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Exploring The Difference Between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, And Isolate CBD

What’s in your CBD products?

Are you getting the most out of your CBD products? On the other hand, are you getting more than you bargained for? It’s important to know what you’re putting in your body, whether it be medication, food, even CBD. So I want us to look at the different types of CBD there are and the differences between them to help you better understand what you’re getting or not getting.

Before we dive right into things, let’s unwind and rewind back to the beginning. What is CBD? How does it work?



​​​Well, I’ll start by clearing the air from one burning speculation. CBD doesn’t get you “high”. In the cannabis plant, you can find over 100 cannabinoids, which are just chemicals that are naturally found in the plant. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of cannabinoid. On its own, it cannot get you “high” because it doesn’t contain Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is a separate cannabinoid that is responsible for that psychoactive effect.

How CBD Works

​It all starts with the search for balance. Every living thing is constantly working toward balance. The process is known as “homeostasis” and it’s all anyone wants. That’s why we diet, exercise, try to get a good night’s rest. We’re looking for balance in our bodies. Even if you aren’t consciously trying, your body is working hard to self-regulate. An important element to homeostasis is a system called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and it was discovered in 1988 during a trial that everyone has one, even animals. The ECS works like a bridge between your mind, body, and other organ systems with receptors that welcome cannabinoids to attach to it. It’s almost like CBD is the missing link to our internal system…


Not All CBD Products Are Created Equal

Now that you know what CBD is, how it differs to THC, and how it works, let’s dive right in!
There are a ton of different products out there and not all are created equal. When you walk into a CBD dispensary like Houston CBD Supply, it can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. For instance, have you ever heard the term “Full Spectrum”? Right off the bat, you may be thinking, “This must be the strongest CBD there is. I need it since the other products I’m getting don’t say this”. Well, you’d be right and wrong.

There are 3 different types of CBD products: Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate. If you have a strict job that does regular drug testing, choosing the wrong type of product could cost you your job. What?? That’s crazy, right? Well, it’s because the legal limit for THC content in CBD products is <0.3% which is basically nothing, but if your employer issues drug tests that pick up this small percentage, it could mean failing a drug test. It’s best to talk to your HR rep and let them know that you’re taking CBD. You can even find lab results for CBD products from reputable companies.

Don’t worry! This doesn’t mean you have to stop taking CBD. You just need to find the CBD that is right for you. We’ll go over how these 3 categories of CBD types differ from each other and the pros and cons of each.

The Difference

​​What makes Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate different from the other is the way that they’re processed. Remember how we learned that there are over 100 different cannabinoids in just one plant? Well there are other compounds to consider as well such as terpenes, essential oils, and flavonoids. Terpenes are organic compounds that are produced by a variety of plants and even some insects. Flavonoids are compounds that are found in almost all fruits and vegetables and they are responsible for pigment. Research shows that terpenes and flavonoids in combination with cannabinoids can offer therapeutic benefits such as pain relief, inflammatory relief, and migraine relief.

Full Spectrum

​With the way that Full Spectrum is processed, you get more of a full packed product. Full Spectrum products can contain flavonoids, terpenes, essential oils, other cannabinoids, and small amounts of THC, but still lower than that 0.3% legal limit. As we talked about earlier, this can be a con when it comes to employer drug tests. However, if you don’t need to worry about that, the fact that Full Spectrum is jam packed with a variety of natural compounds found in the cannabis plant is a hug pro. The collection of cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils extracted from the plant work together to increase the therapeutic benefits of each cannabinoid and is referred to as the “entourage effect“. With Full Spectrum, you’re getting the most that the cannabis plant has to offer.


​Isolate CBD is, you guessed it, CBD that has been isolated from all other compounds in the cannabis plant. It is the purest form of CBD: no terpenes, no essential oils, no THC. CBD is still beneficial on its own, so don’t write it off as “not a good product” when you see this type of CBD product. This is the most often picked type of CBD product there is because there is no risk of THC showing up in a drug test which is a huge pro. In Houston, there are a ton of people who work in the oilfield industry who have stressful, strenuous jobs who are looking for relief, but are worried about the cost of said relief. That’s where Isolate CBD comes in to play as the most popular type of CBD for those who are regularly issued drug tests.

Broad Spectrum

Broad Spectrum is somewhere in the middle between Full Spectrum and Isolate. Broad Spectrum can contain terpenes, essential oils, other cannabinoids, just like Full Spectrum, but just like Isolate, THC compounds have been completely removed. Broad Spectrum is a great middle ground for people who still wish to get the full benefits of the “entourage effect” without THC. The reason many people with regular drug tests don’t opt for Broad Spectrum is because they just don’t want to risk it, and that’s understandable.

Unfortunately, the people who could benefit from CBD the most have the more difficult time justifying it to an employer. But times are changing and research is ongoing, so there is hope yet!

So, are you getting the most out of your CBD products or more than you bargained for?

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