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“Whole Plant” Hemp Extracts vs THC Free: What is the Difference?

“Whole Plant” Hemp Extracts vs THC Free: What is the Difference?

Most people use the term CBD oil interchangeably for multiple products. The term CBD oil, however, is limiting, because many CBD oil products contain multiple cannabinoids. The majority of the CBD oil that you can get for medical and wellness purposes come from the hemp plant (vs marijuana). We differentiate CBD oils by their cannabinoid content.

There are three main types of CBD oil that you’ll hear about:

  1. Isolate (CBD Only)
  2. Full Spectrum CBD oil
  3. Broad Spectrum CBD oil

What’s the difference between broad spectrum, full spectrum and isolate in CBD oil?

The difference between broad spectrum, full spectrum and CBD isolate is simply the chemical compound content found in each of the products.


Full spectrum CBD contains all of the cannabinoids and other plant compounds, including small amounts of THC. Broad spectrum CBD contains all cannabinoids and plant compounds other than THC.


CBD isolate only contains CBD and is often found in crystal or powder form.


CBD Isolate


CBD isolate is a true ‘CBD or CBD oil’ because an isolate only contains CBD (cannabidiol) and does not contain any other cannabinoids, terpenes, or healthy fatty acids from the plant. Most companies sell isolate as a crystal or a powder, however, some sell it as an oil. 

It is made through the same extraction process as other CBD oils. The difference is that once the cannabinoids are extracted, the CBD is filtered out. It then goes through a chilling process called winterisation, which removes all other chemical compounds. 

Isolate is often used for vaping, and when in crystal or powder form is generally administered by putting it under the tongue. The benefits of isolate over other types of CBD are that it’s generally cheaper and it has no THC. The downside is that you miss out on the potential entourage effect which exists when a full spectrum of the cannabinoids is present in the oil.


Full Spectrum CBD


Full spectrum CBD oil is very different from CBD isolate. We say this because full spectrum CBD oil has CBD and all of the other cannabinoids (including THC), terpenes and fatty acids that naturally occur in the cannabis plant. Full spectrum CBD is often called a full or whole plant extract.


In a full spectrum extract, the oil goes through the cannabinoid extraction process and filtration, however, none of the cannabinoids or other compounds are removed. While full spectrum CBD does have THC, it does not contain enough THC to get you high. It will however likely cause a positive drug test.


The benefits of a full spectrum CBD oil is that many of the other chemical compounds and cannabinoids in a full-plant extract have healing properties. For example, the terpenes (scent and flavor molecules) in the cannabis plant are known to have anti-inflammatory and other soothing properties. Other cannabinoids found in a whole plant extract are thought to enhance the overall benefits of taking CBD.


Studies have concluded that a CBD oils with a full-plant extract have greater medicinal properties than only CBD. Because the oil has all of the cannabinoids and other chemical compounds, you will get the positive effects of the chemical synergies called the entourage effect.


Broad Spectrum CBD


Broad spectrum CBD oil is a middle ground between CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD oils. It has all of the cannabinoids and other chemical compounds except for THC, so you’re likely to gain some of the beneficial effects of the entourage effect.


Like its counterparts, broad spectrum CBD oil goes through the normal extraction process. For places where THC is illegal or job restrictions prohibit THC, the benefit of broad spectrum CBD oil is that in the final stages of processing, the THC is removed from the extract. Therefore, broad spectrum CBD oil will not show up on a drug test if the test is looking for THC.


To sum it up:


There are three main types of CBD products:

  • CBD Isolate Oil which contains only CBD and usually comes in a powder or crystal form. (Our Original CBD Oil Tincture)
  • Full Spectrum CBD Oil which contains all of the cannabinoids and other chemicals that naturally occur in the plant before extraction.
  • Broad Spectrum CBD Oil has everything that full spectrum contains except for the THC.


When you purchase a CBD product you will want to decide between a CBD isolate like our Strawberry Lemonade gummies, or a “whole plant” product, like our Full Spectrum CBD Oil and Full Spectrum gummies!


No CBD oil will get you high, but those with THC in them may show up on a drug test. When deciding on which CBD products to take, you’ll need to do your research and speak to your doctor about which type of product will work best for you.

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