What's the Difference? Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and CBD Isolate

As hemp continues to grow in popularity, consumers are becoming more conscious and receptive to the plant's different forms and their health benefits. More specifically, people have become enthralled with CBD and its effects. Companies are now extracting and manufacturing full spectrum extract, broad spectrum extract, and CBD isolate products. Let's discuss what this all means in simple terms so you can choose the best option for your needs. We’ll have separate blog posts that dive deeper into each of these.

What Exactly is CBD?

CBD (or cannabidiol) is one of over one hundred identified cannabinoids found in mature cannabis (hemp & marijuana) plants. Unlike Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, cannabidiol is non-intoxicating. This means that CBD does not get you high. The most researched cannabinoids found in hemp are THC and CBD and are often viewed as the yin and yang of cannabis. CBD has been shown to reduce the effects of THC and touts many wonderful benefits of its own.


What is Broad Spectrum Hemp?

Broad spectrum hemp extract has all of the health benefits of having CBD and other minor cannabinoids (e.g., CBC, CBDV, CBN, CBG) but without the THC (or at least below detectable levels). This is the result of an additional step involving chromatography in our process that removes THC. Broad spectrum hemp extracts retain other minor cannabinoids like the ones just mentioned and other terpenes but their levels are lower than a full spectrum hemp extract. 

Important side note: As genetics and products evolve the blend of major & minor cannabinoids may shift depending on the extract / product.

Broad Spectrum Hemp Extracts are a great option for those seeking the benefits of multiple cannabinoids and terpenes synergistically working together but don’t want to consume THC.

What is Full Spectrum Hemp?

Full spectrum hemp extract products, often called 'whole plant' concentrates or extracts, contain CBD in addition to other cannabinoids and terpenes extracted from the same hemp plant. However, in the case “Full Spectrum” refers to a product containing some but less than 0.30% THC. Consumers of full spectrum hemp extract products claim to benefit from the products’ ability to enact the entourage effect which is the result of all the different molecules working together. Terpenes are found not only in hemp and marijuana, but also in oranges, lemons, and a myriad of other plants. They are the molecules that provide the scent & flavor associated with each product and are also known to deliver additional benefits on top of the cannabinoids. Given this, carefully selected organic, natural flavors may assist in delivering a wholesome experience for consumers.

Moreover, full spectrum hemp extract products include other minor cannabinoids, including THC, THCA, THCV, CBN, CBG, CBGA, CBC, CBDV, and more. Similar to the broad spectrum extract, as genetics and products evolve the blend of major & minor cannabinoids may shift depending on the extract / product.

What are CBD Isolates?

A CBD isolate is CBD in its purest form. CBD isolate is produced by extracting the CBD molecule away from all other compounds, including terpenes, plant material, and other cannabinoids. Unlike its other hemp extract counterparts, CBD isolate is not in liquid oil form and is actually a white powder. Given CBD isolate is a single molecule, users will not benefit from the combination of molecules all working together. With that said, even though we don't make products with CBD Isolate, that's not to say CBD Isolate isn't great as can be noted with many people attesting to the benefits they've received. For more information on the many forms of hemp and CBD as well as available products, be sure to check out Leafwell Botanicals here!

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