Broad Spectrum CBD Oil: The THC-Free Isolate Replacement


Broad Spectrum CBD Capsules vs CBD Isolate

The re-establishment of the hemp farming industry across the USA has helped fuel the growing use of cannabidiol (CBD). This expansion has resulted in a wide range of companies that provide an even wider range of products. Picking the right product can be a tough choice, and unfortunately, many consumers have poor experiences due to a lack of understanding about what is in the products they take.

Today we are going to help demystify one of the lesser known product types: broad spectrum CBD oil. This unique product class is exciting because it offers a practical solution for those who need it and provides superior therapeutic benefits when compared to currently available alternatives.

The rest of this article leads you from start to finish through hemp extraction, the chemical compositions of the various spectrums available, and provides details as to why broad-spectrum products are a superior choice in many cases.

Hemp Extraction & Extract Spectrums

Hemp is a species of cannabis just like marijuana - yet unlike marijuana, industrial hemp is regulated across the USA to contain no more than 0.3% of Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol or Δ9-THC by dry weight. THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive 'high' associated with marijuana use.

Today, the first step in creating a CBD product is to extract a phytocannabinoid rich oil from hemp. Within this extract, you'll find a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other plant materials. This includes trace, non-psychoactive amounts of THC. These whole-plant extracts are known as full-spectrum.

While these extracts are effective, they are not suitable for use by everyone. The presence of even a trace amount of THC can put the user at risk of failing a drug test. To combat this issue, many manufacturers further process these full-spectrum extracts down into a single-molecule form of crystalline CBD called an isolate.

Up until recently, these two spectrums have been the primary product types available to consumers. CBD isolate has been the only THC-free option for many. Unfortunately, while versatile in application, isolate offers very limited therapeutic benefits when compared to a full-spectrum extract.


The Problem with CBD Isolate

CBD Isolate Powder

In a full-spectrum extract, CBD is accompanied by hundreds of other naturally occurring phytocannabinoids and terpenes, many of which have been studied to provide unique benefits. Additionally, research has also shown that these cannabis compounds provide synergistic benefits when consumed together. This synergistic cooperation is known as the entourage effect.

CBD isolate does not provide these additional and synergistic benefits due to the removal of all plant compounds except CBD during processing. Put simply, a full-spectrum product provides a much wider range of therapeutic benefits than CBD isolate does.

The trouble with full-spectrum oils is that they include small amounts of THC. For many, consuming any amount of THC is unacceptable. Groups like professional athletes, pilots, first responders, and military personnel can't risk consuming the substance without serious consequences. With full-spectrum CBD products offering such amazing potential benefits, CBD isolate simply falls short.

Broad Spectrum CBD Oil: The Ideal THC-Free Solution

Broad Spectrum CBD Capsules

Advances in manufacturing have resulted in new specialized processing that removes only the THC from a full-spectrum extract. One manufacturer, Folium Biosciences, uses a specially designed chromatography process which filters extracts through a special media to remove the THC, leaving the rest of the chemical profile intact.

These products, called broad-spectrum, combine the best of both worlds for those seeking to optimize health-related benefits in a THC-free option. They retain the maximum possible therapeutic benefit without THC exposure. When compared to the stripped down nature of an isolate, these new products are a clear winner.

While those who cannot consume THC will find these products the most attractive, even those who can ingest THC might also find broad-spectrum products are a great option. The trace amounts of THC in a full-spectrum product can often have a sedative effect. This makes broad spectrum a great option for taking during the day, with a full-spectrum product then being used in the evening to help promote a good nights rest.

When is Isolate an OK Option?

It would be unfair to compare broad spectrum and isolate products without taking a look at both sides of the coin. While the therapeutic range of benefits of broad vs isolate is clear-cut, there are still viable uses for an isolate worth mentioning:

  • An isolate is a great option if you think of it as an additive. These crystals can be added to edibles, into topicals, bath bombs, mixed with marijuana and more.
  • These crystals are a great option for dabbing and vaping.
  • Isolate is low cost, making it the only choice for some users on a tight budget.

Some users simply find an isolate to do the trick, and that is fantastic. That being said, we would still recommend comparing the benefits to a broad spectrum product - you might be surprised at what you find.

Recommended Broad Spectrum CBD Oil

Recommended Broad Spectrum Brands

If you're interested in giving this specialty spectrum a try, we suggest shopping with a high-quality provider that uses 3rd party lab testing on all their products.

We've vetted a couple brands which we highly recommend for anyone in the market for a broad spectrum product. Both Colorado-based Joy Organics and Hammer Hemp, the CBD brand of sports nutrition company Hammer Nutrition are great options. These two companies offer THC-free, lab tested, and fairly priced products.


Originally Published: September 25, 2018 | Last Updated: October 23, 2018

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