At this point, there are enough types of CBD to confuse even the most knowledgeable of hemp experts. For those who are relatively new to CBD, picking the right type of extract can be even more challenging, so it’s important to clearly delineate the differences between the options at your disposal. In this guide, we’ll compare isolate, broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, and super-spectrum CBD to simplify the process of selecting the perfect option for your needs.
— What types of CBD are there?
Originally, isolate and full-spectrum CBD were the only options available. Then, broad-spectrum CBD was added into the mix, which is almost exactly like full-spectrum CBD except that it contains undetectable concentrations of THC. Now, with the advent of Secret Nature Super Spectrum products, hemp lovers have access to a form of full-spectrum CBD that has been turbo-boosted with minor cannabinoids—including hemp-derived forms of THC.
What are the characteristics of isolate, broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, and super-spectrum CBD, and what benefits does each type of CBD have to offer? Find the answers below:
What is isolate CBD?
Isolate CBD consists of 99%+ CBD molecules. All other substances have been removed to produce a highly purified form of CBD extract.
What are the benefits of CBD isolate?
Popular during the early days of the CBD industry when testing positive for THC was a more major concern, isolate CBD fails to deliver many of the benefits of less-processed forms of CBD extract. Largely replaced by broad-spectrum CBD—which similarly does not contain any THC while still including minor cannabinoids and terpenes—CBD isolate is still useful in certain niche applications.
What is broad-spectrum CBD?
Broad-spectrum CBD is a less-purified form of hemp extract that has been modified to remove all detectable traces of THC. This type of CBD has become the preferred option for individuals who want to benefit from the entourage effect without running any risk of failing a drug test.
What are the benefits of broad-spectrum CBD?
Compared to isolate CBD, broad-spectrum CBD leverages the additional benefits of minor cannabinoids and terpenes, which combine with CBD to offer a type of synergy called the entourage effect. The quality of broad spectrum CBD varies significantly depending on how it is produced, however, with lower-quality extraction processes resulting in damaged terpenes and cannabinoids.
What is full-spectrum CBD?
Full-spectrum CBD is the most natural and unprocessed form of CBD extract. Featuring the entire unaltered spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes naturally present in hemp flower, full-spectrum CBD even contains up to 0.3% THC.
What are the benefits of full-spectrum CBD?
Full-spectrum CBD benefits greatly from its entirely unaltered composition. While THC is intoxicating in large quantities, some evidence suggests it may improve the efficacy of CBD products when included in trace amounts. At concentrations below 0.3%, THC will not produce any noticeable intoxication—the only detriment to the benefits of full-spectrum CBD is a slight chance of failing a drug test if you use too much of it over a short span of time.
What is super-spectrum CBD?
Super-spectrum CBD is an advanced form of full-spectrum CBD extract that contains an even wider range of minor cannabinoids. Bred to be naturally high in THCV, delta 8, and other forms of hemp THC not traditionally included in full-spectrum CBD extract, super-spectrum CBD represents the pinnacle of what is currently attainable with cutting-edge hemp breeding techniques.
What are the benefits of super-spectrum CBD?
Research into the entourage effect indicates that the more cannabinoids that are included in hemp extract, the stronger this synergy becomes. Additionally, hemp-derived THC alternatives each have their own unique attributes that add to the overall benefits of CBD flower or extract. Maximizing instead of limiting the number and concentration of minor cannabinoids in hemp extract shows all the signs of being the way of the future for the CBD industry.
— Strengths of CBD types compared
Now that you have a better idea of the differences between the various types of CBD that are available, it’s time to compare CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD, full-spectrum CBD, and super-spectrum CBD in terms of strength:
Is CBD isolate stronger than broad-spectrum?
Comparing the strength of isolate and broad-spectrum CBD is relatively complicated. Since it can contain over 99% cannabinoids, isolate CBD contains more cannabinoids per gram than broad-spectrum CBD. Isolate CBD, however, completely fails to offer the entourage effect, which may allow broad-spectrum CBD to deliver greater effects even though it contains fewer cannabinoids per gram.
Is full-spectrum CBD stronger than broad-spectrum?
