Comparison of CBD Types: Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Isolate
With so many types of CBD supplements on the market, it can be tough to know which products you can trust and use with confidence. To help you make an informed decision we’re comparing the different types of CBD available today so you can take your training and recovery to the next level.
All types of CBD start out as an extract from the hemp plant, typically through a process using solvents like CO2. During this extraction process, the various chemical compounds found in hemp, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, are stripped from the plant and dissolved in oil to make them easier to administer and store. In order to be legal for sale in the US, hemp-derived extracts cannot contain THC levels greater than 0.3%, a level at which there are no psychoactive properties associated with the formulations, so there’s no risk of feeling the sensation of getting “high”.
Full-spectrum CBD formulations retain THC as one of over 120 naturally occurring plant compounds derived from CBD, while broad spectrum formulations remove THC while retaining the remaining compounds. Isolate CBD removes all plant compounds with the exception of CBD, which is why it can sometimes be referred to as “pure CBD” although this label can be misleading, as stripping the complementary plant compounds can limit the effectiveness of isolate formulations. Each form of CBD has different characteristics and appeals to different audiences based on their individual needs.
Full-spectrum CBD formulations contain the complete spectrum of plant compounds found in the hemp plant, including CBD and trace amounts of THC, as well as flavor compounds like terpenes, and essential oils.
The advantages of full-spectrum CBD result from what’s known as the “entourage effect”. The full range of compounds extracted from the hemp plant y work together as a team to amplify the benefits of each individual cannabinoid. With full-spectrum CBD you’re getting the maximum potential for benefits because all of the compounds are present and interacting together. While full-spectrum CBD does have trace amounts of THC, it’s not enough to cause any psychoactive effects of feeling “high”.
Broad-spectrum CBD is extracted in a similar manner as full-spectrum CBD and contains CBD and most of the other cannabinoids and compounds within the plant, with the exception of THC, which is removed after the initial extraction.
Because broad-spectrum extracts contain multiple cannabinoids, they also produce some of the “entourage effect”, but without the additional benefits that come with the presence of THC. So while broad spectrum formulations contain most of the benefits associated with CBD, the removal of THC from its profile can limit overall effectiveness compared with full-spectrum CBD.
CBD isolate is the most simple form of CBD and results from the removal of all naturally occurring plant compounds found in the hemp plant with the exception of CBD.
The advantage of CBD isolate over other formats is that it contains the highest concentration of CBD per serving. Isolate formulations are typically 99% pure, meaning that one gram of isolate powder carries about 990 mg of CBD. The downside to isolate CBD is that while you can benefit from the effects of CBD, you do not gain the positive effects associated with the entourage effect, which limits overall effectiveness of the product.
Full-Spectrum, Broad Spectrum or Isolate - Which is More Effective?
Research from Israel published in 2015 concluded that the synergistic entourage effects that come with full-spectrum CBD make it the superior formulation in terms of benefits. At Champions + Legends we firmly believe in the potential of full-spectrum CBD and use it across all of our products to provide athletes with the best support possible. All of our products undergo a rigorous six phase testing protocol to ensure the high quality levels demanded by elite athletes.