What is the difference between CBD Isolate and Full-Spectrum CBD?

CBD has quickly become a common ingredient found in a variety of products, but what makes different types of CBD different and how might one form better suit your lifestyle?

December 29, 2019

CBD, otherwise known as Cannabidiol, is one of the most popular compounds that is extracted from hemp. CBD, which is one of 113 different cannabinoids, is produced only by the cannabis plant, otherwise known as hemp or marijuana, which are two distinct subspecies. With CBD’s popularity, it can be found in practically every corner of the United States, from health and wellness stores to gas stations. But what makes all these offerings of CBD different and why should you choose one type of CBD over another? The first thing any consumer of CBD should be aware of is that not all CBD is the same. CBD comes in two basic forms: full-spectrum oil and isolated CBD. Both of these forms contain CBD but usually at very different amounts and ratios. 


Isolated CBD, or ‘Isolate’, is a pure, crystalline form of CBD that is produced by extracting and then isolating only CBD from the hemp plant. It is used in many different CBD products because of its odorless and tasteless nature. It also will not show up on a drug test for marijuana, making it a favorite of individuals that must be regularly tested for the presence of psychoactive marijuana or THC, another cannabinoid. CBD in its isolated form is a strong anti-inflammatory agent that can help reduce pain and help fight stress-related damage, improving recovery time for physical injuries. It also has been shown in some individuals to help with epilepsy. But because of the complex way that cannabinoids interact with our body, only taking a single one like CBD as opposed to a mix of many different cannabinoids is ultimately not as effective in treating and soothing pain and other maladies.  


Full-spectrum CBD is actually a misnomer. It’s not just CBD but a combination of sometimes many different cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, CBC, and even other non-cannabinoid fats and compounds that are all extracted from the hemp plant at once. When you consume full-spectrum CBD or any full-spectrum hemp extract, your body is processing all of these different cannabinoids through your liver and ultimately they interact with a set of receptors in your brain known as the cannabinoid receptors which are found in all mammals. This complex process of cannabinoid absorption and the effects of it are known as the entourage effect and this is only possible if a wide range of cannabinoids is consumed, which is the case for full-spectrum oil. Full-spectrum oil can have all of the benefits of isolated CBD with some extra effects including soothing anxiety, helping with gastrointestinal health and even helping to treat depression. All of that said, not all CBD products are made the same. 


With the wide range of products on the market that advertises CBD, many of these products may contain only trace amounts of Cannabidiol, not to mention possibly containing harmful chemicals which are a bi-product of sloppy or unprofessional extraction. Harmful carrier oils might also be mixed in with final products from dubious sources. That is why it is so important to go to trusted, experienced individuals that can help guide every person to the remedies that work best for them.

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