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The Three Types of CBD Explained: Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Isolate

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By White Buffalo Hemp Company | October 17, 2019

With so many different CBD products on the market today, it’s easy to get lost. But chances are you have probably come across the three basic types when shopping - full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolate. Knowing the differences between them is essential when selecting the best product to fit your specific needs.

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

Full spectrum products refers to a vibrant, diverse profile that is created from the whole plant - leaves, flowers, stems and seeds. This means they contain CBD as well as other plant compounds such as cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and fatty acids. These all have a therapeutic value of their own and help create what’s known as the “entourage effect.” Because of this, full spectrum CBD oil is the most popular with consumers.

However, these products do contain trace amounts of THC - the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that gets you high. So if you want to consume CBD without failing a drug test, full-spectrum is probably not your first choice.

What is Broad Spectrum CBD?

Broad spectrum CBD products is similar to full spectrum CBD since they contain an array of cannabinoids and terpenes but zero THC. Manufacturers put these products through additional processing to isolate and remove as much trace amounts of THC possible while preserving the other natural cannabinoids and terpenes. Broad Spectrum CBD is an ideal choice for individuals that can’t have any traces of THC in their system.

What is CBD Isolate?

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD. These products contain just CBD and nothing else. The trace amounts of THC, terpenes, flavonoids and fatty acids are removed from the plant during the extraction process. What remains is 99+% pure CBD. Knowing the exact purity is important when selecting an isolate. Otherwise, there may be traces of other cannabinoids which defeats the purpose of seeking out a pure CBD product.

Which One Is Right For Me?

Simply put, the difference between full spectrum vs. broad spectrum vs. isolate is really the manufacturing process and number of ingredients. One type of CBD is not necessarily superior to the others and all three have their benefits. While research does show that THC may help boost the overall formula, removing it from the equation doesn’t necessarily hurt the product. Ultimately, each CBD user is different and must determine for themselves which product is better for their needs and concerns.