Full Spectrum CBD vs Isolate

What is the difference between Full Spectrum vs CBD Isolate?

The market is flooded with CBD companies right now. There are so many companies these days selling CBD in all different kinds of forms-oils, tinctures, salves and balms, edibles, and crystals or powders.

It’s always important to be an educated consumer, and in an unregulated market like the CBD industry, that’s even more important. Since there are no guidelines and regulations with respect to the production and labeling of CBD products, it falls on us as a company to be as transparent as possible to build trust with our customers. That being said, customers should also take the time to learn the basics about CBD.

That starts with knowing your terms, and some of the most important terms to understand are full-spectrum and isolate.

If you remember in our last post, we explained that hemp and marijuana are full of chemicals called cannabinoids, the most plentiful of which are THC, tetrahyrocannabinol, and CBD, cannabidiol.

When a CBD product is referred to as full-spectrum, it means that it includes all the other cannabinoids found in the source plant. So, the extraction process used on hemp or marijuana pulls the CBD from the plant, and also the other cannabinoids found in it. CBD isolate is pretty much what the term indicates- just CBD, purified and separated from any other cannabinoids found in the source plant.

Is there a difference between the two? Wouldn’t CBD isolate be better, since you could get more of the cannabinoid that shows such medicinal promise? Although it may seem counterintuitive, research so far indicates that full-spectrum CBD is more effective than isolate.

One notable study regarding this came from the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem. The study examined the effectiveness of isolated CBD versus full-spectrum CBD extract. It concluded that CBD isolate yields a bell-curve of effectiveness (it becomes less effective after a certain point) while full-spectrum CBD continued to be effective in providing pain relief with an increase in dosage. All of the tests performed for this study indicate that CBD isolate is only effective at a certain dose, while full-spectrum CBD continues to provide relief as the dosage goes up. The study found even more interesting results; basically that full-spectrum CBD extract has qualities that can aid in pain relief that aren’t found in common anti-inflammatory drugs. You can read more about the study, its methods, and results here.

Using a full-spectrum CBD extract allows for what scientists refer to as the “entourage effect”. It basically states that CBD works more effectively in the presence of the many other cannabinoids found in cannabis. And that’s why we elect to only use full-spectrum CBD oil for our products!

Further Reading:

Overcoming the Bell-Shaped Dose-Response of Cannabidiol

Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid- terpenoid Entourage Effects

Terpenes and the Entourage Effect

Synthetic vs. Whole-plant CBD

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