CBD: The Meaning Behind Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and Isolate Labels


by Lauren

July 25, 2019 06:06 pm ET
CBD: The Meaning Behind Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and Isolate Labels

If you’ve been following the recent CBD craze, you’ve likely encountered products on the market that are labeled as ‘Broad Spectrum’, ‘Full Spectrum’, or ‘Isolate’. These terms can be confusing for everyone, especially for beginners and curious folks alike. We are happy to enlighten you on the key differences in these descriptions because everyone deserves to know what exactly they are putting into their bodies! We briefly touch on the subject in this video but let’s explore these terms more in-depth.


When a CBD product is ‘full-spectrum’, it means that the entire plant and its compounds are included in the production process. Industrial hemp and marijuana both possess a myriad of different types of terpenes, and several types of cannabinoids aside from CBD and THC that all influence each other to create what is called the “entourage effect”. Albeit a very low percentage, THC molecules still make it into the end product since full-spectrum goods include the complete plant profile and material. While it is extremely rare, full-spectrum CBD products have the ability to produce a false positive on drug tests that screen for THC. 


Isolate means that only the CBD compounds have been extracted from the plant. The original plant matter has been extensively refined to narrow down, and separate molecules so that the only thing left is CBD. Isolate is 99.9% pure CBD. Sometimes, additives like artificial terpenes and flavonoids are included to enhance the taste, smell, or consistency. Otherwise, there should be virtually zero traces of any other compounds in it. CBD isolate is a great option for those who want to avoid the euphoric effects of THC or are concerned about passing a drug test because the THC molecules have been completely eradicated. 


Broad-spectrum products belong in a category that is somewhere between full-spectrum and isolates. While all of the organic plant matter is processed, the THC molecules are isolated and thoroughly excluded. Those that use broad-spectrum products are able to experience the benefits from the entourage effect because all of the other collaborating cannabinoids and terpenes remain included in the product. Since all THC molecules are eliminated, broad-spectrum products are an exceptional choice for those who are routinely drug tested or want to refrain from consuming THC.  

It’s important to be informed about the terminology behind these products. CBD that is derived from industrial hemp is legal in all 50 states. In order to meet legal requirements, all CBD goods MUST contain less than .3% THC. Be wise when it comes to shopping for CBD and ensure that the proper lab results are publicly available wherever you decide to purchase. These results should specifically detail the levels of various cannabinoids, toxins, terpenes, and solvents used in the manufacturing process.

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