Chances are you've found CBD products labeled “CBD Isolate” or “Full Spectrum CBD Oil” and got a little confused.
Simply put, CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD that is extracted from the plant and does not contain any other ingredients. Full-spectrum CBD, on the other hand, contains all of the natural chemicals found throughout the plant, including various other cannabinoids, essential oils, and terpenes.
So what do the individual extraction methods offer and how do they differ from one another? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each product? Let's take a closer look at CBD Isolate and Full Spectrum CBD to understand the differences between these two products.
Get to know cannabinoids and terpenes
Cannabinoids are plant substances found in the hemp plant. There are over 100 different cannabinoids worldwide, two of which are CBD and THC. These cannabinoids interact with the body's endocannabinoid system by targeting specific receptor sites that take up cannabinoids. Once a cannabinoid has reached a receptor site, it can work with the body to affect appetite, sensation of pain, memory, mood, and more.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is known for its calming and sedative effects. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, has psychoactive effects associated with the well-documented high. There are other cannabinoids like CBN (cannabinol), CBC (cannabichromene) and CBG that interact with the body's endocannabinoid system in different ways.
When cannabinoids are consumed together, a phenomenon called Entourage effect is known. The entourage effect states that the combination of cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, THC and CBD has a stronger effect than any single cannabinoid on its own. The entourage effect can be triggered by consuming any number of cannabinoids - not just CBD and THC.
Other organic compounds called terpenes and terpenoids also have an impact on the entourage effect. These compounds are found in many types of plants and are major components of essential oils. They are also responsible for the smell of cannabis plants. Like cannabinoids, each individual terpene is associated with a unique effect. The terpenes commonly found in the hemp plant include limes, humulene, myrcene and ocimene.
Hemp extract and cannabis extract
It is important that we differentiate between hemp extracts and cannabis extracts (marijuana) or hemp extract and CBD. Hemp extracts containing CBD are obtained from the hemp plant and may contain traces of THC or are even THC-free. Cannabis extracts, on the other hand, contain a certain amount of THC and are therefore not THC-free. According to the Agriculture Act of 2018, any CBD product made from hemp must contain less than 0,2% THC, otherwise it will be classified as a cannabis product under the law.
Different forms of CBD extracts
While we're primarily focusing on CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD, there is a third option: the broad-spectrum form. We've broken down all three primary extraction methods in more detail below.
Full Spectrum CBD
Full-spectrum products contain all of the natural chemicals found in the hemp plant, including the many types of cannabinoids and terpenes. This can lead to the wake effect mentioned above, which helps your body better absorb and utilize CBD.
The ingredients of the full spectrum CBD include essential vitamins and minerals, vegetable protein fibers, useful fatty acids, chlorophyll, terpenes and flavonoids. Sometimes these ingredients are simply referred to as “hemp oil extract,” but the term is a bit ambiguous because you don't know how much CBD you are actually getting. Because of this, it is important that you make sure that your full-spectrum CBD oil has been tested by a laboratory so that you know what is in it.
While you are unlikely to fail a traditional drug test using our products, the possibility cannot be ruled out. There are just too many types of drug tests, and since hemp products are relatively new to the market, it's hard to assume that all tests differentiate between THC and other types of cannabinoids.
If you have a zero tolerance policy on drugs in the workplace or elsewhere, you should know that some of the more sensitive drug tests can react positively to cannabinoids. If you are unsure of what your business is like, better check with your human resources department before you buy.
CBD isolate is made by extracting CBD from the plant and removing all other ingredients. Removing cannabinoids like THC may make it easier to pass a drug test, but there is more to consider when using CBD isolate than you might think. While isolated CBD is 99% pure CBD, it does not contain any of the beneficial terpenes or flavonoids that help the encoder work. As the figure below shows, pure CBD isolate lacks THC, CBC, CBN, and more. For this reason, CBD isolates typically cost less than full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD products.
Broad spectrum CBD
Broad spectrum CBD contains cannabidiol and the plant's other natural compounds, with the exception of THC, which is completely removed after the extraction process. Since broad spectrum CBD contains other cannabinoids in addition to THC, it can still produce the entourage effect.
Which cannabinoid extract is right for you?
Deciding which cannabinoid extract is right for you can be daunting. To find the CBD product that suits your needs, the first thing you should do is take a look at the many options available in the market today. CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD are available as pure oils, but there are many other ways to consume CBD as well.
CBD edibles are a popular choice, though research results suggest that when you consume CBD, the liver and digestive tract must break down the CBD before it can be fully absorbed - and your body may not absorb all of it. CBD topicals are all products that contain CBD and are applied to the skin: lotions, creams, balms, ointments and the like. Remember that your skin cannot absorb CBD as well, so you should choose a product that is high in CBD. Sublingual CBD products, sometimes referred to as "sublinguals," are absorbed under the tongue. These products include tinctures, sprays, oils, or lozenges that require you to keep the CBD product in your mouth instead of swallowing it. This method avoids the breakdown of CBD by the liver and digestive tract, and allows your body to absorb more CBD.
Now that you have found your preferred method of taking it, you should consider the strength of the product when you start dosing. Start with small doses to find out what effects the CBD can have on your body. While it is safe to consume high doses of CBD, it may be best to experiment and find out the ideal dosage if you are taking it in the middle of the work day. A small dose of CBD is roughly half the recommended serving, while a high dose is roughly double the recommended serving.
The CBD oil spectrum
Which CBD product is right for you depends on your personal preferences. CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD that you can consume, while full-spectrum CBD contains all of the natural and beneficial cannabinoids from the hemp plant. Full-spectrum CBD promotes the entourage effect, which supports the invigorating potential of cannabinoids - CBD isolate does not.
After assessing your current health, choose the product that suits your needs. Your fitness level, weight, body chemistry and lifestyle all play an important role in the decision. The differences between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD will affect the way you use these substances. Start with small doses, work your way up, and find a CBD product that you like.