If you’re interested in entering the fast-growing market for CBD products, you need to know what types of CBD are available and which one is best for your particular product.
There are three primary types of CBD that producers can use for CBD-infused products: CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD, and broad-spectrum CBD. These three types, while all cannabinoids, have different properties.
Depending on your intended use, there are benefits to each type along with some debate around which is most effective. To help you determine what CBD to include in your products, here’s a primer on how CBD works and the differences between the three main types.
How CBD works
CBD stands for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, including hemp.
Cannabinoids appear in the stalks, seeds, and the flowers of these plants. They are active chemical compounds that interact with the human body’s natural endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors are located throughout the body and control appetite, mood, memory, and pain sensation. The effects people experience when they use products containing CBD are largely attributable to cannabinoids.
Hemp-derived CBD is a cannabinoid extracted specifically from the hemp plant. After extraction, it can be refined into three main types of CBD: CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD, or broad-spectrum CBD. These three types of CBD have different effects, making it crucial for product developers to know what they want their customers to experience to be able to choose the best CBD derivative.
CBD isolate is exactly what it sounds like: CBD isolated from all the other chemical compounds like terpenes, phenolics, and other cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant. Because the isolation process is complex, CBD isolate is the most difficult to produce. The end result is either a pure powder or a crystal isolate.
Producers wishing to steer clear of any tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, in their products often choose CBD isolate as it doesn’t contain this controversial cannabinoid. THC is the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant that causes users to feel “high.”
CBD isolate is tasteless and odorless, making it a versatile ingredient that’s easily mixed with other ingredients. It can be used in end products that are ingested orally or applied topically such as lotions, edible gummies, or tinctures to hold under the tongue until dissolved. It’s generally considered safe, because it doesn’t contain any THC.
While its efficacy is still being researched, because CBD isolate contains no THC, some believe it may not deliver as much relief to users as full- or broad-spectrum CBD.
Full-spectrum CBD contains the full range of cannabinoids, including THC. Only CBD products containing 0.3% or less of THC are currently legal. But if there are legal constraints around THC, why does anyone want to include it? Because of the “entourage effect.”
Some believe that CBD in combination with THC and other chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant enhance its effectiveness. This is what’s referred to as the “entourage effect.” While scientists are yet to confirm that the entourage effect is legitimate, it is known that different chemical compounds found in cannabis plants have different effects on the body. When the compounds are separated, like in the case of CBD isolate, some effects won’t be triggered that would be if it still contained THC. This is why many tout full-spectrum CBD oil as more effective than CBD isolate.
To maximize the impact of ingesting or applying CBD, many choose full-spectrum CBD. It typically comes as an oil that can be applied directly to the skin or made into a tincture to be taken orally. Full-spectrum CBD is easy to use, can be made into many products, and may be more effective than CBD isolate.
Because it contains THC, full-spectrum CBD can have a distinct odor and taste that not everyone enjoys. And while full-spectrum CBD should not cause users to feel “high,” there’s no guarantee it won’t have some psychoactive effects. Finally, THC is not legal in all states, like Texas, which could cause legal issues for producers if they participate in interstate commerce.
Broad-spectrum CBD is similar to full-spectrum CBD in that it contains other chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant with the exception of THC. The prevailing belief is that this form of CBD retains the benefits of the entourage effect without the risk of users feeling “high” or the legal concerns associated with THC. There is less research currently available on broad-spectrum CBD as most efforts so far have focused on CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD.
Broad-spectrum CBD is an oil that can be taken orally or topically. It’s easy to use and may be ideal for producers looking to gain some of the entourage effect without the potential legal ramifications that come with THC.
While it doesn’t contain THC, broad-spectrum CBD can still have a strong taste and odor because it retains most of the chemical components of the cannabis plant.
Choosing the best CBD for your product needs
As you evaluate the best form of CBD for your product development, you’ll want to consider your answers to the following questions:
Are you comfortable with your products containing THC within legal limits?
Will an oil or a powder work best?
Does the CBD need to be odorless?
Does it need to be tasteless?
Do you have specific requirements for viscosity?
Depending on your answers to these questions, you can begin to determine the best CBD for your specific product requirements. You’ll also want to pay close attention to regulatory updates and new research findings that could impact your decision.
Selecting the best CBD supplier
Regardless of the CBD type you choose, choosing a reliable and high-quality supplier is an important decision. As in any industry, there may be suppliers that make false or unsubstantiated claims about their hemp-derived CBD, which adds risk to both producers and consumers.
In the end, the quality of your finished product is only as good as the quality of its ingredients. Integrated CBD is producing vertically integrated, Verified Organic™, and GMP Certified hemp-derived CBD for a range of uses. To see our operations for yourself, contact us for a tour.