What is CBD? Understanding the different types

What is CBD? Understanding the different types

From whole plant CBD to CBD isolate

It's likely that during your time reading about buying CBD you'll have encountered a host of different CBD strengths, brand names, and product types, but there's some core terminology that crops up time and time again. Those are the main categories: whole plant, full spectrum, broad spectrum and CBD isolate. 

Understanding what broad spectrum is, and why we prioritise it in our products, is integral to getting the most out of your CBD oils. Before you buy CBD read this comprehensive break down of how they differ, and why each product categorisation has its own importance. 

Respecting natural cannabidiol

The natural world as we see it today is the result of many millions of years of evolution. Every blade of grass, every feather, and every opposable thumb is the result of countless organisms and biological systems gradually developing alongside each other.

Whilst modern horticultural methods allow for further honing and tweaking, Vitality CBD believe that the best CBD comes from respecting and working in conjunction with that natural order. Properly harnessing this natural balance is part and parcel of broad spectrum products. 

Spectrums of CBD

Where some CBD products solely extract the CBD, whole plant utilises the entire spectrum of hemp compounds, making it rich in 40 different cannabinoids, as well as essential terpenes, flavonoids, waxes and oils. This makes it a premium product, that's also often too thick and unrefined for regular use. 

At Vitality CBD we recognise the value of the hemp plant's internal equilibrium, which is why our CBD oils are all broad spectrum, meaning they still retain the additional cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, whilst removing the waxes, oils and with 0% THC. 

You may have also heard the term full spectrum. This refers to a middle ground between the two: it doesn't have the waxes and oils found in the whole plant, but it still retains trace elements of THC. Full spectrum products are more common in country's with relaxed laws around THC. 

Our decision to make our CBD oils broad spectrum rather than full spectrum is premised on choice: we believe that users who want to actively avoid all psychotropic chemicals should have the opportunity to experience the other hemp compounds.

Finally there are CBD isolates, products that, as the name suggests, only extract the CBD from the hemp plant. Whilst isolates lack the additional helpful hemp compounds found in the other categorisations, they work well when blended with specially curated ingredients, as in our CBD cosmetics range

CBD benefits: the entourage effect

Our decision to make our oils broad spectrum was premised on what is known in industry terms as the entourage effect.

First proposed by S. Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam, the entourage effect suggests that the best CBD products use a broad range of compounds from the hemp plant—particularly its cannabinoids—so they work in collaboration rather than in isolation.

Essentially, the whole (plant) is greater than the sum of its parts. What does that mean for a user of our Broad Spectrum CBD E-liquid, though? Well, the entourage effect proposes that the best quality CBD is taken alongside its natural assistants, minus the negative impact of THC. 

Extracting CBD oils

Vitality CBD is continually researching and developing the cleanest contemporary extraction techniques to ensure we properly harvest the whole range of cannabinoids for our broad spectrum CBD products.

Where some CBD producers solely use solvents to strip the cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant, simultaneously extracting potentially harmful compounds like chlorophyll, instead, we prioritise a supercritical CO2 extraction.

Widely recognised as the safest and most efficient extraction method, a supercritical CO2 extraction involves increasing the temperature and pressure of the CO2 to a point where it adopts the properties of both a gas and liquid.

In this supercritical state, CO2 essentially functions as a solvent without denaturing the hemp, drawing out out the key compounds as it’s passed over the plant. The resultant solution is then run through a separator that does what it says on the tin—namely dividing the desired compounds from the CO2. 

CBD: natural precision

If a CBD product describes itself as whole plant, or broad spectrum, this is the type of process it’s specifically referring to. Whilst the phrasing "whole plant" conjures up images of a giant blender where thousands of hemp plants are thrown in, in fact it’s far more complex, requiring a great degree of accuracy. This is where scientific understanding is essential in facilitating nature’s innate qualities.

For whole plant, this CO2 process forms the core of the product, but an ethanol extraction is carried out simultaneously. This specifically extracts key waxes and oils that are too thick and stubborn for a supercritical extraction to procure.

Our utilisation of different processes when appropriate is why we’re proud of our entire range. Vitality CBD’s broad spectrum CBD products contain all of the essential compounds found in hemp, but they’re extracted with precision.

Whole plant CBD vs. broad spectrum CBD

This all still leads to one final question: namely, what’s the real difference between whole plant and broad spectrum?

In simple terms, a product like our CBD Oral Drops retains many cannabinoids, but whole plant CBD offers a more unrefined experience, with natural hemp waxes and oils increasing expense. 

Broad spectrum CBD oils are still a high-end experience, but are more palatable for new users due to their slight dilution. For people concerned about the possibility of THC, they also offer peace of mind that no trace elements of the psychotropic substance is found in the CBD oil

Whole plant, on the other hand, is for true CBD aficionados, its naturally waxy quality calling to mind essential oils harvested directly from flora. Whilst it does contain THC, it's typically only present in trace amounts. 

Learn more about CBD

At Vitality CBD, we have complete faith in each of our products because we understand the science behind them, but simply telling you that isn’t enough. We believe that a well-informed user is a happier user, which is why we’ve assembled and curated an extensive knowledge base at the tip of your fingers.

To truly understand the distinction, you need to learn more about the compounds that distinguish whole plant, full spectrum and broad spectrum—specifically, terpenes and flavonoids

We also have category pages that cover each of our product ranges, including CBD e-liquids, CBD oils and CBD cosmetics.

If you've got any unresolved questions about any of the forms of CBD, our experienced team are always on hand to field any questions. Reach out to us on our CBD contact page. We want you to feel confident when you buy cannabidiol