CBD isolate or Full Spectrum?
When people first experience and then slowly begin to understand how they get the most benefits from their own CBD intake, they are often faced with a choice between using products that are made from either CBD isolate or full spectrum CBD. Simply put CBD isolate is a purified form of CBD (usually 99%+ pure) that has been extracted from the cannabis plant and isolated from all of the other cannabinoids. It usually exists as a near white crystalline powder and will contain no other active compounds than CBD itself.
Full spectrum (or whole plant) CBD means that the hemp extract used will contain all of the other cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant as well including:- CBDa, CBG (Cannabigerol), and THCv (Tetrahydrocannabivarin), to name just a few. And yes, along with all of these other cannabinoids, full spectrum CBD will also contain small amounts of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) but only in extremely low concentrations, resulting in very minimal, if any, psychoactive stimulation.
While it is possible to create reasonable quality full spectrum hemp extracts simply by extracting CBD rich hemp into either butter, coconut oil or something else similar, to achieve the very best cannabinoid and terpene profiles other more expensive and complicated processes must be used, like a supercritical CO2 extraction for example. So, why is this information important and what sort of reasons could you have for choosing one type of product over another in future?
Which is more effective?
As the picture above shows, there are various individual cannabinoids found in the hemp plant and each one can potentially offer various benefits. Most notably however, CBD is thought to offer nearly all of the benefits of each of the other cannabinoids combined, and while there is no debate that CBD itself does offer the most benefits compared to any other single cannabinoid, many people have often wondered if taking CBD by itself is really going to be as effective for them as consuming all cannabinoids combined.
It was initially believed that 99%+ pure CBD isolate was the “gold standard” of non-psychoactive cannabis products, but in 2015 a study from the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem researchers found that this wasn’t the case. By administering full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate to two different groups and then comparing the data between them, researchers found that the results proved that the group administered with full spectrum CBD were provided with higher levels of relief.
Furthermore, the study demonstrated that full spectrum CBD continued to provide relief as the dose increased, while CBD isolate did not provide the same effect. This is due to the fact that full spectrum extracts contain all of the other cannabinoids and terpenes combined instead of just extracted CBD, and this discovery has now become known as ‘the entourage effect’.
The entourage effect
The entourage effect declares that CBD will create better results when combined with all of the other properties from the source plant, instead of just existing on its own. Various studies have indicated that CBD, when in the presence of the other plant constituents, becomes more potent and efficacious.
These studies conclude that “the higher efficiency of plant extract can be explained by additive or synergistic interactions between CBD, terpenes, and the minor phytocannabinoids or non-cannabinoids presented in the extracts… …because other phytocannabinoids, including Tetrahydrocannabivarin, Cannabigerol and Cannabichromene, as well as mono- and sesqui- terpenes, exert additional effects of therapeutic interest and the therapeutic synergy observed with plant extracts results in the requirement for a lower amount of active components, with consequent reduced adverse effects.”
In other words, a full spectrum product often works better because you will need less of it than isolated CBD. This can also help to reduce any side effects. In the Lautenberg study, the researchers also found that even with a larger than optimal dose of full spectrum CBD, the effectiveness plateaued. In other words, the therapeutic ceiling was reached without any further issues.
The study also said, “Benefits were only observed when CBD (isolate) was given within a very limited dose range, whereas no beneficial effect was achieved at either lower or higher doses.” This means of course that CBD isolate is still effective, however, at certain dosages, it would seem that a full spectrum product will be a better option as full spectrum CBD can retain its efficacy at any dosage.
Choosing the right product for you
While full spectrum CBD has ultimately been proven to be more effective than CBD Isolate even at lower doses, it does still potentially have some drawbacks. The undoubted effectiveness of CBD Isolate cannot be discredited and there are still a wide variety of situations when CBD isolate could be the preferred option.
As an example you may simply not need the full capabilities of full spectrum CBD, or legally you may not be allowed to use THC and could be subject to drug testing. In cases such as this avoiding THC completely is obviously going to be the prefered option, and as full spectrum CBD oil can potentially contain small amounts of THC it should not be used. It is also important to note that some other cannabinoids found in full spectrum oils could potentially cause negative reactions in some people when isolated CBD wouldn’t.
Full spectrum CBD oils created either through ethanol or CO2 extractions will often have quite a distinct taste to them. By comparison however CBD isolate is virtually tasteless and this is another reason why a CBD isolate based product may be preferred.
Similarly, if a person needs to know exactly how much CBD they are taking, then an isolate may be the best choice for them. With a 99%+ pure CBD isolate it is much easier for users to specify exactly how much CBD they are going to be getting, and so is a great option for individuals who want to be able to calculate their exact personal CBD dosage by the milligram.
Vaping is of course another one of the more popular methods of consuming CBD, and is an example where isolate crystals have proven to be the best choice also, with the general rule being that it is not thought to be safe to vape full spectrum oils extracted through either CO2 or alcohol based processes due to the possibility of plant fats, waxes or other possible impurities being created.
So, as you can see the possible benefits of CBD exist in both types of products, and this is why, when choosing your CBD product type, the choice will usually come down simply to your own personal preferences. For a more holistic approach to using CBD, a full spectrum CBD oil product will probably be the best choice, but if you are after a more controlled or purer method, then you can try an CBD isolate based one instead!
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Third party laboratories analyze all of our hemp for cannabinoid potency, heavy metals, bacterial / microbial life, mycotoxins, and pesticides. All oils, extracts and isolate will have been tested for potency, heavy metals, and pesticides. Certificates of Analysis (COA’s) for individual products are also available to be viewed and can be found here.
The fact remains that everyone is in a different place and will react differently to CBD. A serving size or dosage of CBD will differ for each person. It is best to start small and then gradually increase until you experience the desired result. It is not thought to be possible to overdose on CBD, however it is now generally recommended that you should start at a minimum dosage of 20mg per day and not to exceed a maximum dosage of 70mg per day on average, unless a doctor has agreed a higher amount..
Always consult a doctor before using any new supplement. Not suitable for pregnant or lactating women. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Our newsletters are intended to provide the reader with general information only regarding CBD that is already available in the public domain.