CBD & The Human Body
Science & Health
Full, Broad & Isolate
You’ve probably read all different types of CBD oils and may be confused about the various categories and how they are different. In this article, we will break down the three general categories of CBD oil: full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum CBD oil, and CBD isolates. By the time you’re done reading this article, it will all make sense and you will better understand why broad spectrum Phytocannabinoid Rich (PCR) oil is the superior option.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil
CBD oil that is labeled “full-spectrum” is a product that contains not just CBD but also the compounds that occur naturally within the cannabis plant from which it is derived. For some, this has both pluses and minuses. This is because the full spectrum contains THC, which causes the intoxicating or “high effect.” That said, the product might contain too little an amount of THC to cause any psychoactive effects or to make it illegal, but it still will contain trace amounts of THC. This can be a drawback to people who are not comfortable with THC or fear that it could show up on drug tests, even if the risk is minimal.
The plus side to full-spectrum is that besides the THC, it also contains the other naturally occurring compounds found in the plant. These may enhance CBD’s therapeutic effects, as compared to when it acts alone in isolation. This is called the entourage effect.
According to an article published in the British Journal of Pharmacology about the entourage effect, “Phytocannabinoid-terpenoid interactions that could produce synergy with respect to the treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections.1”
So what are these other compounds interacting to produce the entourage effect?
Flavonoids are one of the key compounds that contribute to the entourage effect. This is the group of plant chemicals that produce bright colors found in fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacterial anti-fungal, ant-viral, anti-cancer, and anti-diarrheal properties2.
Terpenes are another beneficial compound contained in a full spectrum product. These are the aromatic organic compounds produced by a variety of plants including pine, lavender, lemongrass, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, mint, mangos, and nutmeg. (Terpenes are also to thank for that marijuana smell.) Like flavonoids, some terpenes are also credited with offering health and therapeutic benefits to humans. Cannabis terpenes have been used to promote sleep and fight inflammation and studies have also shown the terpene duo can act as an antidepressant3.
All of these compounds acting together along with the CBD have may amplify the effect of CBD’s potential benefits.
When you put that all together, broad-spectrum Phytocannabinoid Rich (PCR) oil is the preferred option amongst those who are knowledgeable about CBD because it contains all the beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids that allow for the entourage effect without the THC. Another reason to choose PCR is that it contains as much as ten times the concentration of CBD as generic industrial hemp
Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil
Now that you understand what full spectrum oil is, understanding broad-spectrum is going to be a breeze. A product will be labeled “broad-spectrum” when all the naturally occurring cannabinoids are retained except for the THC. So the terpenes, flavonoids and other compounds that work in concert with CBD to cause the entourage effect are still present. However, the THC has been completely removed so that not even trace amounts remain. For many, this is the preferred option because the product can provide all the enhanced benefits of the entourage effect, without the potential risks or unwanted effects of THC. Also, with broad-spectrum, there is no fear of THC showing up on a drug test. (All of Botanima Organics’ tinctures and capsules are phytocannabinoid-rich, broad-spectrum.)
The final category of CBD products is called CBD isolate, which is exactly what it sounds like—pure CBD with nothing else but CBD. CBD isolates do not contain any of the naturally occurring cannabinoids that are found in full-spectrum and broad-spectrum oils. All of these compounds have been extracted, along with any impurities. The advantage for many is that no THC is present. Isolates are commonly seen in white powder form. Also, it is tasteless and odorless and it may be the best option for anyone who has been directed to take high dosages of CBD. The disadvantage is that isolates do not allow for the entourage effect to occur.
- Russo EB. Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Aug;163(7):1344-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x. PubMed PMID: 21749363; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3165946.
- Panche, A. N., Diwan, A. D., & Chandra, S. R. (2016). Flavonoids: an overview. Journal of nutritional science, 5, e47. doi:10.1017/jns.2016.41
- Guzmán-Gutiérrez SL, Bonilla-Jaime H, Gómez-Cansino R, Reyes-Chilpa R., Life Sci. 2015 May 1;128:24-9. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2015.02.021. Epub 2015 Mar 11.
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