Cannabidiol, or CBD, comes in three forms, namely;
- CBD isolate
- Broad-spectrum CBD
- Full-spectrum CBD
Among them, CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD are most common.
This article discusses the key differences between CBD isolate and full spectrum – including their potential gains and shortcomings. In the end, you’d have some pro tips up your sleeve to help select the most suitable among the confusing CBD forms.
What’s the Difference Between CBD Isolates and Full-Spectrum CBD?
Content differentiates CBD isolate from full-spectrum CBD.
CBD isolate refers to CBD-only extract. Also referred to as pure CBD, isolate products contain over 99 percent CBD.
Isolate is commonly extracted from the hemp variant of cannabis rather than marijuana. Unlike the latter, hemp already contains low THC. Originally, isolate CBD comes in crystal form, which is ground to powder.
Conversely, full-spectrum CBD oil contains all components of the marijuana plant, including flavonoids, terpenes, and all cannabinoids, plus the high-causing THC.
However, against the Farm Bill, full-spectrum CBD may contain but not more than .3 percent THC concentration.
Whether isolate or full-spectrum, extractors use pretty much similar extraction techniques, including:
- Carbon dioxide extraction technique
- Solvent extraction technique
- Steam distillation technique
- Lipid extraction technique
Although similar, CBD’s isolate undergoes an extra refining process to achieve a near-100-percent CBD concentrate.
Benefits of CBD Isolates
If you’re opting for CBD isolate, here are expected gains:
CBD Isolate helps you bypass THC and all its’ troubles,’ including a ‘high,’ anxiety, and a ruined drug test. Remember, quality pure CBD does not contain THC and its effects.
However, to confirm the product’s quality and credibility, ask your vendor for a Certificate of Analysis(COA) and match the result against the product label’s claims. Ensure there are no THC traces in the product. If a product does not provide a recent CoA for a product, move to the next listing.
Dosage recommendations are easier to calculate with CBD isolate. Being CBD-only, it’s easy to gauge the CBD concentration of your product. Although CBD isolate is exceptionally well tolerated even at high doses, it’s best to begin with low doses and, over time, work it up to something more suitable.
Versatile dosage routes
Also, CBD is available in different forms to satisfy wide-ranged user’s preferences. While you can consume in its powdered form, the sweet-toothed prefers to mix isolate into their favorite drinks and foods. Either way, the resultant effect is similar – although some applications may deliver faster, longer-lasting or/and higher-acting impact than others.
CBD isolate has a more bearable taste. Full-spectrum has a characteristic soured taste – a turn-off for many users. When infused into foods, it’s easier to coat CBD isolates light taste and odor than full spectrum’s overbearing smell and taste.
Note worthily, CBD’s potency drops when exposed to heat. So, you may reconsider preparing a CBD-infused meal over high temperatures to avoid losing essential properties.
Why Full-spectrum CBD?
full spectrum combines all the ingredients of the cannabis plant to deliver a uniquely more potent effect, known as the ‘entourage effects.’ The entourage effect is a phrase coined by researchers in reference to the more powerful impact delivered by multiple compounds.
THC, but under .3 percent
Indeed, full-spectrum contains all the components of cannabis. However, US federal law prohibits products with more than .3 percent THC.
Researchers suggest this amount is widely inadequate to cause a high. However, during production, extractors report a possible rise in THC during CBD’s conversion into concentrate. Hence, request a third-party lab test before using or even purchasing a product.
CBD may also help reduce THC’s unwanted side effects, including anxiety, sedation, and the ‘munchies’ feeling.
So, which CBD is right for me?
Somewhat tricky to answer.
One time, CBD isolate was widely preferred to other CBD forms since it contained only CBD – one of the most scientifically understood compounds in cannabis.
The narrative soon changed after researchers found health seekers could gain more from the ‘entourage effect’ than CBD –Isolate offers.
Still, while more CBD recommendations favor full-spectrum – and even broad-spectrum (will be discussed briefly) – over isolate, it all boils down to individual preferences.
So, what CBD product is right for you?
Perhaps, you’re not sure, here’s a quick guide:
Consider CBD isolate if you
- Do not desire THC, even in wee-bit concentration
- Wish to dose large quantity of CBD
- Anticipate a drug test. High doses of full-spectrum CBD oil may ruin your drug test result. Even, many so-called pure-CBD are not entirely safe. During processing, traces of THC may ‘sneak in.’
- You can’t stand the full spectrum’s sour taste and earthy aroma.
Conversely, here are some typical reasons you may prefer full-spectrum CDB over isolate.
Consider Full-spectrum CBD
- If you don’t mind the earthy taste. The many compounds in full-spectrum contribute to its pungent taste and smell. That said, some flavoured full-spectrum products on the market conceal CBD’s earthy taste.
- For its entourage effect. Here’s why full-spectrum is the commonest recommendation for most health concerns. Researchers say CBD may do a lot more when the compounds are used together than when dosed individually.
- If you’re an experienced CBD user: The federal books prohibit products with over .3 percent THC concentration. This percentage is considered too insignificant to cause a high, particularly for experienced users.
Picking one form of CBD over the other can be a tricky decision.
Pure CBD is odourless, tasteless, versatile, and of course, THC-free.
Full-spectrum, on the other hand, offers a fuller and more fulfilling effect, since it contains all the hundreds of potential health-giving compounds found in the hemp plant.
However, if you wish to manage a health condition with CBD, a full-spectrum seems a better deal due to its entourage effect.
Note – between these two CBD forms, there’s a middle ground – Broad-spectrum CBD.
Broad-spectrum is another form of CBD which contains CBD and all cannabis properties, except THC. It may be fair to refer to broad-spectrum as full-spectrum without THC. This form is designed for those who want more than just CBD-only but detest THC.