Apr 26, 2018

Benefits of Broad Spectrum CBD vs. Isolate

Recent research reveals the potent irritant-reduction and neuroprotective capabilities of cannabidiol (CBD). Used topically, the naturally occurring compound found in the hemp plant improves common skin conditions, boosts collagen production, and balances skin tone. With a comedogenic rating of zero along with antifungal and antibacterial properties, CBD may also help reduce acne. When designing a CBD product, your first consideration will be to decide whether to use a CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD.

CBD Isolate Manufacturing Process

CBD isolate is usually manufactured by one of two processes: ethanol or CO2 extraction. In the first method, ethanol is used as a solvent to isolate the CBD. With the CO2 extraction of CBD isolate, the raw material is forced through filtration chambers to separate organic matter. Chromatography is then used to remove the remaining plant materials. The resulting isolate is then heated. After cooling, the isolate forms into crystals and yields its final powder form.
While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers CO2 and ethanol to be “Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS),” regardless of the method used, isolating CBD from its other constituents might not be the best option. As a better alternative to the separated and processed CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD is the smarter choice because of its superior natural contents. Broad-spectrum CBD contains numerous other cannabinoids, vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, chlorophyll, fiber, flavonoids, and terpenes. The manufacturing process of CBD isolate removes these vital nutrients present in broad-spectrum CBD. 


Cannabinoids are compounds in plants that protect them from the sun and pests. CBD is a famous and well-known cannabinoid with all the previously stated beneficial properties. CBD, however, is also only one among many hundred other cannabinoids some of which may prove to have equally strong value. CBD comprises 90% of the cannabinoids found in broad-spectrum CBD. Other cannabinoids present include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and dozens more. Humans naturally make endocannabinoids to regulate bodily functions such as mood, pain, and sleep. Many of the additional cannabinoids in broad-spectrum CBD have been found to interact with these endocannabinoids.

The Entourage Effect

While it was previously assumed the CBD isolate would have greater potency and clinical application, research by the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology would indicate otherwise. In the study, broad-spectrum CBD was discovered to have not only superior efficacy over the isolate variety but also longer lasting effects. The CBD isolate was also shown to have decreased efficacy during prolonged use. The researchers concluded there was likely a synergy between CBD and the other cannabinoids in broad-spectrum variety. What they were describing is referred to as the “entourage effect,” a term coined by another group in 1998. The entourage effect is a synergistic activity that was theorized to exist due to an interaction of the numerous cannabinoid compounds.
As research continues, it is expected further benefits of private label CBD and the other cannabinoids will be discovered. Likewise, the additional benefits as a skincare product ingredient will come to light as well. All research and anecdotal user experience point to the whole plant broad-spectrum CBD variety to be the superior choice.

Vitamins and Minerals

broad-spectrum CBD naturally contains vitamins and minerals and is high in antioxidants such as vitamin A, C, and E. As a skin care professional, you already understand the importance of these nutrients when properly formulated for skincare products. Vitamin A is known to help even skin tone, protect against sun damage, and smooth out the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While vitamin C is known to stimulate collagen, hydrate, moisturize, and brighten the skin. Vitamin E may help to lighten dark spots and act as a cleansing agent. All three antioxidants have been used in skincare products for decades, but here are naturally available in broad-spectrum CBD.
Additionally, broad-spectrum CBD contains the minerals magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Magnesium and zinc, among other uses, are often used in products to treat or prevent acne. The presence of these vitamins and minerals provide so much more potential benefits that are simply lacking in CBD isolate.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

Omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) are found in broad-spectrum CBD. EFAs are used to build the foundation of the skin surface layers. Omega-3 and omega-6, are known to help protect against sun damage, moisturize, eliminate signs of stress such as redness, and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. Omega-3, in particular, is notably lacking in typical modern dietary habits. Most Americans consume an omega-6 to omega-3 dietary ratio of 25:1 or 12:1, whereas the ratio in broad-spectrum CBD is an ideal 3:1. When it comes to omega-3, you never can have too much. Omega-3 helps promote softer and more youthful skin.

Broad-Spectrum CBD: The Choice is Clear

Based on its superior contents, the research shows broad-spectrum CBD is the better option, over CBD isolate. While CBD isolate may have some efficacy, the broad-spectrum CBD provides more potent and longer-lasting effects. As further studies are conducted, other cannabinoids and the interaction between CBD and these cannabinoids is likely to reveal further insights. Additionally, the market demand favors broad-spectrum CBD based on consumer preference. With these considerations in mind, broad-spectrum CBD is the clear choice.

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