The world of CBD products can be both an exciting and overwhelming place. While it is fantastic that there are so many different CBD products available, that also means that there is so much more to look at and learn!
The variety can cause confusion, and we completely understand that. It gets even harder when there are many products with similar names as it becomes difficult to know what one offers that another does not.
We’d like to take some time today to explain the difference between CBD isolate products and full-spectrum products. We often get asked about these substances, so we know that it is a confusion point for many. Let’s get started!
First, Meet CBD:
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details about what separates isolate products from full-spectrum products, let’s touch on what CBD is and what it is most frequently used for.
Cannabis, whose varieties include both marijuana and hemp, is known for having many different types of effects. The effects of cannabis are caused by cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in cannabis, and CBD is one of those compounds!
How Do Cannabinoids Work?
Every body has an endocannabinoid system. This system is made up of receptors, and those receptors can bind with cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are a specific type of chemical compound. Cannabis contains more than 100 different kinds of these substances, along with other compounds called terpenes and flavonoids that give cannabis its distinctive taste and smell.
When a cannabinoid binds with a receptor, a specific effect will begin to happen in the body. The effects can be in the blood, nervous, digestive, or really any other system! The effect depends on where the cannabinoid came from, where it binds, and how well it binds. Based on these attributes, different effects will happen.
The Most Common Cannabinoids
CBD and THC are the most well-known cannabinoids. Cannabidiol, or CBD, in particular, has become very popular because it does not cause any psychoactive effects. This means that you don’t get high when you use CBD products, but you can still feel other effects. CBD products have been on a fast-track to full legalization in the United States.
CBD is available in a lot of different products, but the products are often marketed as either full (or broad-)-spectrum or isolate. So what’s the difference?
All About CBD Isolate
CBD oil marketed as a CBD isolate is a form of pure CBD. Cannabis contains more than 100 cannabinoids, but CBD isolate products contain the cannabinoid CBD and nothing else. The extraction is very pure as the other components are removed through a complex process, usually involving CO2 or other solvents.
Since CBD has been widely researched (compared to other components of cannabis) and there are many studies supporting the effects that it has on the body, CBD isolates have been a very popular choice for medicinal use. In fact, the FDA recently approved a CBD-isolate pharmaceutical called Epidiolex.
As there are no other cannabinoids in isolate products, the results and effects are more predictable. Many even believe that this is the safest and smartest way to use CBD.
Understanding The Power of Full-Spectrum CBD Extract
The other type of CBD oil that you might hear about from time to time is full-spectrum or broad-spectrum extract. Sometimes, this extract is abbreviated as FSO. In FSO, there are more cannabinoids in the final product than just CBD because it has not been as extracted as isolated CBD oil.
In broad-spectrum oil, there are more active plant and chemical compounds than just CBD itself. Cannabinoids such as CBN, CBG, CBDa, CBCVA and more might all be in a full-spectrum oil in varying amounts depending on the precise product composition. Additionally, broad spectrum products contain terpenes and flavonoids extracted from the plant along with cannabinoids.
When all of these different cannabinoids work together, some users find that the effects are more powerful or effective for their needs. This is often referred to as the “entourage effect” because the combination of numerous cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids create specific unique effects.
Full-spectrum extract users sometimes mention that they get a bigger boost from it, or that they can notice its effects more.
The Risk of THC
Because THC is the cannabinoid that causes users to feel “high”, compliant CBD products cannot contain high amounts of THC. While each state has different rules about THC levels, depending on their cannabis laws, CBD is currently legal for interstate commerce only when it is extracted from hemp, not marijuana. There is a legal limit of .3% THC for all hemp-derived CBD products.
While each state has different rules about THC levels, depending on their cannabis laws, CBD is currently legal for interstate commerce only when it is extracted from hemp, not marijuana. There is a legal limit of .3% THC for all hemp-derived CBD products.
Most CBD products are low-THC even when they contain the cannabinoid, however, because hemp is a low-THC plant. If your vendor is reputable, they will be able to provide certificates of analysis that clearly indicate THC concentrations, so you don’t have to worry about ingesting something you don’t want to.
Which CBD Product Is Right For You?
Ultimately, the decision about which of these two products is right for you is going to be up to you, but we can help you make that choice if you want!
It was thought for many years that CBD isolate was the superior product because it was cleaner and more straightforward. In more recent years as more research has come in, it has become clear that full spectrum products have their own benefits.
It’s now believed that in many cases broad-spectrum products may have more powerful effects because the cannabinoids balance and boost each other in positive ways. The interactions between different chemicals and their receptors lead to special effects that you might not see with a CBD isolate.
We believe that both products have their place. If you’ve never tried any full-spectrum products, however, we do think that it is time for you to see what time of synergy you can discover when you use a product containing a range of different cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
Still, many people prefer to use CBD isolate because they trust the studies done by pharmaceutical companies or they worry about the presence of other compounds. If you would prefer to stick to something that is tried-and-true, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using CBD isolate!