If you have been searching for CBD products online then you have most likely seen the terms Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum or Isolate on a number of products. The problem is most people don't know what those terms mean. Which brings on some confusion about should I be taking Broad Spectrum, Full Spectrum or Isolate and is one better than the others.
So, which one should you try? The variety of CBD products, and the different types of CBD, can make things overwhelming.
Isolate, broad spectrum, and full spectrum, are the three most common types of CBD, and they’re each created differently. For that reason we are here to simplify and explain what the differences are and how you can pick the right product for you.
Don't go anywhere because we're about to break down everything you need to know about the different types of CBD and common CBD products.
What Are The Different Types of CBD
First up, let's take a look at the different types of CBD. There are three main types of CBD on the market. These are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate.
Therefore, when shopping for CBD products, the first thing you want to get clear on is which of these three forms of CBD is best for you.
Full-spectrum CBD contains CBD, as well as multiple other cannabinoids naturally found in the cannabis plant, including terpenes and small amounts of THC.
As you might know, THC is the compound found in cannabis that's responsible for the altered state effects associated with marijuana consumption.
Now, why would you want THC in your CBD?
According to a study done in 2018, 62% of people take CBD for medical symptoms. Most CBD users aren't taking it to get high.
However, it turns out that small amounts of THC can enhance the effects of CBD for certain health symptoms. For instance, research has shown that CBD in conjunction with THC offers enhanced pain relief.
To keep in line with federal laws, full-spectrum CBD products only contain up to 0.3% THC. This is not enough to have psychoactive effects.
Therefore, you can use full-spectrum CBD without worrying about accidentally getting high.
Though, take note that if you are consistently using full-spectrum products, the trace amounts of THC can accumulate over time, causing you to possibly fail a drug test.
Like full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD contains multiple cannabinoids besides CBD. However, all of the THC is removed.
Because of this, broad-spectrum CBD products are legal in all states. What's more, they can also be a good choice if you have concerns about passing workplace drug tests.
If your workplace has a stringent anti-drug policy, you can safely take broad-spectrum CBD while still benefiting from the entourage effect of the various cannabinoids it contains.
For those who want to try CBD but don’t want to risk ingesting trace amounts of THC—CBD isolate may be the best option.
CBD isolate products are generally labeled as being 99 percent pure CBD. As the name suggests, these products have been isolated down to just the CBD molecule.
They have no other active ingredient and just aim to deliver therapeutic doses of CBD, isolated from the other cannabinoids and terpenes within the hemp plant.
Most common reasons people want to avoid THC: Those who are drug tested for THC, those who just don’t want to consume even the tiniest amount THC for whatever reason or for some people that are sensitive to THC, even trace amounts of THC can cause grogginess or other unwanted side effects.
CBD vs. CBDa
While we are on the topic of different types of CBD, there is one last term you need to know about when looking at different CBD options.
This is CBDa. CBDa is CBD in its nonactivated form.
Most kinds of CBD you find for sale have been turned from CBDa into activated CBD through curing and processing.
As CBD is an altered form of CBDa, the two compounds have different effects. Currently, there isn't a lot of research out there on the potential benefits of CBDa. However, the studies that do exist suggest that it has its own host of properties, some of which are potentially stronger than those of activated CBD.
For instance, one animal study indicated that CBDa has stronger anti-nausea effects than CBD.
If you are wondering what type of CBD you're getting in a product, most CBD products that say "CBD" contain the activated cannabinoid.
Ways to Take CBD
Now that you know about the different forms of CBD let's take a look at the most common types of CBD products you can find on the market.
These consist mainly of CBD oils, tinctures, flowers, edibles, topicals, and vape juices.
Research is still limited on whether CBD is safe or even effective for dogs and cats. Before giving your pets CBD, it’s best to check with your vet first.
CBD Oil and Tinctures
One of the most common types of CBD products is CBD oils that are CBD-infused liquids.
You can take CBD oil by putting it directly under your tongue (that part of the mouth is a capillary-rich area and so the CBD will reach your bloodstream quicker). This method is known as sublingually.
The downside of this type of CBD product is that some people don’t like the taste because CBD oil has an unpleasant taste when taken sublingually.
Capsules or Softgels
When looking at different CBD options, you'll most likely also come across CBD capsules and softgels and they come in either broad-spectrum, full-spectrum CBD, or CBD isolate.
The disadvantage is that CBD capsules are taken orally, passing through your digestive system before entering the bloodstream.
CBD is only effective when it reaches the bloodstream. The longer the journey to the bloodstream, the less CBD will inevitably reach the bloodstream.
One of the advantages of taking CBD in capsule form is that you can easily control the dosage.
If you love a good snack and are keen to try CBD, then edibles can be one of the best CBD products to sample.
CBD edibles generally contain either full- or broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate.
There are many CBD edibles available these days, including CBD-infused chocolate, gummies, drinks, etc.
However, edibles typically have one of the slowest release times of all the different types of CBD products. On the other hand, the CBD results last longer then oils.
CBD vape juice is now widely available. The exact ingredients vary from brand to brand—however they broadly consist of the regular vape juice components with one of the forms of CBD added.
If you vape, then CBD vape juice might be one of the most convenient types of CBD products to try, but the most unsafe method.
High CBD Content Flowers
When looking at CBD options, you can also consider taking CBD through CBD-rich cannabis flowers.
Certain cannabis strains boast high levels of CBD. The higher the CBD, the less effect the THC in the strain has. This is because CBD binds to the cannabinoid receptors in the body, effectively blocking off the THC and preventing its psychoactive effects.
Because of this, if you find the right cannabis strain, you can enjoy the entourage effect of CBD-rich flowers without getting high.
Last but not least, we have topicals. Topicals are all types of CBD products that are applied to the skin. Creams, lotions, patches, or ointments.
Topicals are great for providing direct relief to a specific spot on the body.
CBD topicals are generally used to treat things like arthritis pain, sore muscles, skin conditions, and bites and stings.
Shopping for CBD Products
When looking for CBD products, only consider the most trustworthy CBD companies that provide clarity for consumers and transparency when it comes to the extracts used in their formulas.
With this in mind, here are some of the best CBD products on the market. All of these options, listed below, come from reputable brands with transparent lab testing, clean hemp sources, and excellent track records with their customers—so you can trust that you’re getting the highest-quality CBD product out there.
Best CBD Oils
Medterra CBD Tincture
Price: Starting at $34.99
CBD type: Isolate
CBD potency: 16 mg, 33 mg, 100 mg CBD per serving
Lab Tests (COA): available online
Free Shipping on orders $125+
Money Back Guarantee: 30 days
This Medterra tincture is made with just 99%+ CBD and Organic MCT Oil (Coconut derived), without any added flavorings.
Medterras' Hemp is grown and extracted in the USA, is fully compliant under the Kentucky Department of Agricultural Industrial Hemp Pilot Program and it's certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority.
The tincture is exceptionally well-reviewed. Over 2,500 customers on Medterras' site say it's a great product.
Use code “OFFER15” for 15% off sitewide.
Extract Labs Pure CBD Tincture
CBD type: Pure CBD Isolate
CBD potency: 66 mg CBD per serving
Lab Tests (COA): Available on product page
Free Shipping on orders $50+
Money Back Guarantee: 60 days
Extract Labs Pure CBD isolate tincture contains only two ingredients: organic coconut oil and it's award-winning isolate made with non-GMO hemp grown with organic standards in Colorado.
Extract Labs customers are raving about it's quality, pricing, and as they say: “a level of customer service unheard of in this day and age.”
It's tinctures truly are one of the best quality and value on the market.
Use code “GET15” for 15% off sitewide.