FUll Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum
In this article, we’ll talk about what’s exactly meant by the terms “isolate” and “full-spectrum,” and “broad spectrum” and we’ll also discuss which particular products are best suited for which specific medical conditions.
What is CBD, first of all, and how is it made?
CBD is simply an active chemical compound, or cannabinoid, that’s found in the cannabis plant. The reason it’s becoming so popular across such a wide audience of people right now though is because unlike the other main compound in cannabis (THC), it doesn’t get you high. There have been thousands upon thousands of medical studies showing all of the health benefits that CBD has, but “average” people are loving it because it doesn’t produce any mind-altering psychoactive effects.
Also, it’s important to be able to distinguish between the terms “hemp,” “marijuana,” and “cannabis.”
Basically, cannabis is an umbrella term that includes both hemp and marijuana plants. Cannabis sativa is actually the scientific name of the cannabis plant (Cannabis = genus; sativa = species), and hemp and marijuana are just two different “varieties” of it.
The key difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp contains practically zero THC. In fact, in order to be classified as hemp, a cannabis plant must contain less than 0.3% THC by volume. This is really important because it’s actually the reason why hemp products are legal to buy, sell, and ship. If they don’t get you high, then why would they be illegal?
Also, it’s important to understand that the majority of CBD oils and other CBD products come from hemp. This is why the industry is seeing such a monstrous spike in popularity – anyone can get online and order CBD medication straight to their doorstep.
If you’re trying to keep track of all this, basically just remember the following:
- Marijuana mostly contains both THC and CBD, it gets you high, and, depending on the state you live in, it is illegal
- Hemp contains minor amounts of THC.
- Hemp contains other cannabinoids, one of them is CBD
- Both hemp and marijuana plants fall under the larger umbrella term of “cannabis” plants
CBD isolate vs. full-spectrum oil: A general comparison
A CBD isolate is exactly what it sounds like; pure, isolated CBD compound, all by itself. It exists as a white-ish powder, and contains no other active compounds – nothing.
Full-spectrum oil, on the other hand, contains other active plant compounds in addition to the CBD. This includes other cannabinoids such as CBN, CBL, and CBCVA, as well as aromatic cannabis terpenes like pinene and limonene.
How to choose between full-spectrum CBD oil and CBD isolate
Not too long ago (2015, actually), researchers out of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology discovered what’s now called the “entourage effect.” This refers to the functioning of CBD along with other cannabis plant compounds, rather than just by itself.
(And a quick side note, it’s important to point out that Israel’s Hebrew University of Jerusalem is kind of the Epicenter of CBD research. It was here that Dr. Raphael Mechoulam first identified the chemical structure of the cannabinoid back in the 1960’s).
Anyway, the research showed that in mice, CBD was much more effective when used along with other compounds of the cannabis plant, than when it was used by itself. While they haven’t yet figured out why exactly this is the case, it’s now generally accepted that full-spectrum CBD oil is more effective at treating the majority of medical conditions, than is CBD isolate.
And if you ask around, you’ll find that the vast majority of frequent CBD users strongly agree with this. In fact, for conditions like anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, nearly every single CBD patient will claim that full-spectrum oil is by far the superior option.
Final notes: CBD isolate vs. full-spectrum oil
For the large majority of average users though, a high-quality full-spectrum CBD oil will be the better, more efficient option. These concentrated oils have delivered incredible results so far, and have been observed to effectively treat everything from anxiety, to diabetes, to severe chronic pain.