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Cannabis 101

What is Cannabidiol? Types of CBD

02.08.22 - 4 min read


  • CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant.  
  • There are 3 main types of CBD 
    • Full-spectrum 
    • Broad-spectrum 
    • Isolate 
  • CBD products aren’t a one size fits all method, they involve some experimentation to determine works for you and what doesn’t. 

Tinctures, topicals, edibles, vape pens—these days, there’s no shortage of ways to consume cannabidiol (better known as CBD). On top of that, you’ll find that CBD products come in a variety of categories, such as full-spectrum and broad-spectrum. 


With an ever-growing list of choices available on the market, finding a CBD option to fit your needs can seem a bit overwhelming—which is exactly why we’ve put together this helpful guide. 

If we’ve sparked your curiosity about the world of CBD, then read on. We’ll break down everything you need to know, including the potential benefits of different CBD products. 

But first, let’s take a closer look at what CBD is and where it comes from. 

What is CBD? 

CBD is a chemical compound found in the cannabis and hemp plant. It belongs to a series of natural chemicals known as cannabinoids, which are found in common plants and everyday household herbs like clove and black pepper. 

Often, when people think about cannabis, they associate it with a euphoric feeling. However, if you’re interested in getting the other potential benefits of cannabis while avoiding such effects, it’s worth noting that CBD is not the cannabinoid responsible for that. (For that particular sensation, take look to Tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC.) Additionally, over-the-counter CBD is usually extracted from hemp plants containing high levels of CBD and very low levels of any psychoactive cannabinoids. 

Cannabis plants contain over 100 cannabinoids and other compounds like terpenes and flavonoids which all provide their own unique properties. The studies into cannabis are still ongoing and little is known about many of the other cannabinoids. However, the good news is that consuming CBD is not associated with abuse and dependence potential. 

What are Cannabinoids

The potential benefits of CBD 

Research and studies into CBD and the benefits that it may provide are still ongoing. Here are a few conditions CBD and medical marijuana are currently being used for: 

Pain management: chronic pain affects between 50 to 116 million adults in the United States. Preclinical and clinical studies have indicated that CBD may potentially help reduce the pain that’s associated with multiple conditions.

Sleep improvement: research into hemp oil CBD indicates that it may even help with insomnia and also help with decreasing sleep apnea. [Source] 

CBD may help with many other ailments and conditions, so it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional for more information. 


How does CBD interact with the body? 

The human body has a complex set of receptors known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS has three main parts: endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors and enzymes. 

This system keeps us balanced by managing the communication traffic within our bodies (and to be more specific, the modulation of pain and inflammation). When something is off-kilter in your system, the endocannabinoids travel to the receptors as a way to help you regulate and maintain homeostasis. 

The interesting aspect of cannabinoids is that they interact with the ECS by mimicking the natural endocannabinoid compounds that are produced by us. 

CBD and THC interact with our bodies very differently. THC produces feelings of euphoria by interacting with our CB1 receptors, whereas CBD works by encouraging the production of our body’s natural endocannabinoids, giving us plenty of benefits without the feeling that’s usually produced by the THC cannabinoid. [Source] 

Types of CBD 

Not only does CBD come in various forms, but it can also be purchased containing different ingredients and compounds. 

CBD products are available in three different forms and here, we’re going to break them all down to give you an idea of what to look out for before buying. 

Full-spectrum CBD 

Full-spectrum CBD contains everything from the cannabis plant when originally extracted. (In other words, it contains all of the cannabinoids that are present after extraction, including THC and CBD.) 


What else is in there? Well, full-spectrum CBD also contains all of those precious terpenes that give plants their unique smell and taste. There are over 150 terpenes that impact the cannabis plant’s scent. For example, limonene gives plants and fruits a citrusy smell and can also be found in certain strains of cannabis. Some studies have shown that terpenes may assist in the reduction of inflammation, and they’re also used in modern medicine for their antimicrobial qualities. 

Other compounds found in cannabis plants are flavonoids. Cannabis contains around 20 and they can also be found in everyday plants like fruits, veggies and grains. Similar to terpenes, flavonoids can also have a beneficial effect on the body. Comprehensive studies determine that the flavonoids found within cannabis also may assist in the reduction of inflammation. 

