These days, you’re just a click away from a CBD site, product, or ad. But in the sea of CBD terms, do you know your full spectrum from your isolate?
In the modern-day marketplace, we see three primary CBD products dominating the shelves, both virtual and brick-and-mortar. These are:
- Full-spectrum CBD products
- Broad-spectrum CBD products
- CBD Isolate products
While the terms may sound similar, they are strikingly different.
Here’s a quick synopsis of the three: Full-spectrum contains the whole (or full) plant extract, the broad spectrum contains most of the full plant’s compounds, minus a few essential bells and whistles (such as THC- the psychoactive compound) and CBD isolate is CBD in its purest, isolated form.
We will assist in demystifying these terms and explain the ins and outs that make up these three types of CBD products.
What is Full-Spectrum CBD?
If you come across a full spectrum CBD label, there’s a high chance it contains THC. Except, if the product is made from hemp. If a full spectrum CBD product has been made using hemp, there is a high chance it is THC-free. By definition, hemp does not contain THC. So, what makes a CBD product full-spectrum?
The hemp and cannabis plant contains a plethora of plant extracts. The list of natural extracts covers essential oils, terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids. A cannabis plant could contain THC, but the levels will depend on the type of plant used. In most legal markets, CBD products cannot contain more than 0.3% THC. This, of course, is area-dependent and you should always check your local area laws. It is also highly encouraged that you check up on the brand’s third-party reports to ensure that what is inside the product matches the label.
Full Spectrum CBD vs. CBD isolate
The main difference between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate lies in the contents (or lack thereof).
While the full spectrum product will have most of the plant’s natural extracts, including terpenes and cannabinoids, and possibly even up to 0.3% THC, CBD Isolate is as pretty close to a guarantee as possible that all you’re getting from the cannabis plant is the CBD compound.
What Is CBD Isolate?
When a product is labeled as “CBD Isolate” it means that the product has been made with at least 99% pure CBD. The exact percentage can differ ever so slightly depending on the form the product comes in.
And as with any new budding industry boasting products on the brink of stardom, there are some brands ready to hop on the profitable bandwagon with mislabeled products. Although their products may state that it has been made with just the CBD molecule, the independent lab reports could point out the opposite. This is why it is highly encouraged for consumers to check out a company’s third-party reports before making a purchase. Here at Canzon, our independent reports are simple to find and even easier to read.
When cannabidiol is isolated, it is often just a white powder or left in its crystallized form. When products are infused with this isolated CBD cannabinoid it is often combined with a carrier oil, cream, infused in edibles, and even placed in a capsule. The isolate can be combined with muscle balms, salves, lotions, and moisturizers.
The thing that makes CBD isolate so popular is that it is the purest form of CBD. Hemp is typically the go-to plant for companies to source the purest CBD isolate. The hemp plant contains little to no THC, making it the ideal plant for sourcing CBD.
The Defining Factor: Extraction Process
While the three different products contain different compounds and cannabinoid profiles, the extraction process for CBD can be the same.
These are the most commonly used extraction methods:
- Supercritical CO2 extraction
- Solvent extraction
- Steam extraction
- Lipid extraction
Supercritical CO2 extraction is the gold standard for clean, safe CBD products. The CBD isolate products require more refinement and extra processing than full spectrum and broad-spectrum products due to it needing to be refined down to the pure form.
It is important to check up the third-party reports to ensure not only the cannabinoid profiles but that there are no residual solvents left over from the manufacturing and refining processes. The CO2 method does not use any solvents, and it is generally accepted as a safer extraction method.
Full Spectrum CBD vs. Broad Spectrum CBD
Full and Broad-spectrum CBD products are similar, but the difference is again relegated to the contents and levels of naturally occurring compounds.
Broad Spectrum contains nearly the same amount of naturally occurring plant compounds, however, it will be completely free from THC. There may, however, be some trace amounts of THC- and again, check the third-party reports to ensure you know the exact cannabinoid contents.
Both the broad spectrum and full-spectrum extracts will undergo the same extraction processes, but an additional step is taken to ensure the broad spectrum does not include THC. Most companies will use a chromatography machine to eliminate the THC or THCA cannabinoid.
Hemp will go through extraction processes to make CBD products. The most commonly used method is the C02 based extractions. Once the full spectrum is extracted, it may undergo further extraction or refinement to create a broad spectrum (THC-free, whole-plant extract) or CBD isolate. In some commercial cases, CBD isolate will be reintroduced to naturally occurring terpenes and cannabinoids (except for THC) to create broad-spectrum extracts.
Aside from viewing the third-party reports, you can also ensure you get the safest product possible by visiting the website and learn what methods are used to create their extraction-based products. If the company is transparent, it is a good indicator their products are trustworthy.
Here at Canzon we value transparency and encourage you to read up on all our products, lab reports, and understand why we love to create products that you are sure to love, too.