Understanding the Different Types of CBD Oil

CBD as a term is often misused and misleading. Here we will take a look at common CBD-related terminology, the three main CBD types, as well as the differences between tinctures and oils.

With the popularity of CBD on the rise around the world, the associated terminology has become quite confusing. Various companies have created numerous types of CBD oils and multiple forms of CBD products in an attempt to stand out. This brief guide will help clear up confusion around CBD and how it may help you

Common CBD Terminology

Before we look at the different CBD oil types, we first need to understand some of the frequently used terminology. Three common terms that often cause confusion are ‘CBD concentrates’, ‘raw CBD oil’, and ‘PCR hemp oil or PCR CBD oil’.

CBD Concentrates

What is a CBD Concentrate

CBD concentrates are any CBD extracts that contain a very high concentration of cannabidiol. Concentrates include:

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

These are any CBD extract that contains high concentrations of cannabidiol. You will likely be searching for a suitable concentrate. These concentrates come in forms such as wax, crumble, crystals & isolate, distillate, and shatter.

These products with a higher potency can contain anywhere from 45 to 99.9 percent cannabidiol. These will give you a high concentration of CBD in a smaller dose. It’s important to understand that all CBD extracts are concentrates; but not all concentrates are extracts.

Raw CBD oil is commonly formulated without the use of solvents or heating during the process of extraction. Most often this is created via the CO2 extraction process. Seeing as most of the original plant stays intact both during and after this process, the end product contains the full-spectrum of the plant’s cannabinoids, including CBD and CBDa. What is also included are terpenes, flavonoids and other valuable components.

PCR Hemp oil / PCR CBD oil

PCR Hemp Oil

aka PCR CBD oil

PCR stands for phytocannabinoid rich. Phytocannabinoids are 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 terms 'CBD oil' for compounds that have CBD and other cannabinoids.

The use of the term cannabinoids often refers to CBD and THC. Cannabinoids are a chemical class of compounds produced by a number of biological species. PCR stands for phytocannabinoid rich. Phytocannabinoids are simply cannabinoids produced by plants.

The term PCR hemp/CBD oil simply states that the oil contains a large range of cannabinoids. These terms allow for more accuracy than the term ‘CBD oil’ provides for compounds that contain more than isolated CBD. These terms are commonly interchanged with the term ‘full spectrum CBD or full spectrum hemp oil’.

Now to look at the three main CBD oil types

CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum CBD vs Broad Spectrum CBD

CBD oil is often used interchangeably for a number of products. This isn’t entirely accurate as many CBD oil products contain multiple cannabinoids. Most CBD products are derived from the hemp plant as opposed to cannabis. We differentiate CBD oils based on their cannabinoid content.

The differences between broad-spectrum, full-spectrum and isolate CBD

Three main types of CBD are important to be aware of:

1. CBD Isolate
2. Full Spectrum CBD
3. Broad Spectrum CBD

The difference between these three is simply the chemical compound content seen in each product.

Full-spectrum contains all cannabinoids as well as other plant compounds. Broad-spectrum contains all cannabinoids, with the exception of THC. CBD isolate contains CBD only, often found in crystal or powder form.

What is CBD isolate?

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is a true 'CBD or CBD oil'. Isolate only contains CBD (cannabidiol) and does not contain any other cannabinoids, terpenes, or healthy fatty acids from the plant.

This is a ‘true’ CBD or CBD oil as this isolate contains CBD only, with no other cannabinoids, terpenes or flavonoids included. Some companies provide this in powder form or as an oil.

This form is formulated with the same extraction process as other CBD oils, with the difference being that once the cannabinoids are extracted, CBD is filtered out. It will then go through a chilling process known as winterisation which removes all other chemical compounds.

Isolates are often used for vaporisation, and when in crystal/powder form can be placed under the tongue to dissolve. The benefits of isolates are that they’re generally cheaper and contain no THC. The downside is that you are missing out on the potential entourage effect, in which the compounds from full or broad-spectrum work best when together.

What is Full-Spectrum CBD?

Full Spectrum CBD

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 full or whole plant extract.

Full-spectrum CBD contains CBD as well as all other cannabinoids which includes THC, terpenes and flavonoids which occur naturally in the plant. This is often referred to as full or whole plant extract.

With a full-spectrum extract the oil undergoes an extraction and filtration process where none of the cannabinoids or other compounds are removed. While this does have THC, it does not contain enough to get you high, but can still contain enough to trigger on a drug test.

The benefits of this are that the multiple available compounds have therapeutic effects. Some terpenes for example are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. The inclusion of numerous compounds enhances the overall effectiveness of CBD.

A 2005 study confirmed this as a whole-plant extract outperformed the isolate counterpart. This indicates a positive effect of the entourage effect and various chemical synergies.

What is Broad Spectrum CBD?

Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad spectrum CBD oil has all of the original plant's cannabinoids and other chemical compounds except for THC.

Broad-spectrum CBD is considered a middle ground between isolates and full-spectrum products. This contains all cannabinoids with the exception of THC, so this will allow for some benefits of the entourage effect to shine through.

Broad-spectrum CBD is not as easily accessible as the other two types, commonly. Once again we see the same extraction process used to reach a broad-spectrum product. This is also the preferred option for those wanting to avoid THC entirely for whatever reason.

CBD Carriers: oils vs tinctures

CBD oil vs 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.

With a better understanding of the different CBD types, no we can look at the different types of carrier agents for cannabidiol. A carrier agent is the base through which to consume the CBD and other involved cannabinoids. While CBD oils and tinctures may look the same, they are actually drastically different.

The main difference between an oil and a tincture is the carrier. In CBD oils, the carrier of the CBD is the oil used in the product. In a CBD tincture which is also a liquid, the carrier is an alcohol. The similarity between these two, other then the cannabinoid content, is the fact that they’re both in the form of a liquid.

Piecing it together

While searching for a suitable CBD product can feel complicated, understanding the information above will make your search considerably easier. CBD concentrates are available in many forms and contain high quantities of cannabidiol. Raw CBD oil hasn’t been decarboxylated (heated and activated), resulting in different cannabinoids than other CBD products. PCR (Phyto-cannabinoid rich) hemp oil means the end product contains the full-spectrum of cannabinoids, including THC.

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:

1. CBD Isolate
2. Full Spectrum CBD
3. Broad Spectrum CBD

When purchasing CBD, you’ll need to decide an oil or a tincture. CBD oils utilise oil as the cannabinoid carrier, while tinctures utilise alcohol for this. CBD products will not get you high, but the inclusion of THC in some may show up on drug tests.

We hope you found this article informative and helpful, assisting you in starting your journey with CBD.