Exploring Different Types of CBD Oil

Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. CBD Isolate Blog Cover

Posted on December 20th, 2021 to Education

Planning to buy CBD oil? It won’t take long to recognize that the descriptor “CBD oil” is more than a little ambiguous. CBD oil is essentially a cannabis concentrate made with the cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol), but from here, things do get a little more complicated. Below is a closer look at cannabis concentrates, types of CBD oil, and more. You’ll notice when you start looking for the best product that there are a plethora of different types of CBD products, and, yes, as a newcomer, this can be a little confusing.

CBD Oils vs Tinctures

Historically, a tincture had an entirely different meaning. In short, tinctures were always alcohol-based solutions designed to be taken sublingually (under the tongue). Some product manufacturers still follow this concept when it comes to cannabinoids; they will call their product a tincture if it has an alcohol base. However, today, you will also find a lot of CBD oils labeled as tinctures when they have no alcohol in them at all. In reality, the two terms, CBD tincture and CBD oil, are most often used interchangeably.

Even though shopping for CBD can seem a little intimidating at first, a few pointers will get you on track to find the product that will yield the best results. Perhaps one of the most important things to learn is the difference between full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate.

Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. CBD Isolate Oils

What is full spectrum CBD oil?

A full-spectrum CBD product contains numerous compounds taken from the hemp plant, and not just cannabidiol alone. The hemp plant may be most known for its high concentration of CBD, but just like any plant in the cannabis family, hemp contains a full spectrum of other cannabinoids like CBG (cannabigerol), CBC (cannabichromene), and even fraction levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Likewise, the plant contains a long list of terpenes, which vary depending on the specific strain. Essentially, full-spectrum CBD products are less refined or processed, delivering a more natural end result.

What is broad spectrum CBD oil?

Broad-spectrum CBD contains cannabidiol, terpenes, essential oils, and even other cannabinoids found in hemp. However, the one thing that broad-spectrum CBD does not contain is THC. By law, CBD products can contain up to 0.3 percent THC, but broad-spectrum products have gone through further processing to eliminate THC completely. Therefore, a broad-spectrum CBD product is a good secondary option to full-spectrum if you are trying to stay away from THC.

What is CBD isolate?

CBD isolate is considered the purest form of CBD. In short, a product labeled as “CBD isolate” is solely cannabidiol—no THC, no terpenes, no essential oils, and no other cannabinoids. When CBD is isolated, it becomes this crystalline substance that has more of a consistency of powder than liquid. Therefore, products made with isolated CBD are usually created by taking that crystalline powder and adding it to something like a carrier oil or edible.

What is raw CBD oil?

Raw CBD oil is the natural extract from the hemp plant. This thick, raw material contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes, as well as some of the pigmenting molecules from the plant material. This oil is made without the use of excessive heat or solvents, which protects the integrity of the other cannabinoids. In most cases, raw CBD oil is made by using a supercritical CO2 extraction. Raw CBD oil is also rich in aromatic and flavor-delivering terpenes, which may offer some of their own therapeutic value.

What is PCR hemp or PCR CBD oil?

PCR hemp oil, which is also referred to as PCR CBD oil, is a descriptive term that basically states the oil is cannabinoid-rich. PCR stands for phytocannabinoid rich. Phytocannabinoid is the scientific term used for cannabinoids, and it simply means “plant-cannabinoids.”

For most CBD oil products, PCR is an accurate descriptive acronym, specifically those that are considered full-spectrum. In fact, you may even see PCR CBD oil or PCR hemp oil and full-spectrum CBD oil used interchangeably.

What is a cannabis concentrate?

A cannabis concentrate is a product made by taking the valuable components found in the plant—specifically cannabinoids—and concentrating them. In the end, you have a potent product that is cannabinoid-rich but contains very little raw plant material. Even though all CBD extracts are concentrates, every concentrate is not an extract. There are several types of CBD concentrates, including:

  • CBD isolate crystals or powder
  • CBD crumble, shatter, or wax
  • CBD distillate
  • CBD extract

CBD extracts are made using an extraction process to separate the active molecules from the plant. Therefore, they are concentrate on the most basic level. CBD oil is made by combining a concentrated form of raw CBD extract with a carrier oil, such as coconut, hempseed, or olive oil. The value of concentrated cannabidiol is you get a higher dose of CBD in a smaller dose.

Which Type of CBD Oil is Best?

While the answer to this question is debatable, a lot of researchers do agree that full-spectrum CBD oil is the better option between the three. Just as you wouldn’t get the same benefit of eating one phytochemical that makes up an apple, you don’t necessarily get the same benefits if you take only CBD and nothing else. Science has shown that the constituents in hemp work together when consumed alongside one another; the cannabinoids, terpenes, and possibly other compounds work together synergistically. This theory is known as the entourage effect. In other words, if you are using a CBD salve for something like pain, the product may actually offer a more profound effect if it contains more of the phytochemicals found in hemp.

That is not to say that broad-spectrum or CBD isolate products don’t have their value for some people. For example, with a broad-spectrum CBD product, you still may reap the advantage of the “entourage effect,” just not on the same level as you would with a full-spectrum product.

Final Word on the Different Types of CBD Oil

When it comes to CBD oil, having the best experience relies heavily on making sure you invest in the best product. As you can see, hundreds of products may be CBD oil, but these products can differ significantly when it comes to everything from cannabinoid content to potency.

As you shop for CBD oil, look for certificates of analysis (COAs) that show you the cannabinoid and terpene profiles of the product. Look at ingredients used, extraction processes the manufacturer follows, and potency. In the end, you will be more likely to walk away with a product that delivers the experience you expect.

Hunger Mountain Hemp Offers CBD Products You Can Trust

At Hunger Mountain Hemp, we have a passion for transforming high-quality Vermont hemp into products that enrich the lives of our customers. We put a lot into both growing organic hemp and formulating quality hemp-derived products, and we wholly believe in the value of a full-spectrum experience. Take a look at our collection of full-spectrum CBD products, including CBD oil, gummies, flower, and more.

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