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.
Cannabis, with its complex chemical structure, contains over 100 active cannabinoids aside from CBD. It also contains terpenes, which have anti-inflammatory properties, and are regarded as increasing the efficacy of cannabinoids. Although they are not rated as important as CBD when it comes medical benefits, some of these other cannabinoids have been found to have symptom alleviating qualities as well. The cannabinoids CBN and CBG for example, are found in most full-spectrum extracts and studies have shown that both contain anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and pain relieving properties.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
Ethan Russo, a well-known cannabinoid researcher, has documented the entourage effect in the past. In an interview with Scientific American, Russo mentioned that as little as 5mg of pure THC is enough to cause psychosis-like symptoms in some people. When taken together with CBD, however, patients can take much higher doses (up to 48mg) of THC without these negative side effects.
Unfortunately, most of the research into cannabis has focussed heavily on the effects of THC and CBD. However, as more research starts to look into the many other compounds present in the cannabis plant, we’ll soon learn more about its endless potential.
If you’ve been shopping around for CBD, you’ve probably noticed some products marketed as full-spectrum, and others as CBD isolate. In this article, we’ll take a look at the differences between full-spectrum and isolate CBD, and what this means for end consumers like you.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES/DISADVANTAGES OF FULL-SPECTRUM AND ISOLATE CBD?
CBD isolate is especially popular among people who take large doses of CBD on a regular basis and are subject to random drug tests. Now, let’s be clear; most full-spectrum CBD products (including our entire CBD line) are made with hemp extract, which typically has extremely low THC concentrations (below 0.3%).
Research also shows that full-spectrum CBD products tend to offer better relief from some symptoms than isolates. A study  from the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem compared full-spectrum CBD with isolates in the treatment of pain and inflammation. In all aspects of the study, full-spectrum CBD always came out on top.
Studies have shown, for example, that the CBD in cannabis can counteract some of the negative side effects of THC  , such as anxiety. It’s believed that CBD can block some cannabinoid receptors  , therefore blocking the effects of THC, which binds directly to these receptors.
The entourage effect is a theory that claims that the compounds in cannabis can synergise in the body, producing unique effects. Now, some sources debate the validity of the entourage effect; however, there is solid research to suggest that cannabis’ distinct effects don’t simply come from the individual compounds it contains, but the way those compounds interact in the body.
Some people find the taste of hemp extract unpleasant, which may mean they should try a CBD isolate (or another method of taking CBD such as CBD capsules or gummies). The lack of flavor might also make isolate a better choice for cooking with CBD or mixing into some CBD cocktails. CBD isolate powder can also be an appealing option for making CBD products for personal use, such as homemade CBD massage oil.
The cannabis plant contains hundreds of different phytochemicals including cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds. Full-spectrum CBD or hemp oil generally refers to products that not only contain CBD but contain other plant molecules as well. This version of CBD oil is minimally refined, leaving most of the cannabinoids and terpenes intact and in the oil.
Always verify the CBD spectrum via third-party lab reports
Now that you understand the differences between the various spectrums, the final piece of the puzzle is to determine which spectrum to choose. Follow the steps through these primary considerations to determine which spectrum is right for you:
Learning how to read lab reports can be confusing at first, but it’s easy when you get the hang of it. Check out the guide on reading lab reports to learn more. There you’ll also find a section about how to clear up the common confusion around products that are full or broad-spectrum, but the lab reports look like CBD isolate.
CBD and the other cannabinoids have therapeutic benefits to humans thanks to our endocannabinoid system, a series of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) throughout the entire body. These receptors react to the cannabinoids our bodies produce which are molecularly very similar to the cannabinoids from cannabis and hemp.