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Different types of CBD

Types of CBD

Anyone considering CBD must first understand that there are three kinds of CBD generally available: CBD isolate, Broad Spectrum CBD and Full Spectrum CBD. Knowing the difference between these will help you make a more educated decision on which CBD product will best suit your needs.

Full Spectrum CBD refers to the full range of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and other compounds that are present within the plant. Sometimes referred to as ‘Whole Plant Extract,’ the idea is precisely that - to preserve the goodness of the entirety of the plant. Full Spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC, which are so low that it won't cause the undesired 'high' associated with THC. 

Broad Spectrum CBD put simply is Full Spectrum CBD minus any trace amounts of THC. 

CBD Isolate is an extract that solely contains the CBD cannabinoid and nothing else.

There is a term called the ‘entourage effect.’ This theory suggests that CBD is most effective when it is working alongside a range of other compounds, meaning that many opt for Broad or Full Spectrum products. However studies into the entourage effect so far are inconclusive, so we still cannot definitively prove nor disprove this theory. What is most important is that you understand the different types of CBD, so that you can get a better understanding of what product is right for you.

How do I know which CBD brand to choose?

There are no good and bad brands per se, but there are a few indicators you should look out for when choosing a brand.

1. Certifications of Analysis (COA)

Any product you purchase should have a unique batch number that corresponds to a particular COA. COA’s are important because they essentially prove a product’s compliance. If you cannot easily locate a brand’s COA on their website, then there is a good chance their product is non-compliant and potentially dangerous.

2. Independently Lab-Tested

Brands that independently lab test their products indicate that they have taken a further step to test the product themselves which is a solid indicator of safety.

3. The CBD comes from naturally-grown hemp

The safest CBD oil will be sourced in an area where the government requires farmers to be certified to grow hemp. The extraction process, in which the CBD oil is extracted from the raw hemp plant, should also be done in an ISO accredited or certified laboratory to ensure that the final product does not contain any heavy metals, bacteria, or any other foreign material.

Following these steps are crucial as the CBD market is still largely unregulated. One study carried out by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) found that more than 60% of CBD products sold on the UK high street did not have the advertised CBD content, including 8 products that had more than the stated amount of CBD. Whilst this will almost absolutely change with the impending regulatory changes coming at the end of March 2021, be mindful that this is ultimately something you are putting inside your body to support you, so be diligent and avoid cutting corners.