What's the Difference Between CBD Isolates and Full Spectrum CBD?

cbd isolate and oil extract
When it comes to the hemp plant, the main two cannabinoids that come to mind are CBD and its counterpart, THC. However when hemp is processed there are many more active compounds in the resulting product, which all have different effects on your body. When consumed together, these cannabinoids combined are thought to create a stronger product.

So, how do you tell the difference between CBD that contains multiple compounds, and CBD which is more pure?

Read your labels.

CBD products will be labeled as either full-spectrum (also called wide-spectrum) or isolate.

Full-spectrum products will contain all of the compounds that were extracted from the hemp flower. This gives you a healthy dose of all the goodness the CBD has to offer. While you may have concerns about consuming THC and getting “high” off of full spectrum CBD oil, rest assured that by federal law CBD must only be extracted from hemp flowers, which are tested prior to processing to ensure they are below 0.3% THC. This trace amount of THC won’t be able to cause any psychoactive effects. However, these trace amounts of THC could show up on a drug test.

Another label you may see in the market is broad-spectrum. This product will contain the full range of cannabinoids extracted from the hemp plant, but will have specifically had the THC removed. If you are against THC or frequently drug tested at work, but still want to experience the benefits of the “entourage effect”, this is the product for you.

Proponents of full-spectrum CBD believe that consuming the product with all its original cannabinoids creates an “entourage effect”, where all the compounds work together and compliment one another to create a heightened feeling of relief.

Isolates are pure CBD (cannabidiol) with no other terpenes, cannabinoids or flavonoids. This form of CBD generally comes in a fine powder, wax, resin, crystals or “shatter”. They are most commonly consumed by “dabbing” or heating the compounds then inhaling the resulting vapor. But, alternate products like capsules, oil and edibles are starting to show up in the retail market as well.

So, which kind of CBD is right for you? Both products have their own benefits.

Isolate is ideal for people who want to be absolutely sure they are not consuming any THC whatsoever, and is also the best choice if you plan to do any cooking with your CBD as it is relatively tasteless and odorless in its pure form.

Full-spectrum is ideal for those looking for a stronger CBD and want to cash in on the entourage effect, combining cannabinoids for a heightened relief experience.
No type of CBD is better than another, just more customized for your specific needs. Part of the beauty of the hemp product is its adaptability to help such a wide range of consumers in different ways.

Do you have questions about full-spectrum CBD versus isolates, or cannabinoid processing and production in general? We love to talk hemp; reach out and let’s chat!

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