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There are three main types of CBD oil. Learn about the differences between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and CBD Isolate. Read now. Why are some CBD Oils different colors? Find out what the color and clarity says about your cannabidiol oil in this article. High-quality CBD oil that's pure, natural, and contains what it promises is out there, but it can be hard to find. Click here for 8 signs to look for.

The Different Types of CBD Oil Explained

The term CBD oil is misleading and often misused. In this article, you’ll learn common CBD oil-related terminology, the three main types of CBD products and the difference between an oil and a tincture.

Tom Brown
  1. There are three main types of CBD product: Isolates, Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum CBD.
  2. Concentrate is an umbrella term for any product that has a high concentration of cannabinoids.
  3. Oils and tinctures differ in the cannabinoid carrier. In tinctures, the carrier is an alcohol. In oils, the carrier is oil.

CBD (Cannabidiol)

In Australia, we have over 150 cannabis products that a doctor can prescribe. Most of the products are considered CBD oils. And, as of Feb 2021, low dose CBD oils will be legal over the counter in pharmacies.

With a rise in the popularity of CBD oil across the globe, the terminology used to describe products has become increasingly confusing. Companies have created multiple types of CBD oil and numerous forms of CBD products to differentiate themselves from competitors. We’ve created this guide to CBD to help clear up any confusion about what CBD is and how it may benefit you.

In the last article, how CBD oil works on the body, we discussed how we define health in relation to CBD and the endocannabinoid system, how the endocannabinoid system regulates your homeostasis, and how CBD oil can help improve your health. In this article, you’ll learn about the different types of CBD oil, their ingredients and how they differ from a health standpoint. Here are the topics we’ll cover so you can jump ahead if you’re looking for something specific.

Frequently used CBD oil terms

Before we talk about the different types of CBD oil, you must understand some of the terms you’ll read when researching CBD oil. These terms can often be confusing and may make it more difficult to find what you’re looking for on your CBD quest. Three popular terms that often confuse people are ‘CBD concentrates’, ‘raw CBD oil’ and ‘PCR Hemp oil or PCR CBD oil’.

CBD Concentrates

CBD concentrates are any CBD extracts that contain a very high concentration of cannabidiol. So, when looking for a CBD product, you’re likely going to be looking for a concentrate. Concentrates come in many forms and include:

  • crumble
  • crystals and isolate
  • distillate
  • extract (CBD oil)
  • shatter
  • wax

These high potency products usually contain anywhere from 45% to 99.9% cannabidiol. The idea is that these products will give you a high dosage of CBD via a smaller dose in a shorter period of time. It’s also important to know that all CBD extracts are concentrates but not all concentrates are extracts.

Raw CBD oil

Raw CBD oil is created without using solvents or heat during the extraction process. Typically Raw CBD oil is made via a CO2 extraction process. Because most of the original plant stays intact during and after the process, the resulting product contains the full spectrum of the plant’s cannabinoids including CBD and CBDa. In addition to all of the cannabinoids, the resulting product contains the terpenes and pigments.

PCR Hemp oil (or PCR CBD oil)

You’ll often hear the term cannabinoids when referring to CBD and THC. Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds produced by several biological species. PCR stands for phytocannabinoid rich. Phytocannabinoids are simply cannabinoids produced by plants.

The terms PCR (phytocannabinoid rich) hemp oil and PCR CBD oil are simply saying that the oil has a large range of cannabinoids. The terms PCR hemp or PCR CBD are more accurate than the term ‘CBD oil’ for compounds that have CBD and other cannabinoids.

Often PCR Hemp oil and PCR CBD oil are interchangeable with the term ‘full spectrum CBD or full spectrum hemp oil’.

Now we’ll cover the three main types of CBD oils.

CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum CBD vs Broad Spectrum CBD

Most people use the term CBD oil interchangeably for multiple products. The term CBD oil, however, is not necessarily accurate because many CBD oil products contain several cannabinoids. A majority of the CBD oil that you can get for medical and wellness purposes come from the hemp plant (vs marijuana). We differentiate CBD oils by their cannabinoid content.

