Not all CBD oils are the same. CBD oils may be differentiated by the amount and ratio of THC and CBD (mg/ml) as well as the presence of other cannabinoids and/or terpenes and flavonoids. The cannabinoid spectrum range contained within a CBD oil product is what determines whether the product is full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate.
CBD Isolate oil
CBD isolate oil only contains one active ingredient (CBD) in the oil. In scientific terms, CBD isolate is the purest form of the compound. It is produced by extracting and isolating CBD from all other compounds found in the cannabis plant, including fibrous plant material, terpenes, flavonoids and other cannabinoids. As a comparison, this is equivalent to isolating ethanol from an alcoholic beverage such as wine or beer.
CBD isolate is usually added to a carrier oil, such as olive oil, sesame oil or MCT oil in preparation for human consumption. The benefits of CBD isolate oil over other types of CBD oils are that it’s generally cheaper, it does not contain THC, and patients may still be able to drive while being treated. The disadvantage of CBD Isolate oil is that other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are excluded from the oil, which removes the potential synergistic effects that may exist in a full spectrum oil.
Full Spectrum CBD oil
Full spectrum CBD oil is an extract that contains all the compounds found naturally occurring in a cannabis plant. This includes all terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids inherent to the plant. Research suggests that these compounds work together to create an enhanced therapeutic outcome known as ‘the entourage effect.’
Not all full spectrum CBD oils are the same. The genetics or strains of cannabis from which CBD oil is extracted can vary significantly. Full spectrum CBD oils each have a unique chemical composition of different cannabinoid, terpene and flavonoid profiles, which may produce a range of effects or results for patients. As the entourage effect is influenced by the presence of different cannabinoid, terpene and flavonoid profiles, the genetics of the plant source(s) from which a particular CBD oil is extracted will affect this synergy.
Broad Spectrum CBD oil
Broad spectrum CBD oil is similar to full spectrum CBD oil in that the compounds found within the cannabis plant are preserved in the extract. However, in broad spectrum CBD oil the THC component is removed. As broad spectrum CBD oil contains a range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, it may still influence the ‘entourage effect’ without the risk of any psychoactive effects associated with THC.
Additionally, given it is currently illegal to drive with detectable amounts of THC in your body, some doctors and patients consider broad spectrum CBD oil to be a more convenient product than full spectrum CBD oil.