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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
The term full-spectrum is used when the CBD oil contains more than just the cannabinoid CBD – cue dozens of those hidden extras we spoke about earlier – and sometimes including small traces of THC (usually less than 0.03%), essential oils, flavonoids, terpenes, and other additional cannabinoids. Research suggests that with some of these additional cannabinoids comes the opportunity for wider health benefits.
While it’s hard to believe there are any drawbacks to pure CBD, isolating it from other cannabinoids and compounds does mean that you’ll miss out on the potential benefits of THC, terpenes and flavonoids, as well as their famous ‘entourage effect’ – a synergistic interaction that enhances the individual effect of each compound involved.
Full-spectrum cbd oil comes with that all-inclusive ‘entourage effect’ whereby you might benefit from the full range of effects that each compound brings to the party. Some of the reported health benefits include pain relief, anti-seizure, nutrient boost, nausea relief, muscle spasm relief, reduced anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2018 study also revealed that full-spectrum CBD is more effective for pain relief than CBD isolate, due to the combined effects of CBD and THC.
Full-Spectrum CBD: The Benefits
Since CBD isolate is pure, there’s no need to worry about any THC entering your system after consumption and you won’t fail a workplace drug test. It’s totally legal and has zero high-inducing effects, so you’ll be able to go about your day as normal – just a little bit more relaxed.
Full-spectrum CBD oil is minimally refined and usually contains traces of THC, which could give you a sensation of feeling high and could show up on a drug test (so it’s best not to get the two confused). In the UK, THC is only legal in products that contain no more than 1mg of the stuff and aren’t advertised as providing a medicinal benefit – a single milligram over and you’re looking at spending the rest of your days in an orange jumpsuit (ok, that’s an exaggeration, but the point is: it won’t be legal). Make sure to do your research before purchasing.
If you’re a first-time user and want to reap the benefits of CBD oil on health and wellbeing without having the high of full-spectrum CBD oil, then CBD isolate is the right choice for you. It allows you to go about your day more productively and with less anxiety. At Good Hemp, we’d recommend CBD isolate – give it a try yourself!
You’ve added the good stuff to your cart, now what? When it comes to taking CBD oil, you have the freedom to be as inventive as you like.
There are three main types of cannabidiol (CBD). CBD isolate is the pure form of CBD, while full-spectrum CBD is an extract containing other compounds of the cannabis plant, such as terpenes and other cannabinoids. The third type is broad-spectrum CBD.
Another 2018 study suggests that full-spectrum CBD is more effective for pain than CBD isolate because of the combined effects of CBD and THC.
With a range of reported health benefits, uses for full-spectrum CBD include:
For this reason, people who wish to take high doses of CBD may prefer a CBD isolate. This is not necessarily a negative quality of CBD isolate. Some people may prefer a product without THC, or they might be sensitive to this substance.
People use CBD for a variety of health reasons, such as pain and anxiety. While more research could clarify their anecdotally reported benefits, some evidence suggests that CBD products can help with certain conditions.