CBD: Provide most effective relief

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Monday, October 5, 2020

Q. What’s the difference between full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolates, and does it matter?

A. A CBD isolate has been put through a refinement process that removes all other cannabinoids and plant matter, resulting in nothing but the CBD compound. Most often you’ll see this sold as a powder or wax and, occasionally, as an oil. While isolate is purely CBD, which will still provide some benefits to anxiety and inflammation treatments, using an isolate will typically take trial and error with figuring out effective dosing and losing out on the “entourage effect” that you’d get through a broad or full spectrum product. In short, it’s never the first thing I recommend to someone looking for relief.

Broad spectrum and full spectrum products are likely what you see the most in stores and online. The only difference between broad spectrum and full spectrum is that broad spectrum has undergone a process to have all THC removed, whereas full spectrum CBD uses the entirety of the hemp plant and can contain up to 0.3% THC, which, it's important to note, is so minute the product can still be considered THC-free and legal in all 50 states.

Both broad and full spectrum offer the user benefits of the “entourage effect,” which simply refers to the way that all the cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes in an extract work together to be more effective. Broad spectrum products are appealing to anyone who is completely against THC and, while I stress that it would take a ton of full spectrum product to even have to worry about THC being traceable in your system, I can see the appeal for people who are paranoid about it. Full spectrum always wins for me in terms of effectiveness, though, because many studies have shown that even that tiny trace amount of THC enhances the entourage effect and provides the most effective relief.

Andrea Mangini is director of marketing at Well Care Brands. Reach her at andrea@wellcarebrands.com