While it’s true that CBD research is still in its early stages, a 2018 study amongst CBD users found that 62% of them use CBD for medical symptoms, including pain, depression, and anxiety.
Anecdotal evidence indicates that many people have found CBD helpful in alleviating these symptoms, leading a growing number of people to want to try out CBD products.
However, before you dive head first into the world of CBD, it’s important to start with the basics and understand what it’s all about.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of a variety of compounds naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. Apart from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it is the most abundant compound in the plant. T
o understand how CBD can help you, it’s important to understand the difference between the various forms of CBD available.
There are three:
- CBD isolate, which is pure CBD;
- full-spectrum CBD, an extract containing other cannabis plant compounds such as terpenes and other cannabinoids;
- broad-spectrum CBD.
None of these types of CBD is inherently better than the others, as each of them has its own strengths and particularities.
Keep reading to find out what might work best for you.
Full-spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate
In short, the distinction between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD lies in the compounds they contain.
A full-spectrum CBD product contains not only CBD, but also other components from the cannabis plant, including essential oils, terpenes and other cannabinoids, such as cannabinol.
Full-spectrum CBD products also contain up to 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid that causes a ‘high’ feeling in humans.
Most CBD products are made from hemp, and THC naturally occurs in the hemp plant. However, it does in low concentrations and this small dose is not high enough to have major psychoactive effects.
CBD isolate, on the other hand, is pure CBD. It does not contain any other compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD isolate is a crystal type of CBD and is mostly ground and sold as a powder. It can also be called CBD crystals.
Full-spectrum CBD vs Broad-spectrum CBD
Aside from full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate, you might have heard of broad-spectrum CBD, which is sort of a middle child. Obviously, both full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD contain cannabidiol, but the key difference between the two concerns the other naturally occurring plant compounds included in the extract.
While full-spectrum CBD oil contains all compounds from the cannabis plant—including THC—broad-spectrum CBD oil is devoid of THC.
This ensures that it will not cause any unintended ‘high’. It does, however, contain other compounds, such as terpenes and other cannabinoids.
Unlike CBD isolates, which contain only pure CBD, both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products can therefore produce increased effects because they contain additional compounds that function together.
This is known as the ‘Entourage Effect.’ Reports on the Entourage Effect show that having the compounds work in synergy greatly enhances the potential health benefits of hemp.
Although there currently is little detailed research on the individual types of CBD, or the type of CBD that could support a particular health condition, we hope this article can help you navigate the sea of CBD products, and opt for the type that is right for your personal needs!