Yes, full-spectrum CBD is unquestionably the stronger option when compared to broad-spectrum CBD. While it’s possible to produce broad-spectrum CBD without harming any of its constituent cannabinoids, broad-spectrum CBD is nonetheless a processed derivative of full-spectrum CBD, and mistakes in the THC removal process are quite common. Even though it eliminates the possibility of failing a drug test, removing THC from CBD extracts also eliminates this cannabinoid‘s benefits, making broad-spectrum CBD the undeniably weaker option.
Is super-spectrum CBD stronger than full-spectrum?
Yes, super-spectrum CBD is considerably stronger than full-spectrum CBD due to the wider range of cannabinoids it contains. Extenuating factors such as the overall cannabinoid concentrations of individual products must be considered, but assuming a hypothetical full-spectrum CBD product and a hypothetical super-spectrum CBD product contain the same amount of total cannabinoids, the super-spectrum option will be stronger.
— Best type of CBD based on product type
Even if one type of CBD is the better option overall, it might not be the best choice for every type of CBD product. In this concluding section, find out which type of CBD is ideal for edibles, drinks, vapes, dabs, and flower:
Which type of CBD is best for edibles?
Broad-spectrum or super-spectrum CBD are the most ideal options if you are making your own hemp edibles at home. Choose broad-spectrum CBD if you don’t want your edibles to contain any detectable traces of THC, but use the super-spectrum CBD flower instead if you want to take advantage of the full benefits of the entourage effect.
Which type of CBD is best for drinks?
For hot drinks, use a CBD extract derived from broad-spectrum or super-spectrum CBD flower. Oil-based CBD extracts do not dissolve well in cold drinks, however—if you want to add the CBD to water, soda, or a sports drink, you’ll need to find a source of water-soluble CBD concentrate.
Which type of CBD is best for vapes?
CBD vapes should contain either full-spectrum or super-spectrum CBD distillate. Be advised, though, that Secret Nature is the only producer of super-spectrum CBD, and at present, no Secret Nature vapes contain super-spectrum CBD extract.
As a result, true full-spectrum CBD vapes are currently your best option. Avoid vapes that contain broad-spectrum or isolate CBD extracts since processed forms of CBD concentrate are less than ideal for vape products.
Which type of CBD is best for dabs?
When it comes to dabs, the wider the spectrum of the cannabinoids you inhale, the more potent the effects. As a result, full-spectrum CBD dabs are the best option currently available, and keep an eye out for when super spectrum CBD dabs hit the market. Broad-spectrum CBD concentrate often features damaged components, and you shouldn’t dab isolate CBD since it is usually combined with other substances.
Which type of CBD is best for flower?
Only full-spectrum and super-spectrum CBD are viable for hemp flower. If a hemp flower product is advertised as containing broad-spectrum or isolate CBD, that means it includes additional sprayed-on CBD, indicating that the flower is low-quality and most likely outdoor-grown.
Some manufacturers grow low-potency CBD flower (6-7% total cannabinoids) and then spray it with CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD to increase its cannabinoid concentration. Not only is this type of CBD flower low-quality, but it is also more likely to contain both agricultural contaminants and residual solvents used in the CBD extract purification process.
CBD flower shouldn’t just be full-spectrum or super-spectrum. It should also be indoor-grown, hand-manicured, and stored in hermetically sealed containers to preserve freshness. In some cases, greenhouse-grown CBD flower is an acceptable alternative, but there’s no reason to settle for smoking low-potency, outdoor-grown hemp buds in this golden age of CBD.
The bottom line: Which spectrum of CBD is best?
Gone are the days when you had to choose between full-spectrum and isolate CBD. The advent of broad-spectrum CBD essentially eliminated the usefulness of CBD isolate, and now that super-spectrum CBD is available, there’s an even stronger option for those who want to experience the entirety of what hemp has to offer.
Unless drug testing is a concern for you, super-spectrum CBD is undeniably the most advanced and desirable form of CBD. Over the coming years, expect super-spectrum forms of CBD to become even more cannabinoid-rich, and prepare to encounter a greater number of cannabinoids you’ve never even heard of before.
Just like every form of CBD has an ideal time and place, every cannabinoid contained in CBD buds and extract has a unique story to tell. Try full-spectrum or super-spectrum CBD today to experience the full power of hemp unleashed.