There are three main types of CBD oil that you’ll hear about:

  1. Isolate (CBD)
  2. Full Spectrum CBD oil
  3. Broad Spectrum CBD oil
What is the difference between broad spectrum, full spectrum and isolate in CBD oil?

The difference between broad spectrum, full spectrum and CBD isolate is simply the chemical compound content found in each of the products.

Full spectrum CBD contains all of the cannabinoids and other plant compounds. Broad spectrum CBD contains all cannabinoids and plant compounds other than THC.

CBD isolate only contains CBD and is often found in crystal or powder form.

What is CBD isolate?

CBD isolate is a true ‘CBD or CBD oil’ because an isolate only contains CBD (cannabidiol) and does not contain any other cannabinoids, terpenes, or healthy fatty acids from the plant. Most companies sell isolate as a crystal or a powder, however, some sell it as an oil.

It is made through the same extraction process as other CBD oils. The difference is that once the cannabinoids are extracted, the CBD is filtered out. It then goes through a chilling process called winterisation, which removes all other chemical compounds.

Isolate is often used for vaping, and when in crystal or powder form is generally administered by putting it under the tongue. The benefits of isolate over other types of CBD are that it’s generally cheaper and it has no THC. The downside is that you miss out on the potential entourage effect which exists when a full spectrum of the cannabinoids is present in the oil.

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What is Full Spectrum CBD Oil?

Full spectrum CBD oil is very different from CBD isolate. We say this because full spectrum CBD oil has CBD and all of the other cannabinoids (including THC), terpenes and fatty acids that naturally occur in the cannabis plant. Full spectrum CBD is often called a full or whole plant extract.

In a full spectrum extract, the oil goes through the cannabinoid extraction process and filtration, however, none of the cannabinoids or other compounds are removed. While full spectrum CBD does have THC, it does not contain enough THC to get you high. It will however likely show up on a roadside mouth swab test.

The benefits of a full spectrum CBD oil is that many of the other chemical compounds and cannabinoids in a full-plant extract have healing properties. For example, the terpenes in the cannabis plant are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Other cannabinoids found in a whole plant extract are thought to enhance the overall benefits of taking CBD.

In 2005 a study concluded that a CBD oil with a full-plant extract had greater medicinal properties than only CBD. Because the oil has all of the cannabinoids and other chemical compounds, you will get the positive effects of the chemical synergies called the entourage effect.

What is Broad Spectrum CBD Oil?

Broad spectrum CBD oil is a middle ground between CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD oils. It has all of the cannabinoids and other chemical compounds except for THC. It has all the beneficial chemical compounds except for THC, so you’re likely to gain some of the beneficial effects of the entourage effect.

Broad spectrum CBD oil is not as easy to find as the other types of CBD oil. Like its counterparts, broad spectrum CBD oil goes through the normal extraction process. For places where THC is illegal, the benefit of broad spectrum CBD oil is that in the final stages of processing, the THC is removed from the extract. Therefore, broad spectrum CBD oil will not show up on a drug test if the test is looking for THC.

CBD Carriers: oils vs tinctures

Now that you understand the different types of CBD and CBD oils that you can purchase, it’s important you understand the types of carrier agents for CBD. A carrier agent is the base through which can ingest the CBD and other cannabinoids. While CBD oils and tinctures may look the same to the untrained eye, they are very different.

What’s the difference between a cbd oil and cbd tincture?

The difference between a CBD oil and CBD tincture is the CBD carrier. In a CBD oil, the carrier of the CBD is the oil that’s used. In a CBD tincture, also a liquid, the carrier is an alcohol. The only similarity between the two, other than the cannabinoid content in some cases, is the fact that they are both liquids.

