only difference between broad-spectrum and full-spectrum is the complete removal of THC from the hemp extract. 

Resulting in a product which is safe for individuals who are subject drug testing.

Related read: Does CBD show up on a drugs screen?

While broad-spectrum CBD products initially primarily targeted states/countries in which there is a zero-tolerance for THC, their use has become much wider as of late. In particular, they are useful for individuals interested in trying CBD but who would prefer 0.0% THC in their CBD oil. 

More recently, broad-spectrum CBD oil has gained momentum with the professional sports community when the world anti-doping authority approved CBD consumption in 2018.

Athletes are now able to use broad-spectrum CBD without false positive indications for THC on drug tests, all while maintaining a comprehensive cannabinoid profile.

CBD Isolate

CBD Isolate contains only purified CBD of a 99%+ CBD potency, and it is the cheapest type of cannabidiol to source by a mile.

Isolated CBD is the most refined type of CBD, and it is made via multiple purification processes. As a result, it is a tasteless white powder which contains nothing but CBD.

In Europe, CBD Isolate is frequently used in beauty products and other non-consumables although it does feature in some CBD oils.

Water Soluble CBD

Water-soluble CBD is relatively new to the market and is the result of scientists attempting to solve the problem of CBD bioavailability

If you’ve ever tried adding CBD to coffee you might have noticed the oil floats above the water but it does not dissolve.

This is because CBD molecules do not mix well with water. Instead, they coat it and create an additional layer.

Traditional CBD is not highly bioavailable in water. As our body is primarily water, this means your usual CBD oil will have a top-end absorption rate of around 30% when consumed as CBD drops used under the tongue.

Water-soluble CBD is where molecules of CBD are encapsulated in other non-active particles, to permit the cannabidiol to absorb in the water and become immediately bioavailable. 

The improved absorption rate is still something up for discussion though.

While water-soluble CBD is available in the market today, terpenes are generally water-soluble which creates another problem around encapsulating these molecules too. 

Water-soluble CBD also fetches a much higher price tag (around double) than regular CBD oil due to its perceived absorption rate.

At Nature & Bloom, we are watching the developments closely and awaiting more concrete evidence before launching a water-soluble CBD range.

Final Word

It’s up to you to decide what type of product you wish to use, but most people find a full or broad-spectrum CBD oil the most effective for their needs. 

The only way to find out is to give it a try, so take a punt and see how you get on!