On the surface, CBD may seem like just another health trend. But the global market size for CBD in 2019 was an intimidating $2.19 BILLION! Even conservative predictions have this value reaching $39.9 billion by 2027.
If you’re new to the world of CBD, it can seem a bit intimidating, especially since it’s appearing everywhere, and in everything! This compound can help with anxiety, depression, stress, sleep, memory, physical health, and more.
But with all these different types of CBD, how can we possibly find the product that is right for us?
If you want to learn about the different forms of CBD, and the various CBD products currently available, read on! By the end of this article, you’ll know the best type of CBD for you!
Types of CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) can be extracted from hemp or marijuana, both of which are from the same species of plant. Hemp is defined as a marijuana plant that contains less than 0.3% THC (the chemical in marijuana that makes you feel high). Therefore, most CBD products also contain this level of THC, as cannabidiol is usually extracted from hemp.
Just as there is a range of CBD products, there are different types of CBD. These refer to the level of extraction used. Whether the CBD contains everything that was extracted from the hemp, some of it, or only pure cannabidiol.
At first glance, pure CBD may sound like the best option. But we need to discuss a hypothesis known as the ‘Entourage Effect’. It suggests that CBD products offer so many benefits due to the combination of different compounds extracted from the hemp plant, rather than from the CBD alone.
There are three main forms of CBD: Isolate, Full-Spectrum, and Broad-Spectrum.
When the word ‘isolate’ appears on a CBD product, it means that almost everything extracted from the hemp has been stripped away. A standard CBD oil will contain CBD, a variety of lesser cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and usually trace levels of THC (<0.3%).
Isolate removes all these additional components, including any natural waxes or oils from the plant. This leaves only cannabidiol.
Trace amounts of the other compounds may remain in the CBD, but the purity of the isolate will indicate just how high this trace amount will be.
We can use THC as an example, as many consumers worry that this chemical will show up in drug tests, despite the legality of CBD. Isolate with a purity below 99.6% may still contain trace levels of THC. Whereas a purity of 99.9% would suggest that no THC remains, or the amount is so minimal that it is undetectable.
Although CBD isolate can appear in oils or other products, it is commonly sold in a crystalline powder form. This can be added to other products to meet the user’s needs. So, if you buy CBD isolate, it may appear a little different from the other CBD products we all know and love.
If a product is described as containing ‘broad-spectrum CBD’, it means that the extraction process has left in most of the other hemp components. You would expect to find the other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. This may be important as the terpenes could be a factor in tailoring new hemp strains for CBD that targets specific ailments.
The one thing that broad spectrum and isolate have in common is that the THC is removed. Of the three types of CBD, it has the most potential for offering a range of benefits, at least in theory.
The last of the three main types of CBD is full-spectrum. It contains all the compounds extracted from the hemp or marijuana plant. That means you can expect to find cannabidiol, terpenes, flavonoids, minor cannabinoids, and THC.
Full-spectrum CBD that has been extracted from a marijuana plant rather than hemp may have a THC content higher than 0.3%. This is a factor to consider if your job involves drug tests, as the THC is more likely to be detectable at higher strengths.
It’s not surprising that this form is sometimes referred to as ‘whole-plant CBD’. But whether it is the best type of CBD depends largely on personal preference.
Types of CBD Product
Isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum may describe the different types of CBD based on the level of extraction used. But general CBD products (which can contain any of the 3 extraction types we’ve already discussed) can range from tea to lotion.
There are four primary application/consumption methods for CBD:
Tea, capsules, oil, gummies, soft drinks, chocolate, and isolate powder are just some examples of the wide range of products that can be taken orally. The onset time for CBD when taken in this manner can vary quite drastically, and depends largely on body weight, metabolism, and many other factors.
Oral CBD comes on slowly, burns gradually, and lasts a while. Peak onset may be anywhere between 1 and 6 hours, but the positive effects can last for most of the day. The downside is that it can be difficult to find the best dose as a large amount of CBD will be lost in the digestive system before reaching the bloodstream.
This method involves placing droplets of oil under the tongue. This allows it to enter the bloodstream directly, meaning that the onset time will usually be less than 20 minutes. The duration of the CBD’s effects can be anywhere between 2 and 6 hours, depending on strength and the type of product used.
Topical application is fast-acting, with an onset of about 5 minutes. However, the downside is that the CBD doesn’t enter the bloodstream and so the benefits are only felt in the area of application. So, while applying CBD lotion may help with skin damage or muscle pain, it’s unlikely to benefit anxiety.
Finally, we have inhalation. This generally involves the use of a vape pen combined with a form of CBD oil. The onset time when inhaling CBD is quick; usually between 1 and 5 minutes. The catch is that the effects tend to peak early, meaning that frequent top-ups may be necessary.
What’s the Best Type of CBD?
Although the types of CBD products available on the market appear to be infinite in variety, there are only 3 main forms of CBD: isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum. Each type is defined by its contents.
Now that you understand the differences between these types and have an idea of the various methods of consumption, buying CBD just got a whole lot easier!
For more on CBD and what to look for, check out some of our other articles.