Anyone that’s ever done a bit of CBD oil shopping knows that it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming to figure out the differences between the different types and why it matters. In this quick-read guide, we are going to explain the different types of CBD oils available as well as the things you should consider when choosing the right one for you.
Before we go onto the different types of CBD oils you can buy, we need to understand a little bit about how it gets from the plant into the bottle.
Although there are several extraction methods, each of which have their own set of benefits and drawbacks, the basics of how CBD is extracted from the plant remains quite similar. Either using a process like supercritical CO2 or solvent extraction, a raw CBD oil is obtained. From there it needs to go through a couple of post-extraction processes to get something that is ready for you to use.
These processes are:
- Winterization which removes all the unwanted stuff like fats, waxes and other lipids. This is done by mixing the raw CBD extract with 200-proof alcohol and freezing it until it becomes milky and cloudy (this is also where the name comes from). Then the mixture is run through filter paper to remove any debris and then heated to remove the alcohol.
- Short-Path Distillation is a secondary refining process that isolates the different cannabinoids, terpenes and other desirable compounds by using their different boiling points. This is done by heating the extract at different temperatures so the individual molecules can then “boil off”, condensate and then be distilled. All the wanted components are then either recombined in various concentrations, or used as isolates.
- Nano-amplification is a process originally used in the pharmaceutical industry, where a molecule, in this case a CBD isolate, is broken down into minuscule nanoparticles that measure 100 nanometers or less.
The reason why the above is important is that each of the processes result in a different type of CBD oil that can be used in different ways and in different types of products. Which brings us to…
Types of CBD Oils and Extracts
Although this is by no means every type of CBD oil and extract there is, the ones we are going to discuss here are the ones you are most likely to come across. So let’s take a look.
Full-spectrum CBD is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a CBD oil that contains all the cannabinoids (including THC), terpenes, flavonoids and other bits and pieces you will normally find naturally in the raw cannabis plant.
Full-spectrum CBD oils - whether from hemp or cannabis - are considered as being the most therapeutically active because of the entourage effect. However, full-spectrum CBD from cannabis is only legally available under certain circumstances and to certain patient populations.
Broad-spectrum CBD is basically the same as a full-spectrum CBD oil but with all THC removed.
Because broad-spectrum CBD still contains all the other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes, it is a great option for people who want all the benefits of full-spectrum without THC.
CBD isolates contain CBD only. Before scientists discovered the entourage effect, CBD isolates were considered the gold-standard of CBD products because of its 99.9% purity.
CBD isolates are a good choice for people who are sensitive to other cannabinoids or who need precision dosing.
Because it’s water soluble and the particles are so small, nano-CBD can easily pass through the cellular gaps that “normal” CBD molecules can’t. Theoretically, this makes it highly bioavailable, meaning it will work faster and you will need a lot less nano-CBD compared to other forms of CBD.
Nano-CBD is a good option for people who need a fast-acting CBD product. It is often used in CBD waters and water-based CBD products.
Hemp Seed Oil
Although not technically a CBD oil, we would like to mention it here. Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant and contains no cannabinoids. It is, however, rich in many vitamins, minerals and essential fatty-acids such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 making it a great carrier oil in many CBD products.
Hemp seed oil is wonderful used as an Omega Fatty Acid supplement and is especially good for vegetarians and vegans who can’t supplement with fish oils. It is also a great moisturizing agent for use in homemade skin care products.