By Emily Ledger
With so many unfamiliar words surrounding CBD oils – and the sheer number of products on the market – it is extremely easy to get confused. What is the best product? CBD isolate, broad spectrum or full Spectrum? While there may not be a clear answer to this question, here is a guide to each of the products.
This is the purest form of CBD. Isolates are made by completely removing other compounds – including cannabinoids and terpenes – from the final solution. This leaves you with pure CBD extracted from the cannabis plant.
However, this pure extract is then usually mixed with another ingredient – the carrier oil. This can be any of a number of oils, from hemp seed oil and coconut oil, to olive oil and MCT. The most important thing to know about CBD isolates is that they contain only one cannabinoid – CBD.
Some speculate that Cannabidiol in this pure form makes it more effective, as it is more potent and concentrated. However, there has been increasing conjecture that this might not be the case…
To create broad spectrum CBD oil, the first step remains the same. As in the pure CBD isolate extraction process, the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are all extracted from the cannabis plant. However, rather than isolating the CBD from the rest of the compounds, only the THC is removed.
This combination of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, is believed to promote the potential benefits of the ‘Entourage Effect’. This means that the cannabis compounds are able to work together synergistically to enhance the effects of one another. Of course, without the addition of the psychoactive compound, THC.
Again, to extract a full spectrum CBD oil, the first step is the same. When extracted from hemp, the THC concentration in the removed compounds will be less than 0.2% (0.3% in the US). As opposed to removing all of the other compounds, or just the THC, the compounds are all left to remain in the finished product. A full spectrum oil is thought to be the most effective at unlocking ‘the Entourage Effect’.
The Entourage Effect
So, what is the Entourage Effect? Well, to put it simply, this is when all of the compounds extracted from the cannabis plant work together to result in different effects to CBD alone. While more research is needed (as with most things cannabis-related), some research indicates that full spectrum CBD oils may have the edge for some applications.