Given the results of this study, it would seem to confirm that full-spectrum extract is preferable over CBD isolate for most CBD users, but CBD isolate is still frequently used and believed by some to be more effective than full-plant extract. This belief is led by the idea that CBD is the only medically sought after cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, aside from THC. Many CBD isolate users are under the impression that by consuming only the CBD cannabinoid and no terpenes or any other “unnecessary” components of the plant, they are getting a more powerful or effective dose of CBD. When vaping a CBD extract, which as stated previously, is considered to be the most efficient and quick-acting method of administering CBD, isolate users may feel that they are taking the most efficient route to CBD consumption. While this method might be efficient, the lack of entourage effect means the benefits are reduced when compared to full-spectrum CBD consumption.
THC is one of the cannabinoids involved in the “entourage effect” stated earlier so it is ideal for inclusion in CBD supplementation. A recent article on full-spectrum CBD demonstrates the importance of THC inclusion by stating, “In hemp THC is a minor constituent and appears only in trace amounts under 0.3% by dry weight, as required by the U.S. government for hemp products. THC mimics the action of anandamide, a neurotransmitter naturally produced in the human body, and binds to CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system found mostly in the brain. The extremely low levels of THC in hemp make hemp oil non-psychoactive and safe for all ages to use.”
The increased popularity of CBD has led many users to raise questions about the methods of extracting and administering CBD. The main question is which form provides the most effective range of medical benefits for the user. The two most common forms of extracted CBD found in stores are full-spectrum (whole-plant extract) and pure CBD isolate. Most users prefer the full-spectrum option. As CBD’s usefulness for medical purposes has become more accepted over the years, new methods of administering it have continued to evolve.
A study published by the Lautenberg Center for Immunology and Cancer Research, which aimed its focus on the effectiveness of CBD isolate compared to full-plant extract, supported this concept, stating in its summary that “in all of the tests, the isolated CBD was ineffective both before and after a certain dosage, while the effectiveness of the full-spectrum solution continued to increase as higher doses were administered. The results all indicate that CBD is only effective against swelling and pain at a certain dose, and that cannabis solutions containing a full range of cannabinoids will continue to provide corresponding effects as the dosage is increased.”
This has left some users concerned not just with which form of extracted CBD is most effective or what the proper dosage for them may be, but also with which method of supplementation gives the user the most relief in the right amount of time. Some of the most common methods include applying it sublingually, topically, or taking it in capsules. Vaping cbd is regarded by many to be the most bio-available way to administer, and as such, this has led to an increase in the demand for CBD isolate. This form of CBD is different from full-spectrum CBD extract in that it only contains CBD and none of the other cannabinoids, terpenes, or healthy fatty acids that commonly result from the whole-plant extraction process.
Whole-plant extracts typically contain a carefully measured amount of the cannabis plant’s most prominent cannabinoid, THC, although usually not in a large enough amount to have any psychological effects. In many countries, a certain percentage of THC is illegal, so it is vital to know the amount of this cannabinoid when manufacturing products that contain full-spectrum CBD. When present together, CBD and its cannabinoid colleagues, as well as terpenes, produce what is known as an entourage effect. The synergistic relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes has been shown to increase the healing properties of each.
The wide range of benefits contained in full-spectrum CBD extracts means some CBD merchants have either ceased to sell, or scale down the promotion of CBD isolate, in comparison to the whole-plant extract variety. Companies and individuals who extract CBD themselves are realising that cannabis has more to offer medicinally than just CBD or THC, and that there is little to no reason to not include all that this “super-plant” has to offer in the extraction process.
Our final piece of advice is to take all of this knowledge and apply it as you shop, but ultimately what works best for you works best for you.
Have you found your preferred CBD spectrum? Let us know in the comments below which you prefer and why!
In talking with clients, we find people can react in vastly different ways to the same product. Generally spectrum advice helps, but ultimately finding the product that aligns best with your life is key.
3. Consider your use case
Full spectrum, sometimes also called “whole plant,” means the full plant extract is included. Full spectrum provides more of the plant’s molecules in ratios and amounts that nature intended.
While there is still more research to be done, there are indications that show cannabinoids and terpenes work together to influence each other. This synergistic effect is called the entourage effect and has seen CBD work with THC to reduce the effects of a high and CBD to influence one’s own cannabinoid receptors.
Using the above definitions, look to the labs and ingredients lists for verification on your product contents. If the company doesn’t provide labs, or you can’t easily verify the cannabinoid and terpene content, we suggest you look elsewhere. It’s essential to ensure you know what is in the products you’re taking, and providing these lab reports is expected of quality hemp brands today.
While it’s pretty clear by now that that full or broad-spectrum should almost always be picked over an isolate, there are cases to look past them.
When cannabinoids are consumed together, a phenomenon known as the entourage effect will take place. The entourage effect proposes that combining cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, THC, and CBD creates a stronger impact than any single cannabinoid can have on its own. The entourage effect can take place as a result of consuming any number of cannabinoids — not just CBD and THC.
While it’s unlikely you’d fail a traditional drug test from using our products, the possibility cannot be ruled out. There are just too many types of drug tests out there, and with hemp products still relatively new on the market, it’s hard to assume that all tests will distinguish between THC and other types of cannabinoids.
Hemp extract and cannabis extract
So what does each extraction method offer, and how are they different from one another? What are the pros and cons of each product? Let’s take a closer look at CBD isolate vs. full spectrum CBD to understand the differences between these two products.
Broad-spectrum CBD contains cannabidiol and the other natural compounds found within the plant, except for THC, which is completely removed after the extraction process has taken place. Because broad-spectrum CBD contains other cannabinoids besides THC, it can still produce the entourage effect.
Full spectrum products contain all the natural chemicals found in the hemp plant, including the many types of cannabinoids and terpenes. This can result in the entourage effect mentioned above to help your body better absorb and use CBD.