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.
However, CBD isolate does have something to offer CBD users that full-spectrum extracts does not. The fact that full-spectrum extracts invariably contain low levels of THC means that some users prefer to play it safe and stick to pure CBD by itself, out of fear of failing a drug test or experiencing a form of “high”, although both of these occurrences have been found to be fairly unlikely.
Ian Jones is a journalist based in Manchester, England. He specialises in technology and food, with a heavy focus on vaping, CBD and medicinal drugs. He began writing professionally over 15 years ago and is a regular contributor to New Scientist, Vice and the Daily Mirror. He is also the resident CBD expert at the respected vaping website Spinfuel. He began looking at CBD in detail after discovering that it cured his mother’s arthritis, and has since become a leading figure in the UK when it comes to educating people about the CBD extraction process and exploring its curative properties.
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.
The public profile of CBD has soared in recent years, with users using it to treat all manner of ailments and conditions. It can be consumed in a variety of ways, ranging from simple oral consumption to topical use and even vaping. There are two main forms of CBD on the market. These are ‘full spectrum’ CBD and CBD isolate. There are a number of key differences between the two, which we will look at in this article. We will also look at methods of consumption, as this can have dramatic impact on the efficacy of CBD. As we will see, full-spectrum CBD is more popular, and for good reason, but isolate has certain benefits that might appeal to different CBD users.
If you’re subject to a zero-tolerance drug policy at work or elsewhere, please know that some of the more sensitive drug tests can come back positive for cannabinoids. If you’re unsure about where your company stands, better ask your HR department before you buy.
CBD edibles are one popular choice, though research suggests eating CBD requires the liver and digestive track to break down the CBD before it can be fully absorbed — and your body may not absorb all of it. CBD topicals are any product that contains CBD and is applied to the skin: lotions, creams, balms, salves, and the like. Keep in mind that your skin isn’t as good at absorbing CBD, so you may want to choose a product that’s high in CBD content. Sublingual CBD products, sometimes referred to as “sublinguals,” are absorbed under your tongue. These products include tinctures, sprays, oils, or lozenges that require you to keep the CBD product in your mouth rather than swallowing it. This method will avoid CBD breakdown by the liver and digestive tract, and your body will absorb more CBD as a result.
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.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is known for its calming and sedative effects. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, has psychoactive effects linked to the well-documented high. Other cannabinoids such as CBN (cannabinol), CBC (cannabichromene), and CBG (cannabigerol) exist that interact differently with your body’s endocannabinoid system.
You’ve probably found CBD products labeled with “CBD isolate” or “full spectrum CBD oil” that have left you somewhat confused.
Ingredients contained within full spectrum CBD may include essential vitamins and minerals, plant-based protein fiber, beneficial fatty acids, chlorophyll, terpenes, and flavonoids. At times these ingredients may simply be labeled as “hemp oil extract,” but this term is somewhat ambiguous because you don’t know how much CBD you’re really getting. For this reason, it’s important that you ensure your full spectrum CBD oil is tested by a lab to help you understand what’s in it.
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.
The CBD extraction process is no different for each of these products, which usually involves:
Because full-spectrum CBD contains all cannabis plant compounds, it may have a more potent effect than pure CBD. Research suggests that CBD’s health benefits may be more prominent when multiple compounds from the cannabis plant are present. This is what researchers call the ‘entourage effect.’
The difference between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD relates to the contents of each form.
One 2018 study found that certain CBD compounds may also have neuroprotective effects.
Share on Pinterest Image credit: Heath Korvola / Getty Images.