Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, or CBD Isolate: What’s the Difference?

CBD products are hitting the market en masse and there are many consumers new to the products, whether it’s for their own consumption or for that of their pets, and there is no shortage of questions that need to be answered. One of the more common inquiries is: “What’s the difference between full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate?”

The short answer is that the compounds contained in full and broad spectrum differ only a very little, but in important ways. However, CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD, wherein all the other cannabis compounds are stripped out. It doesn’t even contain terpenes, which means it doesn’t have a smell or taste. Let’s take a look at each of these and establish the differences, beginning with CBD isolate.

CBD Isolate

The process of refining CBD to an isolate involves just a few, yet complex steps. Most manufacturers use CO2 or ethanol to extract the CBD. With CO2 extraction, considered one of the more high-tech methods, cannabis is placed in a chamber under extremely high carbon dioxide pressure and also at a very low temperature. With ethanol, considered easier and less costly, it is used as a solvent to extract the CBD from the flowers and other parts of the cannabis. Rather than containing a small dosage (less than 0.3%) of THC, as the full spectrum variety does, the CBD isolate has no THC. This is a bonus for those who want zero THC in their system. The disadvantage (to some) is that without the terpenes and essential oils and the trace amount of THC, isolate lacks the “entourage effect,” which is the often-stated health advantage found in full and broad-spectrum CBD.

Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD is derived from an extraction process that most often uses super-chilled butane or propane, which helps to retain the terpenes and cannabinoids. While this process removes the hemp plant’s impurities, it also seeks to remove almost all traces of the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Proponents of broad-spectrum CBD prefer to leverage the CBD “entourage effect” while omitting any traces of THC. It is important to note, however, that any remaining amounts of THC after the extraction process would in fact be just that, traces of CBD, which cannot cause any psychotic effects.

Full Spectrum CBD

The full spectrum extraction process retains the highest number of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, which is a reason why some consider it the preferred CBD product. It also includes trace amounts of THC and THCA (less than .03% combined). Having that little amount of THC in the oil will not produce the “high” that recreational marijuana users experience, but instead will work together with the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids to produce an “entourage effect,” which proponents believe is more effective than any other type of extraction available.

PetSoothe is proud to use full-spectrum CBD, and our supplier even goes one step further by taking the oil through a distillation process that further refines the CBD oil. Distillation involves gently heating the oil so the lipids, fats, and waxes, which are naturally occurring in the cannabis plant, are separated from the oil. Once distilled, the oil is more refined and definitely purer.

At PetSoothe, we fully believe in and embrace the solvent-less CO2 extraction process, as it is the cleanest and most natural method available. Check out our line of products for canines. At PetSoothe, we’re animal lovers and we’re committed to doing everything we can to make their lives as pleasant as possible, and it shows in our passion for creating top-notch CBD products for canines.

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