CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum 101

CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum 101

With loads of talk about CBD, cannabinoids, and the Entourage Effect, there’s a cloud of confusion swirling through the CBD retail industry. Left and right, sellers are coming up with new, flowery ways to talk about CBD, making it more and more difficult for buyers to make well-informed choices.

Since CBD oil is rapidly rising through the market as one of the most potent ways to enjoy the benefits of hemp, there’s a great debate on whether CBD isolate or full-spectrum oil is the way to go.

No doubt, it’s really starting to highlight just how wild and unregulated CBD retail is. But don’t worry – here’s some well-deserved clarity to help you brush through the choices and find out once and for all what sets CBD isolate and full spectrum apart.

What is CBD Isolate?

CBD or cannabidiol is one of the 133 cannabinoids found in the plant Cannabis sativa L. It makes up 40% of hemp’s cannabinoid profile, and is essentially what’s responsible for the whole range of benefits that hemp provides. For some people, CBD is the end-all-be-all, the crowning glory, and the single most important component of hemp in terms of its health benefits.

That said, there are tons of manufacturers who have gone out of their way to produce what’s called CBD isolate – the purest concentration of CBD known to man. What this basically means is that the CBD in hemp was extracted, isolated, and turned into a product all on its own – without any of those other cannabinoids in the picture.

They’re available as oils, edibles, tinctures – you name it. The main distinguishing factor is that they’re almost purely CBD – with an average concentration of 90%. What’s the benefit of taking CBD isolate, you ask? Well for starters, it’s almost entirely odorless and thus tasteless. So, for low tolerance users who just want the benefits without the sensory explosion, CBD isolate bids well.

Another thing is that CBD isolate does away with all of the other cannabinoids in the mix – that includes tetrahydrocannabinoid or THC. In effect, taking doses of CBD isolate promises that you won’t get a false positive on a drug test because it tosses out THC – the main psychoactive compound in marijuana which is also present in trace amounts in hemp.

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

And in the red corner, we have full spectrum CBD. What is it and how is it different from CBD isolate? Well, simple – it’s the full spectrum. The whole shebang. All the marbles. Full spectrum combines all of the various cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and mixes them together in a concentrated extract. That’s all 133 of them, including tetrahydrocannabinol.

So why would you want something that includes all of the cannabinoids if CBD is the only one that matters? The big answer to that burning question is the Entourage Effect. According to research, cannabinoids just work better when they’re together. They’re a family, after all. So, when you isolate just one of them, that stony lonesome chemical compound might not be able to maximize its potential without a little help from its peers, which is what people have been trying to say about CBD isolate.

Extracting the cannabinoids from hemp in full, without taking away or isolating just a select few, enables the chemicals to amplify each other’s effects. So, what you get is a more potent blend that produces more palpable effects for a longer period of time. That said, anyone using hemp for conditions involving discomfort, aches, and pains that plague both body and mind, full spectrum would be the way to go.

What is Broad Spectrum?

You can think of broad spectrum as the cautious brother of the professional and polished CBD isolate and the fun, feisty full spectrum blend. Think everything except the kitchen sink. Called broad spectrum, this extract takes a bunch of the cannabinoids found in cannabis, but excludes just a few of them – namely THC. So, what you get is an almost complete profile that has moderately more potent effects, but not quite at the same level as full spectrum.

The advantage of broad spectrum is that you might be able to leverage some of the benefits of the Entourage Effect without toying with THC. So, the risk of getting a false positive on a drug test is eliminated, and you still get to somehow rev up the benefits of CBD. On the downside, it will have a taste, and not all people like how these extracts treat the palate. Nonetheless, masking the flavor with the chewy goodness of gummy candy can be an effective way to minimize the tang. Another thing is that while it does try to match up to full spectrum products, it’s really just a few notches down.

What’s Right for You?

That really depends – what’s your specific situation? For the most part, broad spectrum can work wonders for those who desire the relief and comfort that the main active ingredient of hemp brings. It’s 100% legal and allows low tolerance users join in on the bandwagon without involving their senses. Developed to exclude THC, these products somehow amp up the potency without putting you in danger of a fake positive drug test.

On the other hand, if you’re dealing with something a little more serious, then full spectrum is the way to go. Amplifying the effects of every single cannabinoid in the plant – including cannabidiol – full spectrum extracts are far more potent, delivering long lasting effects that are significantly more palpable. Needless to say, a little goes a long way with full spectrum products, so you might not have to restock your stash too often with these powerful formulations.

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