Not All CBD
is Created

Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Isolate CBD

This week, Treed explores the key differences between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum & Isolate CBD, and the pros and cons of each.

Whether you’re new to CBD or a seasoned consumer, you are likely to have come across the different types of CBD products available, and let’s be frank – there’s a lot out there! This can sometimes be confusing and can lead you down a rabbit hole of trying to find out what type of CBD is best for you. The truth is, this will vary from person to person, but it is important to understand the fundamentals to help inform your decision and ultimately get you closer to finding therapeutic relief through hemp that works for you!

Phyto-cannabinoids are compounds found within the Cannabis plant, where the most abundant, well researched and understood are THC & CBD. Each cannabinoid has a unique relationship with your body’s endocannabinoid system. For example, THC induces psychoactive effects more commonly known as ‘getting high’. CBD however, is nonintoxicating. It won’t make you high, and it can ever alter the psychoactive effects of THC. It can deliver a range of benefits such as relief from stress or anxiety, or alter your perception of pain.

We have discovered over 110 unique cannabinoids so far, including Cannabigerol (CBG) or Cannabinol (CBN), and they each have their own unique effects on the human body. The full collection of these cannabinoids creates the ‘cannabinoid spectrum’

Research into this spectrum is ongoing at this very moment! Just last month, researchers in Italy discovered a new cannabinoid called CBDH which has a promising effect on pain relief. There are many others and the research is continuing to develop, but it remains difficult to extract and study these less abundant cannabinoids in a cost effective way.

It is important we continue to study & understand these cannabinoids, as they interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex network of cannabinoid receptors and neurotransmitters located in the brain, central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and immune system. The ECS controls a wide range of biological functions, such as memory, cognitive performance, pain perception, stress management, mood regulation, and immune response on top of many others.

Anything Else?

The Cannabis plant is also made up of other organic compounds such as terpenes, amino acids, proteins & flavonoids, that all come together to give us the hemp plant – with all it’s aromas, tastes & therapeutic benefits. These compounds are found in plants, fruits, spices & essential oils and like cannabinoids they all have their own unique effect. For example, Limonene is a terpene found abundantly in many strains of hemp, peels of citrus fruits and other plants and it has many uses and applications, including weight loss, flavouring and in skin care products.

So What Does This Mean For Me?

All of these compounds together are the whole-plant and Full-Spectrum CBD is exactly that – a finished product with all the cannabinoids, terpenes, terpenoids & flavonoids present in their entirety. Now, you may have heard about the ‘Entourage Effect’ which was identified in 1998 by Ben Shat. The Entourage Effect proposes that cannabinoids, terpenoids and other compounds work synergistically and cooperatively together and the presence of them together creates a stronger therapeutic impact than if they were consumed individually.

However, for some, the presence of THC may be problematic. All legally compliant CBD products in the UK (it is very important to only use products that have been independently lab-tested where you can find the corresponding lab report for your product) will contain less than 0.2% THC, which at that level is not enough to be metabolized and create a psychoactive high. No-one, including Treed can say with 100% certainty that you will pass a drug test if you have consumed a full spectrum CBD product.

While it is highly unlikely that you will fail a traditional drugs test, there are many different types of screening tests out there with different sensitivities, and it would be wrong to assume that these tests can distinguish the difference between cannabinoids. For that reason if you are subject to regular drug-testing through work, school or if you are an athlete, it would be best to use Broad Spectrum or Isolate CBD, and even then, there is not a 100% guarantee you may pass the test.

Broad Spectrum CBD is essentially whole-plant, full-spectrum CBD but with all THC removed. The extract has to undergo further refinement to ensure that there are zero traces of THC and of course always make sure you check the lab report to know exactly what it is you are getting. Broad Spectrum is a great choice because you get the wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds and the benefits of the entourage effect without having to worry about THC flagging up on any drug tests.

Isolate CBD as the name suggests is CBD isolated from all the other compounds within the hemp plant. Whereas natural full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD will have a subtle hemp taste and aroma. CBD Isolate is completely tasteless, odourless and colourless. Although the compounds within hemp are overwhelmingly well-tolerated by our bodies, CBD isolate is best for those who may be concerned or are sensitive to allergic reactions, or for those who are taking certain medications and may be worried about how CBD will interact with them. You should still enjoy the therapeutic benefits of CBD if using isolate, however you will not benefit from the other therapeutic beneficial properties of the numerous cannabinoids & terpenes within the plant, so this may impact your overall experience when using CBD.

Final Thoughts

With CBD, it is important to find what works best for you. If you are new to CBD we recommend starting with a lower strength CBD Oil and enjoying the vast benefits of hemp-plant extract, experimenting with dosage to find the right therapeutic window for you. You can see how the different types of CBD products affect you, everyone is different and has their own preference.

As long as you understand what you’re consuming, you can make an informed decison on what you think will benefit you the most. As ever, we’re here to help! You can download our Beginners Guide for more information on how CBD interacts with our bodies, or if you’re interested in learning more, subscribe to our newsletter below for information, insights & special offers!

Moe Alrabiei (Co Founder)