What Are the Different Forms of CBD?

Depending on your desired effects, you can choose to administer CBD in ways that interact with your biochemistry in different ways, each with their own route to absorption. For an immediate dose of CBD’s analgesic (pain-killing) effects, you may opt to vaporize or consume sublingually (under the tongue), whereas for a more sustained delivery of the compound to a targeted area like an exercise injury, a topical product used over time will deliver the best results. Figuring out which possible benefits you are curious about is a great way to begin incorporating CBD into your wellness routine, and part of what we aim to do at Standard Dose is cut through the noise and provide vetted, useful products we’ve adopted in our daily lives.


In this post we are going to cover the different forms of CBD, the pros and cons of each, and some of the terminology that’s most helpful when shopping for CBD, so you can explore with confidence the world of plant-based wellness.


What do full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate refer to?

These terms refer to to the makeup of the cannabinoids in the product, of which CBD is just one (THC being the most well-known), and with each potentially having its own effects on the endocannabinoid receptor systems found throughout the human body. Full-spectrum on a label indicates that 100% of the plant’s 100+ cannabinoids have been extracted and are present in the product, including THC at levels at or below 0.3%. You may opt for such a formula if you’re hoping to achieve the Entourage Effect, a phenomenon that indicates that a robust spectrum of compounds interacting with each other can impact the overall effects of the product on your chemistry.


On the other hand, an isolate, which is the form of CBD used in our Standard Dose tincture, is the most pure form of the compound, because it has been extracted completely from the other cannabinoids and elements of the plant, including terpenes and flavonoids. It is tasteless and odorless, and can be ingested in a variety of ways, including in high doses, without risk of intoxication. When it comes to precise dosing, isolates are the most accurate, because they represent by volume the amount of CBD present. They have no taste or smell, and are a good avenue if you’re purely seeking anti-inflammation properties, as you will be exposed to no THC.


Falling somewhere in the middle zone are broad-spectrum products, containing the entire cannabinoid spectrum except THC. This means you can experiment with the effects of combining multiple compounds (the Entourage Effect) while still abstaining from the psychoactive effects of THC. It’s helpful to remember that research into the effects of cannabinoids beyond CBD is shaping the market in real-time, as we learn about the incredibly complex endocannabinoid system.

Qualities of each

Isolate

  • Tasteless and odorless — add it to any drink or dish without affecting flavor
  • Purest form of compound — no risk of exposure to THC
  • Multi-format availability — can be administered topically as a salve, sublingually as a tincture, as a vapor, capsule and more
  • Accuracy of dosing

Full-spectrum

  • Interacts with the entire endocannabinoid system, possibly boosting effects (Entourage Effect)
  • Contains potentially intoxicating levels of THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis
  • Multi-format availability
  • Possibly strong flavor or scent

Broad-spectrum

  • Includes all of the cannabinoid compounds of the cannabis plant except THC, including many being intensively studied for analgesic properties
  • Multi-format availability
  • Possibly strong flavor or scent

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