CBD oil

A CBD oil is exactly what it sounds like. The CBD and other cannabinoids are extracted from the plant and into an oil. Oil extraction is still the most popular form of extraction and is often the carrier of choice when oils are made at home. Common oil carriers are:

  • Coconut oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • MCT oil
  • Olive oil

CBD tincture

A CBD tincture is a CBD liquid that uses alcohol as the carrier base rather than an oil. Tinctures are created by steeping cannabis in a high-proof grain alcohol. The mixture is then put on a low heat for an extended time in order to infuse the plant compounds. Over time, the alcohol is burned off and the infusion takes place. Tinctures can usually be stored for longer periods of times than oils

Bringing it all together

While looking for CBD can feel complicated, knowing a few specific things will make it much easier. CBD concentrates come in many forms and normally contain 45% to 99.9% cannabidiol. Raw CBD oil hasn’t been decarboxylated (heated and activated) and therefore has different cannabinoids than other CBD oil. PCR (Phyto-cannabinoid rich) hemp oil means that the oil has a full spectrum of the cannabinoids in the final oil product.

There are three main types of CBD products:

  • CBD Isolate which contains only CBD and usually comes in a powder or crystal form.
  • Full Spectrum CBD Oil which means it contains all of the cannabinoids and other chemicals that naturally occur in the plant before extraction.
  • Broad Spectrum CBD oil has everything that full spectrum contains except for the THC. Note: In Australia, some doctors are prescribing what they are calling Broad Spectrum oil, but it contains THC.

When you purchase a CBD product you will want to decide between a CBD isolate, an oil or a tincture. CBD oils use an oil as a carrier for the cannabinoids whereas a CBD tincture uses alcohol. No CBD oil will get you high, but those with THC in them may show up on a drug test. When speaking with your doctor or researching CBD products, you’ll need to do your research on which type of product will work best for you.

In the next article, you’ll learn about the benefits and side effects of taking CBD as a medication or nutritional supplement. If you found this article helpful, please feel free to share or send us a message. If you have a question about CBD that you can’t find an answer to, you can always ask us a question on our contact us page.

CBD Oil Color

CBD oil has exploded in popularity in recent years. Consumers are digging for more information about cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, as more research and media stories come out to the public. What is it? How do I shop for it? How do I know if I’m purchasing high-quality products?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 112+ known cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemical components that are found in the cannabis and hemp plants. THC is another popular cannabinoid known for its psychoactive effects. It’s the cannabinoid that gets you high. CBD is known for its therapeutic benefits and is non-psychoactive, so you won’t get high from consuming it alone. CBD is popular among those seeking relief from anxiety, pain, inflammation, sleep-deprivation, spasms or other conditions. First, CBD must be extracted from the plant before it’s infused into products like gummies, oil, salves, lotion, pet treats, and vape oil. CBD products are hitting the market with force. One of the most popular products is CBD oil, also known as CBD tincture. These oils are taken orally by placing the product beneath your tongue, holding for a few seconds, and then swallowing.

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Oils mentioned in this video: Endoca (Raw/Dark Oil), BlueBird (Decarboxylated/lighter) and Medterra (Isolate/clear)

The color of CBD oil can offer some clues about the quality and makeup of the product. In order understand more about this, it helps to understand how CBD oil is made.

Further Reading: CBD Tincture Review

How CBD Oil is Made

Most CBD products available for purchase in the United States are sourced from industrial hemp that’s grown either domestically or abroad. CBD products containing less than .03% THC, sourced from the seeds or stalks of industrial hemp, are federally legal and may be sold in any state, regardless of its marijuana laws.

Why Do Growing Conditions Matter?

Hemp is a known soil remediator. This means that hemp will suck up toxins in the soil that it’s grown in and will clean these toxins out. Hemp is great at doing this job, so it’s worth noting where the hemp is sourced from in any hemp-based CBD product that you purchase. Clean soil and growing conditions make for a better end product.

Extraction Methods Matter Because…

There are two main ways that CBD can be extracted. The first is by using a solvent and the second is by using temperature and pressure. Solvent-based extraction methods involve passing a solvent through the product and then burning off the solvent, so that only the desired chemical compound, like CBD, remains. There are a number of different solvents that can be used, but ethanol and butane are the most common. Solvent-based extraction methods are used frequently with the cannabis plant because the solvents work well with the cannabis flower.

