Turn over the ingredient label of any CBD product, and chances are, you’ll see the words “full spectrum,” “broad spectrum,” “isolate,” or “hemp seeds” listed before “CBD.” While we remain fans of hemp-derived CBD in its many (many!) iterations, these designations actually do mean something—and depending on what you’re seeking from your CBD, they may make a difference to you, too. Read on to decide which type of CBD is right for you.
Full Spectrum CBD
The hemp plant—a type of Cannabis sativa plant—contains many cannabinoid compounds (including CBD), and may contain up to 0.3% THC, the cannabinoid found in cannabis responsible for creating the feeling of getting “high.”
Full spectrum CBD also contains terpenes. Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds found in the flower or bud of the hemp plant—but they’re also found in citrus rinds, lavender, and shrubs. In short, terpenes help deter plant pests and attract pollinators; they have also been shown to have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
CBD and terpenes are thought to work synergistically to make the CBD more effective. While the benefits are still being researched, CBD may work with terpenes to reduce inflammation, anxiety, bacterial infections and deliver pain relief, among other benefits. When you use full spectrum CBD, whether it’s in your CBD skin care, in a CBD tincture or edible, or in a CBD body care product, you’re receiving not only the benefits of cannabidiol, but of the terpenes that work with it, as well.
Broad Spectrum CBD
Like full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD contains not only CBD, but other compounds, as well. However, broad spectrum CBD is formulated without any THC (though trace amounts may still exist).
Broad spectrum CBD may work in conjunction with the other compounds to create what healthline.com calls the “entourage” effect: partnering to create a more effective payoff for its user. Those looking for the benefits of CBD without the very small amounts of THC found in full spectrum formulas may want to reach for broad spectrum CBD in their products and natural CBD skin care.
As its name suggests, CBD isolate contains only cannabidiol, without the other compounds found in full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD. The benefits of CBD can still be enjoyed in an isolate, but without the extra “boost” of the entourage effect that may exist with additional compounds.
While CBD is derived from the flowers, stalks and leaves of the hemp plant, hemp seeds are just that: seeds of the plant. Hemp seeds are rich in fatty acids (great for skin!), nutrients and bioactive compounds, but do not contain CBD.
While hemp seed oil may deliver antioxidants and nutrients to skin and the body, it will not deliver the anti-inflammatory or anti-anxiety benefits that many of CBD’s consumers seek. “No matter what type of CBD you’re interested in, taking time to make sure you’re getting it from a reputable source, like IREMIA , is crucial,” advises Sarah Mirsini, founder of MASK CBD Skincare.
“Third-party laboratory testing can ensure you’re ingesting or applying CBD that is of the highest quality—exactly what you want when you use CBD for your health and wellness needs.”