In 2018, the Farm Bill legalized Hemp CBD in the U.S. It created regulations as to the percentage of allowable, natural THC in products (0.3% or less), but not much else. For one, it didn’t define the many differences in CBD products, and full-spectrum vs. broad-spectrum (and what is CBD isolate?) is just one of those questions many consumers have. At Seed2System, we’re committed to making Hemp CBD products more transparent and approachable for people. This is what you should know about full-spectrum vs. broad-spectrum vs. isolate CBD oils. Have additional questions? You’re always welcome to contact our team to learn more.

The power of cannabinoids

full spectrum vs broad spectrum

Cannabinoids are unique compounds in cannabis plants. Of the hundreds that exist, the two most well-known are THC and CBD. Along with terpenes and flavonoids, THC and CBD can provide a host of potential benefits that may include:

One of the main differences between the two, and the reason many people are turning to CBD instead of THC, is that CBD acts on the endocannabinoid receptors in a way that does not trigger psychoactive effects. In other words, CBD has the potential to provide the same benefits as THC but without the feeling of being “high.” As CBD is legal in all 50 U.S. states, it is also more readily available.

However, with this ready availability comes questions about quality and the product itself. Providers throw terms like “full-spectrum” and “broad-spectrum” around, but what do they actually mean in terms of the effectiveness of the product?

An educated consumer is the best kind. It’s crucial to know what these terms mean when shopping for high-quality and highly effective CBD oil.

What is full-spectrum CBD oil?

Full-spectrum CBD oil might be considered the most “natural” form of CBD. This type of CBD oil utilizes the entire plant in the extraction process: the seeds, stalk, leaves, and all other plant matter. It distills not only CBD from this process, but also other flavonoids, terpenes, and fatty acids.

The beneficial compounds in full-spectrum CBD oil work together in what is known as the entourage effect. In the simplest sense, these compounds working together provide more benefits than if they were to be isolated and taken on their own. With full-spectrum varieties, a trace amount of THC may still remain (though always less than the 0.3% amount required by the Farm Bill).

What is broad-spectrum CBD oil?

Broad-spectrum CBD oil is similar to full-spectrum CBD oil but with one major difference: the THC is completely removed.

This may occur after extracting a full-spectrum CBD, or manufacturers might isolate all compounds first and then combine them for different purposes. Since this process removes some compounds from the oil, it may not produce the same entourage effect and benefits that occur with full-spectrum oils.

What is CBD isolate oil?

CBD isolate oil is exactly what it sounds like: it consists of isolated CBD oil molecules only.

No terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, or other beneficial cannabinoids are included in CBD isolate oil.

Full-spectrum vs. broad-spectrum vs. isolate: What do I need to know?

Full-spectrum CBD oil is largely considered to be the most effective choice between full-spectrum vs. broad-spectrum. One of the reasons CBD oil has medicinal promise for so many conditions is that the hundreds of cannabinoids are all working together. Each enhances and compliments the effects of the other (the entourage effect, mentioned above).

Unlike traditional prescription medications that stress the purity of one compound, high-quality full-spectrum CBD oil relies on all of the compounds to contribute.

For consumers who are particularly sensitive to THC or who do not want to ingest any THC at all (due to your job or other reasons), broad-spectrum CBD oil might be a good choice. The main concern with broad-spectrum CBD oil becomes knowing exactly what compounds are in your oil and in what amounts. As mentioned above, because there is very little regulation about what goes on the label for CBD products, this can be a challenging spot for consumers.

Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oils do have many applications. However, CBD isolate oil on its own seems to have limited benefit for the health conditions listed above.

How to choose CBD oil

Because it can be challenging to find a high-quality product you can trust, here are five tips when choosing your CBD oil.

1. Buy from a state that has legalized cannabis

Consumer Reports found that states who have legalized cannabis have stricter standards and tighter regulations even when it comes to CBD oil.

For example, Seed2System uses hemp seeds from HGH Seed Inc., a hemp seed producer that works with researchers from Colorado State University for high quality and consistent seeds. Located in a state that has legalized cannabis means we stress the quality of every aspect of our product, from seed to final extraction.

2. Pay attention to the extraction process

Chemical or prolonged high-heat extraction methods may claim to produce full-spectrum CBD oils, but they can damage or change beneficial cannabinoids in the process.

At Seed2System, we use a patented vapor distillation process that uses water to gently extract the highest concentration of compounds possible.

3. For most people, choose full-spectrum CBD oil

Read labels carefully. Avoid products that say “pure CBD” or “no THC” as these are not full-spectrum products.

Because of that, they will not provide the benefits of full-spectrum CBD oil (but they might come with the same price tag – buyer beware!).

4. Avoid additives or fillers

When you read the label, make sure your full-spectrum CBD oil doesn’t contain sweeteners or thickeners as these can introduce unknown and unregulated materials into your CBD oil.

Seed2System never includes artificial flavors or colors. Our 1500 mg gold tincture (and our 600 mg silver tincture) are available in their natural, lightly nutty flavor or with a pure mint taste.

5. Ask questions

Reputable sellers are happy, willing, and able to talk directly to consumers. They’ll be ready to answer all of your questions about their products. They should be able to talk about where their seeds are produced and grown, as well as their extraction process.

At Seed2System, we are dedicated to providing you the highest quality product from the seed to your bodily system. Get in touch today to learn more!