What are the different types of CBD and which should you choose?

Navigating the world of CBD can feel like a minefield, with so much science and confusing jargon out there it can seem like a mammoth task trying to find the best CBD oil. But with cannabidiol offering countless health and beauty-boosting benefits, it is well worth sifting through the heaps of information to find the right formula for you. 

So, if you’ve been wondering what full-spectrum CBD is, want to know what isolate means, or why broad-spectrum might be best, we’ve put together the simple CBVIT guide. Here’s how to differentiate between the three most common types of CBD... 

First thing’s first: there are three different types of CBD, full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolate. These terms indicate how the CBD is extracted from the hemp or cannabis plant, as well as the other compounds that are obtained alongside it during the extraction process. Each format is the result of a different process and refers to the varying levels of CBD and other compounds it contains. 


Yup, you guessed it, full-spectrum CBD contains the entire plant and is rich in cannabinoids, terpenes and all other compounds. Sometimes referred to as ‘whole plant CBD’, this format might also contain trace levels of THC – the compound that gives users a ‘high’. 

One plus point of full-spectrum CBD is that encourages a phenomenon referred to as ‘the entourage effect’. This is where the full spectrum of active compounds (CBD, THC and terpenes) work together to amplify the benefits of each individual cannabinoid. This can make the CBD balm, oil or ointment more effective at reducing chronic pain, regulating moods and helping soothe insomnia. 

The downside of full-spectrum CBD is that it’s more difficult to control the levels of cannabinoids across batches, which means there might be discrepancies and of course, this format is likely to contain trace levels of CBD which might make it unsuitable for some users. 

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate by comparison doesn’t include any other compounds. It is, in short, the purest form of CBD that exists. It’s created by extracting CBD concentrate from the cannabis plant and removing all other compounds such as waxes, terpenes and THC. The result? 99.9% CBD which is pure but doesn’t benefit from the aforementioned entourage effect which can boost its efficacy.


By contrast, broad-spectrum CBD is a mixture of full-spectrum and CBD isolate, meaning it offers the benefits of both. Something of a gold-standard when it comes to CBD, broad-spectrum starts off life as a full-spectrum oil (complete with all of the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes) but is subjected to a refinement process to remove THC and other impurities. 

This process boosts all of the therapeutic effects by providing all of the benefits associated with full-spectrum CBD, but without any THC entering the body. This is particularly beneficial to people who are very sensitive to the effects of THC, those who are routinely drug tested for their jobs or those who require a large dose of CBD to treat their conditions. 

All CBVIT oils are broad-spectrum – creating the entourage effect without the intoxicating qualities of THC – allowing you to reap the benefits of CBD in the most effective way. This process also allows for consistency of product and formula as it allows for the control the specific cannabinoid rations, so you know you’re getting the same level of CBD no matter when you make your order. Now you’re clued up on the three CBD formats, if you’re wondering how to take your broad-spectrum CBD, check out our blog which gives you the breakdown on how much CBD oil you should be taking.

By Natalie Ticehurst