Full-spectrum, CBD isolate, broad-spectrum? Which one to choose?
You may have heard these terms to describe CBD oil before. To a CBD novice, these may be a little confusing, but don’t worry. We’re here to help guide you in navigating the wonderful world of CBD and CBD oil for massage.
What is CBD oil?
Firstly, what exactly is CBD oil? CBD is made from the cannabis or hemp plant.
CBD or Cannabidiol is just one of the hundreds of compounds found in cannabis plants. You may even come across its more famous (or infamous… depending on how you see it) cousin, THC.
While THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is responsible for giving us that high, CBD has beneficial properties without the psychoactive effects.
There is a great deal of confusion surrounding CBD from cannabis plants and CBD derived from hemp plants. The main difference is in plant classification and make-up. But both are derived from varieties of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Typically, hemp plants have more CBD, and cannabis plants contain more THC.
To get CBD oil, CBD is extracted from the hemp or cannabis plant and then mixed with a carrier oil to dilute it. When we talk about CBD oil, there are generally three classifications of CBD oil.
Full-spectrum CBD – It contains everything naturally occurring in the cannabis or hemp plant aside from CBD. This often includes trace amounts of THC, other cannabinoids, and other compounds which may be beneficial.
Broad-spectrum CBD – Contains trace amounts of THC that’s less than 0.3% detected in full-spectrum CBD.
CBD isolate – This is pure CBD. It’s free from THC, which means there are no other cannabinoids or other flavonoids present in the oil.
Full-spectrum CBD vs. CBD isolate: which is better?
One other difference between full-spectrum and CBD isolate is that isolate goes through further refining to ensure that the oil contains only CBD. On the other hand, full-spectrum CBD may have small amounts of THC, flavonoids, and terpenes. That can be a good thing as we’ll see.
So which of the two is better for you?
Generally, we would tell you that it depends on what you need from your CBD product. If you want an odorless product free from THC, CBD isolate is the way to go. However, there are many benefits for choosing full-spectrum CBD. For the explanation, we turn to something called “The Entourage Effect.”
What is the Entourage Effect?
You see, the cannabis plant contains more than 120 different compounds that act on the body’s endocannabinoid system, keeping it all in a state of balance or homeostasis. The Entourage Effect suggests that all these compounds interact together and work together. When taken together, they produce a better, synergistic effect than if taken individually.
One study conducted by the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2011 found that taking a combination of cannabinoids and terpenes helped with anxiety, pain management, inflammation, seizures, and fungal infections. The same study also found that the presence of CBD helped to lessen the unwanted side effects of THC like anxiety, hunger (aka the munchies), and sleepiness.
Another research in 2018 found that certain flavonoids and terpenes may benefit cognition, brain health, and offer anti-inflammatory effects. The study concluded that: “The united benefits of specific terpenes and flavonoids could boost the therapeutic potential of CBD to improve cognition in disease states that manifest impairment.” Although, the researchers have stated that more research is needed in the future.
Benefits of Full-Spectrum CBD Oil and Massage
CBD has drawn a lot of attention the past several years as more research on the compound is conducted. And what we’re seeing from initial findings are promising.
There are many properties in full-spectrum CBD that make it quite appealing to a lot of people, especially for those looking for anti-inflammatory benefits and pain relief without the mind-altering effects.
Massage itself already provides plenty of benefits as highlighted in our “Is CBD massage oil worth it?” article. So full-spectrum CBD makes a great complement to massage oil because of the many benefits we listed above, including the entourage effect.
But as with everything related to your skin and health, first consult a board-certified dermatologist if full-spectrum CBD is a good fit for you.