Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a therapeutic cannabinoid typically derived from industrial hemp. It is produced through an extraction process of the plant and is the active ingredient in products such as topicals, tinctures, and gummies. Since CBD does not have psychoactive side effects (the “high”), it has become popular due to its many benefits.

Most people who are new to CBD have many CBD-related questions including some of the most common below:

What is CBD (Cannabidiol)?

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in hemp and cannabis plants. CBD gummies, tinctures, and other products are growing in popularity as ways to help treat conditions such as stress, joint pain, anxiety, and insomnia. Others are using CBD for seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, nausea, allergies, digestion, and more.

What Is the Difference Between Cannabis and Hemp Plants?

Both hemp and cannabis plants contain THC and CBD in addition to other substances. The hemp plant has a higher concentration of CBD while the cannabis plant is the opposite with higher THC levels.  Since hemp is inherently high in CBD and low in THC, it is most often used by producers to manufacture consumer CBD products.

It is important to know that hemp-derived CBD will not get you high. The molecule in cannabis that causes the “high”, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the active compound found in marijuana that creates euphoria. Under US federal law, hemp must contain 0.3% or less concentration.  Any product containing more than 0.3% THC is classified as a marijuana-based product.

Full-spectrum CBD products contain little THC (0.3% or less) and offer you symptom relief with a clear head.  Other products such as broad-spectrum or CBD isolate are THC-free (T-Free) and offer similar relief for professionals who frequently submit to strict drug screenings.

What Are the Different Types of CBD 

There are several types of CBD, including full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate.

1. Full Spectrum CBD

A full-spectrum extract is one that consists of phytochemicals found in the plant naturally. These include:

  • CBD
  • Terpenes
  • Trace cannabinoids
  • Essential oils
  • Trace THC (0.3% or less)

Known as the “entourage effect”, trace cannabinoids work together with CBD to amplify each individual cannabinoid health benefit.  Although in an insignificant amount, THC is one of the beneficial cannabinoids that contribute to the entourage effect and could be considered an octane booster!


Pros and Cons of Full Spectrum CBD


  • Allows you to experience full entourage effect benefits
  • Contains flavonoids and terpenes for extra health benefits
  • No psychoactive (the “high”) effects
  • Is the least processed (most natural) form of CBD


  • Could show up on a stringent drug test
  • THC content could cause issues with law enforcement

 Full-spectrum CBD oil is best for:

  • Those wanting to benefit from the full entourage effect
  • Those with more serious symptoms CBD broad-spectrum and isolate products fail to assist with
  • Those residing in states where cannabis sativa is legal

2. Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD contains CBD as well as other cannabinoids, however, THC is eliminated after initial extraction. Since broad-spectrum extract contains various cannabinoids, it also creates the entourage effect, however to a slightly lesser extent.

Simply put, broad-spectrum CBD is the same as full-spectrum CBD but without the THC.


Pros and Cons of Broad Spectrum CBD


  • Provides entourage effect benefits
  • No psychoactive effects
  • Less processed than isolate


  • Less available than isolate or full-spectrum products
  • Less researched
  • Might have a natural, strong earthy flavor


Broad-spectrum CBD oil is best for:

  • Those with disorders that CBD isolate itself cannot help with
  • Those living in locations with stringent THC regulations
  • Those sensitive to THC
  • Those hesitant of THC

3. CBD Isolate

Isolate is the purest form of CBD. It is produced by extracting it from hemp, and then distilling it out from all other ingredients. Isolate’s advantage over full and broad spectrum CBD is that it provides the highest CBD concentration per serving of the three types. Isolate is typically 99% pure, which means one gram of isolate powder provides you with 990 mg of CBD! Since isolate does not contain any of the other beneficial cannabinoids, the only effects you obtain are just from CBD alone.  The entourage effect associated with full or broad-spectrum products does not happen when using CBD isolate alone.

Pros and Cons of CBD Isolate

  • No risk of euphoria
  • The most concentrated form of CBD
  • Highly versatile
  • Flavorless and odorless
  • CBD isolate allows you to pass a drug test
  • Safe for all individuals using CBD
  • Does not provide you with the entourage effect
  • Can be more expensive

CBD Isolate oil is best for:

  • Those who were suggested by a medical professional to take high CBD doses
  • Those who prefer flavorless products
  • Those sensitive to other cannabinoids like THC
  • Those living in locations with stringent THC laws
  • Those leery of consuming other cannabinoids

CBD’s Holistic Approach Towards Health

CBD is wildly popular in the holistic health and wellness space for its potential medical benefits. Some of its most common uses are related to pain, anxiety, and insomnia.

  • CBD and pain: CBD can help manage pain without undesirable or adverse side effects, particularly when compared to some prescription drugs such as anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, etc.
  • CBD and anxiety: Accumulating evidence supports that CBD has therapeutic potential in reducing stress and anxiety. Individuals are finding relief from various anxiety and stress related disorders including social anxiety, panic, and generalized anxiety disorders.
  • CBD and insomnia: Since CBD can help with both pain and anxiety, it can help provide you with a restful sleep through relaxation. CBD typically does not have side effects such as daytime grogginess or excessive daytime sleepiness that can be associated with prescription or over the counter medications. 

CBD works for many people, but it is important to consult with your doctor before starting a CBD regimen.  While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a CBD product for the treatment of seizures, it has not been evaluated for use as a dietary supplement or to prevent, treat, or cure any health disorder.

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