We’ll admit: researching CBD for pain can be a confusing experience for new customers. Not only are there loads of products to choose from, but there’s also a lot of jargon surrounding this cannabinoid. For example, many new customers can’t distinguish between isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum CBD for pain.
While these terms may seem complicated, they’re not terribly difficult to understand. Each of these labels refers to how well-refined your CBD oil is.
Below, we’ll take a deeper dive into the differences between these three CBD types. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of which CBD spectrum best suits your lifestyle.
Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD have far more similarities than differences. For starters, both of these extracts are made with the entire hemp plant. You’ll also enjoy loads of secondary cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD goods. The only feature that separates these two products has to do with the infamous cannabinoid THC.
Short for delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is the chemical that gets cannabis smokers “high.” While marijuana strains have high amounts of this cannabinoid, hemp naturally has low THC levels. Under U.S. Federal Law, all hemp-derived products must contain less than 0.3 percent THC.
While full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD are similar, only full-spectrum items can contain less than the government required 0.3 percent of THC. When manufacturers make broad-spectrum CBD oil, they must separate all the THC molecules. Genuine broad-spectrum products should have lab reports that show zero percent THC content.
Since broad-spectrum products are more refined than full-spectrum goods, many customers assume they’re the better choice. However, both of these products have pros and cons that you should weigh against your preferences.
The main positive associated with full-spectrum CBD has to do with the “entourage effect.” Although this theory remains controversial, some scientists believe CBD works best when it’s taken with other naturally occurring hemp compounds. Supporters of the entourage effect argue these chemicals work together to produce a more potent therapeutic effect.
While you can still enjoy the entourage effect with broad-spectrum CBD products, it may not be as potent as a full-spectrum oil. That little bit of THC isn’t enough to get you high, but it may enhance CBD’s effectiveness.
On the downside, full-spectrum CBD ingestible products could wreak havoc on a work-related drug screening. Since everyone has a different metabolism, there’s no way to know how much THC will be in your system at any given time. That’s why we’ve chosen to use only broad-spectrum hemp extract in our fruity Chil CBD Gummies. This means you could enjoy the enhanced focus these gummies provide without worrying about wrecking your drug screening. We also have formulated our gummies with 2 times more CBD per milligram, so you can feel its potency.
As a quick side note, full-spectrum topical products like lotions, creams or salves do not show up on a drug test. That’s why you’ll notice many products like our Aspen’s Maximum Relief Salve have high-quality, full-spectrum CBD. Again, there’s no need to fear THC appearing on your drug screening if you use these topical products daily.
Unlike broad-spectrum and full-spectrum products, CBD isolate contains nothing but CBD. This odorless and tasteless powder is so well-refined that it has a CBD content of nearly 100 percent.
One reason people like CBD isolate powder has to do with its purity. Also, since CBD isolate is 99 percent CBD, it’s one of the most straightforward products to dose accurately.
Another pro for CBD isolate is its incredible versatility. Because this powder is odorless and tasteless, you can easily sneak it into your favorite edibles or beverages.
On the downside, CBD isolate lacks the entourage effect, which is why we only add isolate into our formulations when we already have broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD already a part of our formulations. Typically, people need more CBD isolate powder to experience the same results as a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oil. Our CBD milligram percentages are already higher than the competition, and the “entourage effect” should increase our CBD’s potency even further.
At Chil Wellness, we believe in the healing power of the whole hemp plant, but we place a strong emphasis on CBD. Unlike THC, there’s more science-backed evidence supporting the use of CBD for pain. While THC may have some therapeutic applications, it has a far higher risk of side effects. This is why we always triple-check our full-spectrum CBD products have less than the required 0.3 percent THC.
As you begin exploring the hemp marketplace, please be wary of CBD companies that don’t list their products with the CBD label. In most cases, products like hemp oil and hemp seed oil contain zero traces of CBD. While these oils might have other benefits (e.g., omega-3 fatty acids), they don’t require the same advanced extraction technologies used to make CBD oils. These products won’t supply you with any of the benefits of CBD or hemp-derived terpenes and secondary cannabinoids.
Unfortunately, some unscrupulous vendors will sell hemp oils at jacked-up prices to take advantage of the recent CBD boom. Since the FDA doesn’t regulate the hemp industry, reputable businesses must send their CBD oils to third-party labs for quality assurance. It pays to carefully inspect a CBD company’s lab reports before buying any product.
By the way, you can always find all of our most up-to-date third-party lab results on this webpage.
We know that was a ton of information to take in on one go. If you’re still confused over which CBD product is right for you, we have a simple solution: try our free interactive CBD quiz! After answering a few questions related to your preferences, this test will let you know which of our CBD products is right for you.
We're partnering with the Arthritis Foundation to find relief and discover a cure for the 54 million Americans suffering from the chronic debilitating pain of arthritis.
We donate a portion of every topical purchase.