Because CBD oil is often made from industrial hemp, in which case CBD must come from the seeds and stalks of the plant, CO2 extraction methods are most often used. CO2 extraction methods use a combination of temperature and pressure to extract the CBD from the plant material. In the CBD industry, CO2 extraction methods are often considered the gold standard because they don’t involve the use of chemical solvents and do a better job of preserving CBD and other beneficial chemical compounds.

There’s More:

CO2 extraction methods are even further classified into two — supercritical and subcritical extraction. Subcritical CO2 extractions use low temperature and low pressure and take more time. They produce smaller returns but can retain terpenes and oils, creating a full-spectrum CBD product in the end. Supercritical CO2 extractions use high temperature and high pressure. This process may damage terpenes and other chemicals, but it will extract larger molecules like omegas, creating a different, but still potentially potent product. Full-spectrum products take the “entourage effect” into consideration. The entourage effect states that the plant chemicals work better together than they do alone. To put it simply, a CBD oil that has terpenes and other cannabinoids mixed in will have a greater impact on the body than a CBD oil with only CBD in it.

CBD Oil Color

Once the CBD has been extracted, it can undergo a filtering process that determines the color of the oil. There are generally three different categories that CBD oils fall into:

Raw CBD oil is exactly what it sounds like: “raw.” Once extracted from the hemp plant, this type of oil undergoes no further processing or filtration, resulting in a green, viscous oil packed with plant compounds and cannabinoids like CBDA and THCA.

These compounds work together to magnify the therapeutic benefits of each individual cannabinoid, a phenomenon referred to as the “entourage effect.”

Raw CBD has proven beneficial for those with mild anxiety or insomnia, and it’s usually the product of choice for those looking to benefit from the entire hemp plant and not necessarily just cannabidiol.

DECARBOXYLATED

Decarboxylated CBD is slightly heated after extraction to convert CBDA into CBD but still retain a high level of phytonutrients, as indicated by the greenish brown color.

By consequence, decarboxylated oils have a higher concentration of CBD and generally take effect more quickly than raw oils as they’re easier for your body to process.

This makes decarboxylated oils a great choice for those with more severe cases of anxiety, arthritis, migraines, and insomnia.

FILTERED OR DISTILLED

Filtered or distilled CBD oils are created by further refining decarboxylated oils to strip everything from the cannabinoids within, including chlorophyll and lipids.

The resulting product is a mild-flavored, light gold liquid with a higher concentration of CBD and lower concentration of terpenes and other cannabinoids.

This makes filtered and distilled CBD oils extremely versatile and easy to consume sublingually or in your favorite beverage.

ISOLATE

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD, produced by removing all other plant compounds found in hemp including terpenes, flavonoids, chlorophyll, and other cannabinoids.

The highly refined CBD is then combined with a base like coconut or MCT oil for a final product that’s usually flavorless, nearly transparent, and extremely fluid.

While products that combine different cannabinoids may provide a greater entourage effect, CBD isolate is extremely potent in CBD and contains zero THC, making it great for those looking to avoid THC while still gaining the health benefits of CBD.

FULL, COMPLETE, OR BROAD SPECTRUM

Typically dark or light gold in color, these oils contain a wide range of compounds found naturally occurring in the plant, including terpenes, cannabinoids, and essential oils.

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These extracts may also undergo additional processes like nanoemulsion encapsulation, which gives the product higher bioavailability to help CBD and other compounds enter the bloodstream with greater ease.

While there’s a lot of discrepancy between products labeled full, complete, and broad spectrum due to lack of industry standards, most companies provide third-party lab results on their website so you know exactly what’s in your CBD.

Bottom Line?

The darker or more opaque a CBD oil is the less amount of processing it’s had. Clear, gold CBD oil is considered the highest quality, but it doesn’t mean that the other forms are not valuable. It is important to remember that color can often be indicative of the manufacturing process and thus the quality of the oil, but it’s not the only consideration.

