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Full-Spectrum vs Broad-Spectrum vs Isolate

One thing to consider when purchasing CBD is the formulation. CBD products usually have labels that state whether the CBD used is “isolate,” “full-spectrum,” or “broad-spectrum.” If for some reason you find one that doesn’t, a check of the ingredient list should provide more information.

CBD Isolate

CBD “isolate” is pure CBD with no other cannabinoids present. It’s called isolate because the CBD used has been chemically isolated from everything else in the hemp to add to the product. Isolate products are great for those looking to avoid THC since the extraction process separates out all other cannabinoids, including THC.

A downside to using isolate products is that you may miss out on the benefits that some believe come from the “entourage effect.” The entourage effect happens when hemp’s terpenes and other cannabinoids have a chance to react in the body along with CBD.

It is the entourage effect that, anecdotally speaking, explains why a 10mg full-spectrum CBD gummy, for example, feels more potent than a 10mg CBD isolate gummy.

Full-Spectrum CBD

Products formulated with full-spectrum CBD contain all of the hemp plant’s naturally occurring terpenes and cannabinoids, including THC. Some argue that, due to the entourage effect, full-spectrum CBD products provide the most therapeutic benefit.

Broad-Spectrum CBD

Like full-spectrum CBD products, broad-spectrum products contain all of the hemp plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes – all, except THC. Broad-spectrum products, therefore, may be a good option for those who want to experience the entourage effect while avoiding THC. 

A Word on Formulations

The best way to know what you’re getting is to use products that display the mg content and/or ingredients on their labels. Ideally, CBD products should also offer a corresponding COA (Certificate of Analysis) to verify the CBD/THC content via third-party lab tests.

Purchasing from companies that do this will allow you to know what’s in your formulation, which is a good idea no matter the product or brand.

Written by S.W. Afton

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