The sheer volume of different CBD products available online or on shop shelves can be challenging. Knowing which brands to choose from, understanding the information on the labels, and choosing what kind of CBD product to go for are all decisions that every first-time CBD user needs to face.
If you feel overwhelmed and do not know where to start, don’t worry. As soon as you understand the difference between CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD oil, and full-spectrum CBD oil, you will be more than ready. And this is what we will help you with today.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. While CBD and THC are the two best-known cannabinoids, scientists have so far discovered more than 100 of them.
So what is so unique about cannabinoids? And why do people talk about them so much? This fascination is partly due to the fact that cannabinoids are shockingly similar to endocannabinoids.
If you’ve not heard about endocannabinoids before, here's a quick explanation of what they are and what they do.
Endocannabinoids are chemicals produced naturally in the human body. The role of endocannabinoids is to send "go" and "stop" messages to specific receptors spread throughout the body. This simple interaction between endocannabinoids and the endocannabinoid receptors influences different processes that take place in our bodies. These processes can be anything from anxiety levels and sleep quality to appetite and pain management.
Endocannabinoids and cannabinoids are so similar that when we apply any cannabinoid products, the receptors in our body can interact with them just like with endocannabinoids. This is why cannabis-derived compounds might make such a big difference.
While THC and CBD both come from the cannabis plant, they affect us in very different ways. THC is psychoactive and will have an intoxicating effect (leaving you feeling "high"), while CBD is not intoxicating at all, and will never make you feel out of control.
The cannabinoid spectrum briefly explained
CBD products sold in Europe are extracted from hemp - a variety of cannabis known for its high content of CBD, but low content of THC (usually around 0.2%-0.3%).
However, CBD does not grow on hemp as apples do on apple trees. Instead, to access CBD, producers need to use an extraction process. The CO2 extraction method is popular among high-quality CBD producers, as it is very safe and allows for the gentle handling of cannabinoids. So when you purchase products with ingredients extracted using this particular method, you know you're looking at reliable producers.
Modern extraction methods allow us to create three different types of CBD products: CBD isolates, broad-spectrum CBD, and full-spectrum CBD.
What are they, and how do they differ from each other? Let's find out!
What is a CBD isolate?
When you buy a CBD oil with "isolate" placed on the label, you are purchasing a pure CBD oil.
While CBD isolates will also include other ingredients, such as a carrier MCT oil, they will not contain any traceable amounts of other cannabinoids. And if you're wondering why there needs to be an MCT oil in the product, it is because without it the body is not able to absorb the CBD correctly. Usually, producers will select a carrier oil that is natural and well-known, such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil.
Some isolates might also include added flavours. Whether you decide to go for an isolate with or without an added flavour is entirely up to you, as it does not impact the effectiveness of the CBD in any way.
A great selling point for isolates is that they are a good product to use if your workplace has a strict drug policy. Even though CBD comes from the cannabis plant, it is not a narcotic, and a real CBD isolate will never give a false positive on a drug test.
What is a broad-spectrum CBD oil?
Broad-spectrum CBD oil contains more than just CBD. Instead, it will contain a wide selection of ingredients found in the cannabis plant, with one exception - THC.
This type of CBD oil is worth considering, as scientists have noticed that the benefits of various cannabinoids are amplified when applied together with other natural chemical compounds found in cannabis. This refers to things like terpenes (responsible for flavour and taste) and other cannabinoids. Scientists call this “the entourage effect”.
By selecting a broad-spectrum CBD product, you allow your body to experience the entourage effect, making it possible for you to take full advantage of all of the potential health benefits that might be resulting from using CBD.
What is a full-spectrum CBD oil?
The most popular CBD oils fall under the "full-spectrum" category.
Full-spectrum CBD oils include ALL of the beneficial compounds found in the cannabis plant, even THC (although in very small quantities.)
The amounts of THC present in full-spectrum products sold in Europe are too small to induce any euphoric effects or the feeling of being "high" (which is what THC is famous for). This means that you can be confident that your full-spectrum product (if purchased in Europe) will not impact your ability to perform complicated tasks even in the slightest bit.
Because of all of the natural and beneficial ingredients found in the full-spectrum CBD oil, many of our customers pick this type of CBD oil as their supplement of choice. This is because full-spectrum oil has a better chance of helping you manage any issues you may have or any areas of your life that you want to improve.
Currently, studies about this topic(s) are not representative. Fundamental statements about improvements of problems and/or conditions, therefore, can't be done.
Which CBD oil is best for me?
While it is hard to ignore the benefits of the entourage effect, it is essential to mention that the best CBD product is the one you feel most comfortable using.
Some people decide to jump right in and use full-spectrum CBD oils from the very beginning and love the results. But if you still feel a bit unsure about the idea of introducing CBD into your life, you might be better off starting with isolates or broad-spectrum products.
While early research suggests that broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD oils might benefit humans more than CBD isolates, isolates are still capable of maybe making you feel better and improving your wellbeing.
And if you're still unsure which oil to choose, feel free to visit our concept store or reach out via email. With years of experience in supporting first time CBD users, our trained and passionate staff will be able to answer any questions you might have.
Disclaimer - what you should know
CBD has to be registered as a cosmetic product in Germany. For this reason, we are only selling CBD oil spray which is a product for oral hygiene. That's also why you shouldn't swallow it.
Other countries like the UK for example can register CBD as a nutritional supplement. That's why you will find most of the CBD oils as drops using a dropper as an applicator.