Research suggests that the positive effects of CBD are amplified when combined with other cannabis compounds like the lesser-known cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. This is known as the Entourage Effect and is what makes full-spectrum CBD a popular choice amongst people that consume it. 

It’s important to note that full-spectrum CBD is legal and contains trace amounts of THC (0.3%), which should be enough to provide you with positive effects without inducing a buzzed feeling. [Source]

That said, some people prefer to consume products without any THC at all. Sound like you? Then you may prefer broad-spectrum CBD. 

Broad-spectrum CBD 

Broad-spectrum CBD contains everything that full-spectrum CBD has but without any THC whatsoever. That means you get all of the other cannabinoids (except THC), terpenes and flavonoids. [Source]

Broad-spectrum CBD still contains all of the terpenes and flavonoids that may provide additional benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties or help with anxiety and insomnia. 


Broad-spectrum CBD is usually a popular choice amongst people that want to benefit from the Entourage Effect without consuming any THC. 

CBD Isolate 

When it comes to CBD isolate, the extraction process removes everything, leaving only the pure CBD compound. This pure form of CBD removes all other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids to create THC-free CBD. [Source]

 Depending on the extraction method used, CBD isolates can reach purity levels of 99%, providing the biggest benefit to this type of CBD. [Source]

The other benefits of CBD isolate include that it’s tasteless and scent-free, making it ideal if you want to use it in the kitchen or just dislike the taste of other types of CBD. So, if you’re looking to cook up some CBD brownies or even mix it with a carrier oil, CBD isolate can give you the benefits without adding the hemp taste or smell. 


Different types of CBD products 

There haven’t been enough studies and research trials to give a definitive answer on which type of CBD provides the best benefits. Factors to consider are why you’re taking the CBD, your lifestyle, and your personal preference. 

If you don’t mind small amounts of THC, choosing full-spectrum CBD is a good option and it may provide greater benefits. 

The way you consume CBD may vary depending on your lifestyle and the benefits you want. CBD products come in a variety of forms and the best one for you will depend entirely on your personal needs. 

Ready to dive in deeper? Let’s walk through each type of CBD products one-by-one to give you a better idea of what might be right for you. 

Oils and tinctures 

One of the most popular products is CBD oil. It’s usually extracted directly from hemp or marijuana plants and comes in a tincture so it can be taken orally. A CBD tincture can often come with other ingredients such as coconut oil or added extracts that provide more potential benefits to the user. 


CBD-infused creams and lotions have become quite popular to help with soothing sore muscles and joints. 

When using a topical CBD product, all you need to do is apply the cream or lotion to the desired area and massage it in. CBD topicals often use other ingredients such as carrier oils, so it’s important to check prior to using them to ensure you’re not allergic to any of the additional ingredients. 


Gummies and edibles 

There are various versions of CBD edibles including beverages, baked goods, candy, gummies and savory snacks. The great thing about them is that they can be added to your daily regimen alongside your multivitamin and minerals (plus, they’re easy to dose). 


CBD vape oil can be inhaled by using a vape pen or vaporizer, which is generally considered to be a fast, efficient way to experience the effects.  

CBD oil or CBD e-liquid comes in a variety of flavors, ranging from its original flavor to others like cherry or mint. 


How much CBD to take 

If you’re just starting off on your cannabis and CBD journey, there’s plenty to process! A few things to consider include the different types of CBD, varieties of CBD products and how much you personally want to consume. 

When consuming any ingestible CBD product, we recommend starting low and taking it slow. That means, begin with a manageable dosage and gradually build up to stronger dosages to get the desired effect. Even when using a topical product, apply a small amount onto your skin to test the area before using a larger amount. 

Which cannabidiol types to choose 

If you’re looking for potential pain relief or help with sleep, CBD may be a great option as it could provide the benefits you need. 


Ultimately, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to CBD products. It’ll most likely involve some experimentation to find out what works for you and what doesn’t. Whether you choose a broad-spectrum, full-spectrum or CBD isolate, it may take a little trial and error to figure out which one suits you best. 

At RISE, we’re always here to help in any way we can. If you have any questions about CBD , don’t hesitate to talk to one of our patient care specialists, Find a dispensary near me. 

Find a Dispensary Near Me


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