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Straightening Out the Spectrums — CBD Isolate vs. Full-Spectrum CBD vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD

We’ll admit: shopping for CBD can sometimes be a confusing experience. Not only are there loads of products to choose from, there’s also a lot of jargon surrounding this cannabinoid. Many new customers don’t know how to distinguish between broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD…not to mention CBD isolate powder! 

While these terms may seem complicated, they’re not terribly difficult to understand. Each of these labels simply refers to how well-refined your CBD oil is. 

Below, we’re going to 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 vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD — What’s the Core Distinction?

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 in nature, 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. True broad-spectrum products should have lab reports that show zero percent THC content. 

So, Is Broad-Spectrum Better Than Full-Spectrum CBD?

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. You may not feel THC’s effects, but it could still end up on your drug test. So, if you want to avoid THC altogether, you should focus on broad-spectrum ingestible products like our Hydration Drink Mix.  As a quick side note, full-spectrum topical products like lotions, creams or salves do not show up on a drug test. 

Perfectly Pure — What’s the Deal With CBD Isolate? 

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 easiest 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. Typically, people need more CBD isolate powder to experience the same results as a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oil. 

At Chil Wellness, we believe in the healing power of the whole hemp plant. That’s why our Mellow Mint Drops contain full-spectrum, hemp-derived CBD. However, you don’t have to worry about tasting the grassy flavors often associated with full-spectrum oils. To make our CBD tincture more flavorful, we’ve included all-natural peppermint oil. 

Be sure to check out this link for more details on our Mellow Mint Drops. 

Are CBD and Hemp Oil the Same Thing? 

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.  

FYI: Don’t Freak Out Over Full-Spectrum Salves! 

As a final tip, please remember that CBD topicals cannot get into your bloodstream. Therefore, when you use full-spectrum balms like Aspen’s Maximum Relief Salve, there’s no need to worry about failing a drug screening. All of the cannabinoids in our salves and roll-ons get absorbed directly by the CB2 receptors on your skin cells.

To learn more about how CBD topicals work, we encourage you to read through this previous post.

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