Cannabidiol (CBD) has surged in popularity recently as an effective therapy for a variety of mental and physical health concerns. There are a plethora of ways in which to consume it, from gummies to topical creams. But not all CBD products will have the same properties. You may not be aware that CBD actually comes in three different forms: full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these forms and their supported applications. 

Full Spectrum CBD

Cannabidiol is only one of more than one hundred cannabinoids found within the hemp plant. When we say “full spectrum” CBD, we are referring to a product that includes all of these cannabinoids, including trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Over the counter full spectrum CBD products typically include less than 0.3% of THC; however, this amount may increase in states where THC is legalized. 

Full spectrum CBD also includes compounds known as terpenes. Terpenes occur naturally in many plant species and are thought to contribute to pest and disease resistance, as well as cellular growth and photoprotection. They are also the compounds responsible for the strong scents emitted by certain plants, acting as the main constituents of their essential oils. 

Hemp contains over 400 terpenes, many of which have demonstrated health benefits. Linalool, for example (also found in lavender), has been shown to have a moderately sedating effect and may help to alleviate anxiety. Another hemp terpene known as “beta-pinene” has potential anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergy properties. 

Cannabinoids and terpenes have benefits on their own, but there is research to show they work even better in tandem. This theory, known as the “entourage effect,” suggests that phytochemicals found within a plant cooperate to enhance their individual properties. Full spectrum CBD makes use of this theory by offering a comprehensive list of cannabinoids and terpenes. 

It is partially due to the entourage effect that many providers often recommend a combination of low dose THC alongside therapeutic doses of full spectrum CBD. The pair have been shown to have great efficacy in the realm of anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. 

Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad spectrum CBD contains all of the same cannabinoids as full spectrum CBD, except for the THC. It is a good option for individuals who are sensitive to THC, or those who want to avoid any possibility of testing positive on a drug screen. 

CBD Isolate

The third form of CBD is the isolate. As the name suggests, products with CBD isolate contain only CBD as the active constituent. There are none of the hundreds of terpenes and additional cannabinoids you would find in naturally occurring hemp or full and broad spectrum CBD products. 

Again, most providers and ongoing research find merit in the entourage effect. There is limited research to support the use of isolates, although one study notes anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in mice. However, individuals looking to avoid THC altogether and who are also sensitive to the smell and taste associated with hemp terpenes may wish to try a CBD isolate, which typically has no appreciable odor or flavor. 

CBD for Anxiety and Depression

The Crane Center in Destin, Florida offers a wide range of traditional and non-traditional therapies to treat all kinds of mental health disorders, including anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and PTSD. Our team of highly experienced counselors can help you decide if CBD therapy may be a good option for you. If you are struggling with a new or persistent mental health condition, please call or go online today to schedule an appointment.