CBD Isolate, Broad Spectrum and Full Spectrum CBD - What's the difference?

Monday, 15 July 2019

CBD products have grown in popularity, and you might see products labelled as "CBD Isolate" or "CBD Full Spectrum". 

With products containing CBD appearing everywhere from health stores to vape shops - even big e-liquid brands like Dinner Lady have thrown their hat into the ring - it can be hard to figure out which type of CBD is best for you.

What are the differences between them, are they legal and how are they made?


CBD Isolates

CBD isolates are CBD in their purest form. As the name suggests, the CBD compound is  extracted and "isolated" from all the other cannabinoids and terpenes in the cannabis or hemp plant. Isolates are normally 98-99% pure CBD. Most CBD isolates are created using a process called "supercritical CO2 extraction": the cannabis extract is filtered to remove plant matter before being purified and winterized - which means it gets frozen so that fats and lipids can easily be removed.

Most companies will be happy to tell you lots of information about their extraction process - for example, the creators of Harmony e-liquid detail their extraction process here. There's no shortage of reading material if you want to get right into the science of CBD!

CBD isolates can be purchased in crystallized or powder form, as well as mixed into ready-made e-liquids. CBD isolates are normally tasteless and have no smell which means they are versatile and great for people who are looking for a product that doesn't smell or taste like cannabis.

CBD isolates are completely legal in the UK and CBD isolate products can even be found in high street health food stores. If you are an international reader interested in CBD, please check your local laws before ordering.


Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad Spectrum CBD can be seen as the middle-ground between CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD, which is detailed below. CBD is part of a class of compounds found in the cannabis plant called "cannabinoids". Broad spectrum CBD contains CBD as well as other cannabinoids such as CBG and CBN. Broad spectrum CBD products also contain terpenes, a naturally-occuring plant molecule. Terpenes are what give plants including cannabis their taste and smell. Many e-liquids that contain terpenes are made to taste and smell exactly like specific strains of the plant - for example, Harmony's Super Lemon Haze or Mango Kush.

Broad spectrum CBD contains no THC which means it is entirely legal in the UK. It is created by mixing the desired other cannabinoids and terpenes with CBD isolates. The term broad spectrum is relatively new. Broad spectrum CBD is favoured by those who want to consume the extra cannabinoids and terpenes without consuming THC.


Full Spectrum CBD

Just like broad spectrum CBD, full spectrum CBD contains other cannabinoids and terpenes too.

Full spectrum CBD products also contain trace amounts of THC - less than 0.2% as that is the legal limit in the UK. This amount of THC shouldn't inhibit anybody but could be noticeable in drug tests. Full spectrum CBD is the form of CBD that is closest to what is produced naturally in the plant since it is a whole plant extract. Full spectrum CBD can also produce what is known as the "entourage effect"...


The Entourage Effect

In brief, the entourage effect is the concept that cannabinoids and terpenes have a synergistic relationship - the effect of them all together is greater than the sum of their effects separately. 


Which type of CBD is the best?

There's not a clear answer to this question, because there's no type of CBD that's best for everyone. Each type of CBD has something different going for it, and the best type of CBD depends on which type is the best for you. If you're looking for pure CBD with no plant taste or smell and no THC, isolate CBD might be the right choice for you. If you are interested in the effects of terpenes or other cannabinoids, you may want to try broad spectrum CBD. And if you're looking for the whole plant experience, full spectrum CBD might be the thing for you.

And once you've decided on whether you want CBD isolate, broad spectrum CBD or full spectrum CBD, you now need to choose between CBD e liquids, CBD topicals, CBD tinctures and CBD edibles! There's so much choice, and anyone looking for a CBD product can be sure they'll find something here at Vapourcore.


For product recommendations or any vaping or CBD related questions you can email us at customercare@vapourcore.com or find us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or pop in to one of our London vape shops.

Use according to instructions and ensure that the product is out of reach to children. If you are dealing with a particular ailment or health concern, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please seek advice from your doctor before using CBD products.

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