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CBD Isolate vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Full Spectrum Explained

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CBD Isolate vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Full Spectrum Explained
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Broad spectrum CBD, CBD isolate, full spectrum CBD—have you heard these words thrown around in the CBD space, but you are not sure what they mean?


In short, these are different versions of CBD (short for cannabidiol).The full explanation is a little more complicated. For that we’ll need a quick science lesson—don’t worry, this isn’t your high school bio class. You’ll want to hear what we’ve got to say, plus we’ve broken down the basics so they’re easy to understand.

First Things First: Meet Your Body's Endocannabinoid System

We’re all familiar with internal biological systems like the respiratory and cardiovascular systems but there’s another, lesser known one: the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a web of receptors that hangs out in your nervous system. It’s responsible for important things like mood, pain-sensation, memory, and sleep. The endocannabinoid system plays a homeostatic role in your health, meaning it balances your body’s processes for your overall wellness.

Our bodies naturally produce compounds called cannabinoids, which are key to balancing the endocannabinoid system. Humans aren’t the only ones with cannabinoids—the hemp and marijuana plants produce phytocannabinoids, which are very similar to the ones our bodies make. These are sometimes simply called cannabinoids.

Cannabidiol is one of the phytocannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana. It works alongside your body’s natural cannabinoids to bring synergy to your endocannabinoid system.

What Is CBD Isolate?

CBD Isolate is pure cannabidiol extract from the hemp plant. All additional phytocannabinoids are carefully removed, leaving nothing except the CBD molecule. At Social, this refined extract is mixed with essential oils and MCT oil in our drops for an added herbal boost to enhance targeted effects. We call these our Social Isolate Drops.

What this means for you: With CBD isolate, you get all the benefits of CBD without the unwanted psychoactive effects (like those that can come with full spectrum products).

CBD isolate products may seem like a dream come true but hang on a second—if you like this, wait until you hear about broad spectrum.

What Is Broad Spectrum CBD?

As it turns out, CBD is one of the most famous cannabinoids, but it’s far from the only one—hemp has over 100 other cannabinoids. Broad spectrum products—like our Daily Red Raspberry Gummies, Unwind Gummies, Chill Gummies, and Unflavored drops—offer compounded benefits by including more non-psychoactive cannabinoids from the hemp plant than just CBD. When brought together, they create something called the entourage effect.

The entourage effect happens when multiple hemp phytocannabinoids come together to interact with your ECS and natural cannabinoids. This collaboration creates synergy in your body. Essentially, the cannabinoids build off of one another, making their effects more powerful and beneficial. Together they are greater than the sum of their parts.

The bottom line: Broad spectrum drops are a holistic approach to your wellness, while still being non-psychoactive. They encompass all the perks of CBD, plus the synergized effects of other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.

What About Full Spectrum CBD?

Like broad spectrum drops, full spectrum drops include more cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids than just CBD. But there’s one major difference—full spectrum drops can include psychoactive cannabinoids like trace amounts of THC.

So, there’s a chance full spectrum drops could cause a mild intoxication and show up on drug tests. 

Full spectrum CBD is extracted from the hemp plant (also known as the cannabis plant) and contains all naturally occurring plant matter which often includes THC.

“Full Spectrum vs. Isolate CBD?” “Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum CBD?” What’s right for me?

Here’s the easiest way to think of isolate, broad spectrum, and full spectrum:

  • CBD isolate is just the CBD molecule
  • Broad spectrum CBD oil has all the glorious non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids for the biggest impact while still avoiding THC.
  • Full spectrum CBD products contains all naturally occurring plant matter which includes THC and may have intoxicating effects.

Ultimately, you know what’s best for your body. We recommend you experiment with different types of CBD and strengths to figure out what best fits you and your lifestyle.

If this is your first time using any amount of CBD, we recommend you start with our tried and true CBD isolate drops. Our Peppermint, Lavender, Lemon Ginger, and Unflavored Social Drops are fan favorites for a reason.

If you’re feeling confident about your cannabidiol journey but still want to play it safe without the small amounts of THC content, the entourage effect is waiting for you with our Broad Spectrum Drops. CBD is our star player, but the dozens of other cannabinoids included in our Broad Spectrum Drops help to holistically round out your wellness routine. You deserve a team effort when it comes to your health.

Unflavored Isolate CBD Drops - 1000MG - Social CBD
Rest & Relax Bath Soak - Social CBD
Extra Strength CBD Gel Capsules - 60 Count - Social CBD

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