It is often thought that the term CBD oil can be used interchangeably for multiple products. However, CBD oils can contain several cannabinoids. The CBD oils are differentiated by the levels of cannabinoids they have. The three main categories are: 

  • Isolate CBD 
  • Full-spectrum CBD  
  • Broad-spectrum CBD 

A majority of CBD oils that are used for medical and wellness purposes come from the hemp plant, and not marijuana. The hemp plant contains a lower level of THC than marijuana. THC is essentially the psychoactive substance of cannabis, that induces a ‘high’. It is important to note that though some categories of CBD oils contain minuscule levels of THC, it is not enough to truly induce a ‘high’.  

With this important fact cleared, let’s take a deeper look at the three variants of cannabinoid content in CBD products.  


1. Isolate CBD 

First off, Isolate CBD, as the name suggests contains only CBD. It is entirely free of THC, and hence it is a good option for those who want to reap the benefits of using CBD products without ingesting any THC. All compounds are extracted from the cannabis plant when it comes to the manufacturing of the CBD isolate. The process leaves behind pure CBD in crystal form, which may be crushed to a fine powder. Isolate CBD offers the health benefits that all CBD products have, such as; boosting the immune system, counteracting the formation of tumors, fighting inflammation, relieving pain, preventing anxiety and seizure and so much more.  


2. Full Spectrum CBD 

 In the production of full spectrum CBD, the oil goes through the cannabinoid extraction process and filtration, however none of the compounds are removed. This means that full spectrum CBD contains all cannabinoids, including THC, along with terpenes and fatty acids that naturally occur in cannabis plants.  

It is important to note that though a product with full-spectrum CBD contains THC, it cannot induce a ‘high’, however it will may show up on drug tests. As with Isolate CBD, full spectrum CBD has many important benefits: 

  • Full spectrum CBD has a wider range of healing properties. For example, the terpenes have shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • It contains up to 0.3% of THC. 
  • A 2005 study concluded that the medicinal benefits of full-spectrum CBD are more enhanced since many of the chemical compounds in the full-plant extract are used.  
  • Last but certainly not least, full spectrum CBD allows users to enjoy the positive effects gained through ‘The Entourage Effect. 

The Entourage Effect 

You may have heard of this concept during discussions about cannabis, but what exactly is ‘The Entourage Effect?
A term coined in 1999, The entourage effect refers to the psychoactive effect caused when diverse cannabis compounds act synergistically. In simpler terms, it is when all the compounds found in cannabis work together to create a therapeutic effect by helping to relieve pain and encourage healing (think of this as 1+1=3). The entourage effect is prominent in full spectrum CBD products since such products do not exclude any of the advantageous compounds in cannabis.  


3. Broad Spectrum CBD 

If you haven’t guessed it already, broad spectrum is the middle ground between Isolate CBD and full spectrum CBD. In a similar fashion to its predecessors, broad spectrum CBD goes through the normal extraction process. It contains all cannabinoids and other compounds in cannabis. However, it does not contain any THC.
The benefits of Broad Spectrum are similar to the other two variants:

  • It has a plethora of Medicinal benefits such as anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, anti-anxiety properties.  
  • It has no THC. Therefore, it will not show up on drug tests. 
  • It allows users to enjoy the positive effects of the entourage effect. 

Knowing what’s right for you 

With these options on the table, it can be difficult to decide which type of CBD product is most suitable for you. Considering the fact that CBD products are still new in the market and that there is a limited amount of reliable data on these products, consumers must often go through a discovery process before evaluating which products is the best fit for them. All three variants have their own benefits, but there are other factors that need to be considered when selecting the variant of CBD products that will best cater to your needs.  


Isolate, Full Spectrum, or Broad Spectrum – Take your pick 

Firstly, with Full spectrum CBD, it is important to keep in mind that the presence of THC can result in people failing drug tests, such as those quick roadside mouth-swab tests. Hence, this can prove an inconvenience to some people. Furthermore, despite the many medicinal benefits, some consumers may also be sensitive to certain cannabinoids and experience undesired effects.  

Broad spectrum CBD is beneficial as it offers the medical advantages of cannabis, but not the psychoactive element of THC. Therefore, you need not worry about failing drug tests. However, there is less research available on broad spectrum CBD. It also requires more processing and manipulation than full-spectrum. As a result broad spectrum CBD is more expensive to produce. 

Similar to broad spectrum CBD, Isolate CBD must also go through a highly complex process to be manufactured. Additionally, isolate CBD itself provides no entourage effect since it lacks other chemical compounds of cannabis.  

It is clear therefore that all the variants of cannabinoids in CBD products have their own pros and cons. Businesses looking to sell CBD products must carefully consider both sides of the argument when deciding which variant of CBD they would like to cater to.  


If you are looking to launch and sell CBD products in the market and want to be part of the industry reach out to us with your inquiries.