Guide to CBD product descriptions
Guide to CBD product descriptions

Isolate, Distillate, Full Spectrum: A Guide to Understanding the CBD You’re Buying

What type of CBD should you buy and what are the options on the market?

Posted by:
Joseph Billions on Saturday Dec 12, 2020

Isolate, Distillate, Full Spectrum: Understanding the CBD You’re Buying

guide to cbd products online

CBD has drastically grown in popularity over the past couple of years and this has been vastly propagated by the increasing acceptance of cannabis worldwide. The enormous growth of the cannabis industry has now placed many cannabis users in a beneficial dilemma when it comes to choosing the best CBD products to buy. With the vast variety of CBD products on display, a user must have adequate information on the different types of products available if such a user wants the best. Adequate information helps a buyer decide on which product to choose and which product to forgo.

In this article, I'll be drilling down on all there is to know about CBD concentrates. I'll talk about the benefits and downsides of each type and drop some tips to help you choose the best.

The world  of Cannabidiol

The prominence of CBD has seen many products surface over the years with different types of uses. There are now dozens of cannabis products everywhere with different claims; making it hard for the majority, especially newbies to know what product to purchase. Before delving into concentrates, let's briefly look at CBD.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most important cannabinoid after THC in terms of popularity. It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that can be used to treat pain, insomnia, and anxiety. The cannabinoid helps to promote relaxation and calmness of the mind which accounts for its use in dealing with anxiety and other conditions. Although cannabis is still considered illegal federally in the United States, legal CBD is derived from cured or dried hemp. Hemp can easily be described as a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC which is accepted as legal under the Farm Bill. Over the past couple of years, CBD has been incorporated into different types of products such as oils, tinctures, lotions, topical creams, salves, and edibles.

Types of CBD concentrate

There are three basic types of CBD concentrates namely full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and distillate, and isolate CBD. We will be looking closely into the three types, their downsides, and benefits.


Full-spectrum CBD refers to everything extracted from the source cannabis plant. it includes plant molecules such as cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. The product appears thick and dark as the extract contains different types of molecules. This presence of more constituents makes full-spectrum extracts more expensive than other alternatives.

Benefits of full spectrum

More beneficial for ailments

The presence of different types of molecules in the full spectrum extract makes it more beneficial for different types of ailments. Apart from the over 100 cannabinoids embedded in the cannabis plant matrix, there are other beneficial compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids. The presence of these compounds in the full spectrum extract makes it more beneficial and effective for treating ailments.

Entourage effect

The presence of different types of cannabinoids in the full spectrum extract makes it beneficial due to the entourage effect. Different types of studies have been carried out to support the entourage effect of cannabinoids. This entourage effect shows how different cannabinoids complement that effect of others. CBD for example helps to remove the unwanted effects that come with the high experienced with THC.

Improves taste and smell

The presence of beneficial terpenes and flavonoids influences the taste and smell of the product. Full-spectrum cannabis has a distinct taste and smell which is majorly influenced by the presence of terpenes. This is one of the reasons why many choose full-spectrum extracts over other alternatives.

Downsides of full spectrum

Not suitable for those that want THC-free

Due to the fact that many prospective CBD users are liable to having drug tests, they want products that are completely free of THC. Unfortunately, THC is a vital component of full-spectrum extract. This makes full-spectrum extract unusable for such people.

Broad-spectrum distillate

Broad-spectrum distillate contains everything from CBD except the THC component. The extract still contains other cannabinoids embedded in the compound but the THC component is removed. Distillate extract is achieved by putting the extract gotten from the source through several refining processes. It can also be arrived at by taking the isolate CBD and infusing it with terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids except for THC. The resulting extract is thick, tough, and concentrated.

Benefits of broad-spectrum distillate


The removal of the THC component makes the broad-spectrum distillate suitable for some types of users that are prone to drug tests. The lack of THC component in the extract has made distillate extract very popular among users.

Entourage effect

Despite the removal of THC, the compound still has a considerable level of entourage effect due to other cannabinoids present. This makes it suitable to deal with common types of ailments.

Downsides of broad-spectrum distillate

Lesser effects than full spectrum

The fact that the THC component has been removed from the distillate means that it has lesser effects compared to the full spectrum. This is the major downside of broad-spectrum distillate.


This is the pure CBD component. It is made by refining broad-spectrum CBD and removing other compounds leaving only CBD. The resulting product is a solid crystalline or powdery product. The product is the purest form of CBD with no traces of THC and other cannabinoids.

Benefit of Isolate 

No traces of THC

The isolate is the purest form of CBD which means that there are no traces of THC. This makes it suitable for those that are prone to drug tests.

Downside of isolate

Less effective than full and broad spectrum

The absence of other cannabinoids removes the entourage effect of the isolate. This makes the isolate less effective.

Bottom line

The understanding of the differences between isolate, broad, and distillate helps a buyer to know what to look out for. It is also advisable to patronize trusted brands to ensure that the product has sufficient amounts of the active ingredients, it also makes the process of choosing a product to purchase much easier. It is also advisable that buyers seek professional advice before going for a product, especially for medical cannabis.








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