Types of CBD Products

The Different Types of CBD Products Explained

As CBD supplement use catches on in the USA, Australia, and around the rest of the globe, there seems to be a new CBD product launched almost every day. Although a marketplace crammed with options is excellent for consumers, it can also make it hard to find the best product for your own use. When it comes to knowing the difference between all the CBD oils, tinctures, balms, salves, gummies, concentrates, and other varieties, one has to kiss a lot of frogs before finding a prince. Soulsome’s CBD101 guide has tried to make this easier for you by unpacking the most popular CBD products and explaining how these different types of CBD may benefit you. 

Types of CBD products

Twenty years ago, if you wanted CBD, you’d need to smoke an illegal cannabis cigarette or “joint” to get it. Cannabis was outlawed almost everywhere and was generally considered a bad idea. These days, your options abound, with the most common form of CBD available being CBD oil. When it comes to the types of CBD and medical cannabis products available in Australia and the USA, the list has become quite extensive:

  • Flower (or granulated flower) & vaporizers (“vapes”)- The actual flowers (or extracted oils for vapes) of the cannabis or hemp plant. Flowers can be crushed and smoked in the old method of consumption.
  • CBD capsules – Capsules (pill form) of CBD oil or extract which are swallowed.
  • CBD topicals – Creams, lotions, and salves can be applied topically for pain relief or muscle relaxation.
  • Lozenges – Like a cough sweet but infused with CBD, you suck the sweet and ingest the CBD through your digestive system.
  • Edibles, drinkables, or chewables – Typically, anything you would eat, drink or chew in order to get the CBD extract into your bloodstream, again via your digestion.
  • CBD spray – Mouth spray with CBD extract, which can be sprayed into the mouth for sublingual ingestion. 
  • CBD oils & tinctures – CBD is extracted from the parent plant and mixed with other carrier oils or alcohol. Typically applied sublingually via a dropper.

That’s quite a variety; with literally hundreds of different types of CBD products available in each of these categories (and this is a shortlist), you can see how easy it is to get lost in “CBD country.” The most important takeaway for you is how each of these different products affects the user, what sort of onset time they have, and their effects and side-effects if they have any.

For example, smoking or vaping CBD is probably the quickest way to feel the effects of CBD as the pathway is directly from the lungs to the bloodstream. However, smoking and vaping are known to be harmful to our general health and, when doctors prescribe CBD to patients, this is usually something they will try to avoid. Edible CBD is definitely one type of CBD product that doesn’t have the harmful effect on our lungs that smoking has; however, it is by far the slowest method of ingestion as the CBD must first be processed by the digestive system before entering the bloodstream, which can take quite some time. One further complication with edible/drinkable CBD is that the digestive system eliminates much of its efficacy (with some studies suggesting that the majority of ingested CBD is actually wasted).

CBD oils and tinctures, which are taken sublingually, seem to be the type of CBD product that occupies a “Goldilocks zone” of CBD ingestion techniques as this method of ingestion avoids the slow digestive system and harming the lungs by utilizing the sublingual blood vessels, which absorb the CBD oils and transport them directly to the bloodstream. In addition, the effects of CBD taken using the sublingual method are usually felt relatively quickly, between 10 and 30 minutes.

What combination of CBD and THC is best?

As with the many types of CBD products on the market, there are multiple CBD and THC combinations to cater to every taste and palate. When we speak of medical CBD, however, we are usually talking about CBD oil derived from hemp, which has little to no THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid which gets you “high” or “stoned”). Most people taking CBD oil as a supplement or within a medically prescribed framework try to avoid this unwanted side-effect from THC, meaning that they want hemp-extracted CBD oil, i.e., not loaded with THC and most likely not very psychoactive, but still containing the beneficial cannabinoids which help users manage the pain, anxiety, and sleep needs effectively.

Of the CBD products available in Australia and the USA, there are three broad categories of CBD:

Full Spectrum CBD:

CBD is one of the more than one hundred cannabinoids we get from the Cannabis Sativa plant. A “Full Spectrum CBD” product contains most, if not all, of the available cannabinoids extracted from the Cannabis plant, including the THC cannabinoid. 

The advantage of using a full-spectrum type of CBD product is that users have the added benefit of “The Entourage Effect,” where there is a combined benefit of all these different cannabinoids working together, amplifying each other’s effects. Full-spectrum CBD will use all of the cannabinoids from the plant so that they work in natural harmony with the human endocannabinoid system for the best result.

But, be aware that these products will contain some THC as well. Individuals who do not wish to experience a strong psychoactive effect (i.e., who do not want to feel “high”) should look for CBD products with very low levels of THC. CBD extracted from hemp plants has a very low THC content (usually less than 0.3%), ensuring that users do not have the psychoactive effect.

Soulsome CBD oil is extracted from raw hemp flowers to ensure all the benefits of full-spectrum CBD with none of the unwanted side effects of the strongly psychoactive THC cannabinoid. In our own independent laboratory tests, we found even less than 0.3% of THC in Soulsome’s CBD oil

Broad Spectrum CBD:

Broad-spectrum CBD products also contain many cannabinoids from the Cannabis plant, but they do not include THC. The THC is excluded from the extraction process by chemical means, or it is removed later. In this way, buyers can be sure that there is no THC present in their CBD product and that some of the benefits of the “entourage effect” are still available.

The principal limitation of broad-spectrum CBD products is that due to the selective exclusion of specific cannabinoids, users will not receive the full benefit of the entourage effect. The solution we employ at Soulsome is to ensure that the THC content of our full-spectrum oil is so low that it is effectively negligible. The entourage effect still has its benefits, but the user is spared any side effects which would come from a stronger THC component.

CBD Isolate: 

Any CBD product calling itself CBD isolate typically contains a single cannabinoid: CBD. No other cannabinoids are extracted from the plant, and the end product is strictly CBD. The entourage effect is not available from this form of CBD, and users benefit only from the CBD compound working on its own. 

Which type of CBD product is the best one for me?

Cannabis works differently for everyone, and it would be unwise to point to one product or another to say this would be the best solution for everyone. We believe Soulsome’s CBD oil to be a great product because it utilizes the entourage effect for best results but ensures that THC content is kept low so that there are no unpleasant “spacey” or “high” side-effects for users. Furthermore, Soulsome uses a cold-press extraction method which means that there are no chemicals, alcohols, or gases involved in extraction, which may leave unwanted or unhealthy chemical residues in the extracted oils. Soulsome is just a naturally extracted, effective CBD product that works every time you use it.


The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner to make sure that CBD oil is the right choice for you.

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