8 Signs Of A High-Quality CBD Oil

As CBD continues to increase in popularity, it’s essential to make sure the CBD you use is high-quality and comes from a reliable source. Keep reading to find out precisely what makes for a good, safe, and effective CBD oil.

How to tell if CBD oil is high-quality

1. Extracted using supercritical CO₂

The best CBD oils use safe solvents like supercritical CO₂ to extract the desired compounds. This ensures a safe extract is produced, free from any residues or additives—which is often not the case with other extraction methods.

Avoid CBD oils made using chemicals like propane, butane, pentane, or hexane as they can leave behind dangerous contaminants.

2. Produced using naturally grown hemp

Hemp is a “hyperaccumulator” plant. That fancy word simply means hemp readily absorbs everything from the soil it grows in. What it absorbs can be useful, like vitamins and minerals, or harmful, like lead, petroleum, and toxic chemicals.

The safest CBD oil will be sourced in an area where the government requires farmers to be certified and have their fields frequently tested for toxic substances. The oil itself should be tested by an ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accredited lab. They’ll make sure it doesn’t contain pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, fungus, solvent residue, or any other foreign matter.

3. The price isn’t too good to be true

High-quality CBD oils aren’t cheap to make, so if the price is very low, that’s a good sign it’s made with inferior or contaminated raw materials, substandard solvents, or it doesn’t contain very much, if any, actual CBD.

You don’t have to buy the most expensive product on the market to be safe. Look for reasonable prices and favourable customer reviews.

4. The product label displays the amount of CBD

Good CBD oil made by a reputable company will tell you how much CBD you’re getting right on the label. Look for either the concentration or the total number of milligrams in the bottle. Higher numbers mean a more potent product. To be considered effective, CBD oils should contain 250–1000mg per 10ml bottle. Anything less and you’re wasting your money.

5. Independent test results

Before buying CBD oil, check to see if the company has its products verified by independent testing facilities. A company you can trust will make these results public. The information might be on the bottle, the box it came in, on an insert, or published on the website. If you can’t find it there, then it is time to start asking questions. Most companies with consistently good results are so proud of them that they’ll make the reports easy to find.

Test results that you can view and verify are essential because they will state the levels of both CBD and THC, plus a heavy metals analysis. If you can’t find this information, be very wary.

6. Made from “whole-plant” extracts, not CBD isolates

CBD oils made from whole-plant extracts, also called full-spectrum oils, are generally considered to be of higher quality than those made from CBD isolates.

The idea of an isolate sounds good; it’s pure CBD, but it’s often made from cheap materials and lacks the other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes that work in partnership with CBD. It’s when these elements exist together that they become more effective, so full-spectrum extracts are a must.

7. Contains less than 0.2% THC

CBD oils made from hemp may contain trace amounts of THC—usually 0.2% or less—but it’s not nearly enough to get you high. However, sub-standard processing can boost the levels of THC to a degree that creates psychotropic effects. Not only is this a sign of a low-quality product, but it could even make the CBD oil illegal where you live. Check the labels and lab reports for exact figures before you make a purchase.

8. No outrageous medical claims

Research, as well as personal accounts, make it clear that CBD is a remarkable compound, but it’s not approved as a medical treatment by any government agency. That means it falls into the same category as vitamins and other supplements, and no company can legally claim that it treats or cures any medical condition, with a few very specific exceptions. If you’re looking at a CBD oil that makes claims like that, steer clear—it’s probably too good to be true.

Cibdol ticks all the boxes for high-quality CBD oil

If you’re looking for a reputable CBD oil producer, Cibdol features all the hallmarks of a trustworthy brand, including stringent quality control from field to bottle. Harnessed using state-of-the-art CO₂ extraction, all Cibdol CBD oils use the finest non-GMO hemp grown without chemical fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides, or other toxic contaminants. We sell only the best, 100% natural CBD oil products with published batch testing to back up every product and every claim.

You can browse our complete selection of high-quality CBD oils, capsules, supplements, and cosmetics via the Cibdol homepage. Or, if you still want to learn more about what CBD does and where it comes from, find out everything you need to know in our CBD Encyclopedia.

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