Full spectrum CBD vs Isolate as a hemp-derived CBD choice may not be cut and dried. There are a few different ways CBD is formulated, the two most common being full-spectrum and isolate. Each has its own distinct features, and both have the full benefits of the hemp compound. Which is better, Full-spectrum CBD or isolate?
Keep reading to learn more about the full spectrum CBD vs. isolate formulations to help you decide which might be best for you.
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What is Full Spectrum CBD?
A full-spectrum formula contains all the compounds found in hemp. The complex plant with 545 distinct compounds. Nearly 150 of these phytochemicals are cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid or plant-based cannabinoid. The remaining compounds include 120 terpenes, 26 flavonoids, and 11 naturally occurring steroids.
The point of contention for some consumers is THC. Also known as ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid found in small amounts in hemp. Cannabis plants contain large quantities of THC and a tiny percentage of CBD.
Hemp is legal in the U.S. and several countries around the world, including the UK and many European Union nations. The plants have limited amounts of THC, which isn’t enough to cause a high. In the U.S., the legal amount is less than 0.3% and in the UK, it’s 0.2%.
How is a CBD isolate Different from Full-Spectrum CBD?
An isolate is 99% pure CBD. These hemp oils don’t contain any other compounds. Unlike a whole plant formula, the CBD isolate goes through a process that strips all the phytochemicals and leaves behind only CBD.
Isolates are available as a fine, crystalline powder that’s odorless and tasteless. The powder is often infused in an MCT oil.
The isolate has distinct advantages and disadvantages for consumers depending on their reasons for using the hemp product and their personal preferences.
Advantages of the Whole Plant Formula
Proponents of the full-spectrum hemp extract believe the plant knows best. To explain, the experts believe all 545 compounds work together to provide the ultimate benefits.
The cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids each play a vital role in their wellness abilities. The naturally occurring compounds all have unique characteristics, as well as many shared ones that provide essential benefits.
For example, there are several terpenes with anti-inflammatory properties that work with CBD to reduce common sources of inflammation, such as muscle soreness following a vigorous workout and inflammatory conditions associated with aging.
Some terpenes share anti-anxiety characteristics. These are,
These are just a few of the benefits of terpenes. There are at least 20,000 terpenes found in nature, and they’re responsible for the distinct aroma of different hemp cultivars.
Other potential benefits of terpenes include,
The theory that the shared characteristics allow the compounds to work together is the entourage effect, a long-standing scientific hypothesis by field experts.
Advantages of the CBD Isolate
The isolate CBD is odorless and tasteless, which makes it ideal for mixing with drinks and foods. Without a strong plant-like taste or aroma, it’s appealing enough for some users to consume it orally. There’s a select group of consumers that have trouble with the strong, natural taste of hemp extracts, and prefer not to use flavored oils.
The isolate goes through a second process that removes 99% of all other compounds, leaving behind a pure extract. Many buyers want the benefits of a full dose of only CBD.
In addition, some users prefer a THC-free product. Along with the stigma associated with THC, there are other reasons consumers want to skip the THC with their CBD.
Although it’s only a small amount, less than 0.03%, there’s still a chance it can show up on a drug screening. People who work in federal government and some state and local government jobs can lose their employment if they test positive for any percentage of THC.
Another advantage of using a CBD isolate is dosing. When you use a pure cannabinoid, you know the exact serving of CBD. With a full-spectrum CBD, that amount can be off slightly because of the other cannabinoids and compounds in the extract.
What is the Entourage Effect?
The entourage effect is a scientific theory that the plant’s many compounds work together to offer the best results for users. The theory was first coined by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam and his colleagues in 1998. The doctor is considered the Father of modern cannabis and one of the foremost experts on cannabinoids in the world.
Other researchers have continued Dr. Mechoulam’s work, including Dr. Ethan Russo, another cannabinoid expert. In 2008, he hypothesized,
Good evidence shows that secondary compounds in cannabis may enhance the beneficial effects of THC. Other cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid compounds in herbal cannabis or its extracts may reduce THC-induced anxiety, cholinergic deficits, and immunosuppression. Cannabis terpenoids and flavonoids may also increase cerebral blood flow, enhance cortical activity, kill respiratory pathogens, and provide anti-inflammatory activity.
Cannabis and Cannabis Extracts by John M. McPartland DO, MS & Ethan B. Russo, MD
Experts believe the full-spectrum CBD reduces any side effects. Consumers can also choose a higher potency oil to increase the dose of CBD without reducing the effectiveness.
The Final Decision: Whole-Plant CBD Oil or CBD Isolate?
Ultimately, settling the full spectrum cbd vs isolate debate is a personal choice. Obviously, if you have employment considerations, the pure compound without THC is the best option. In addition, if the amount of THC, no matter how small, bothers you, there’s no reason not to stick with an isolate.
In addition, athletes in competition face the same scrutiny as government employees. CBD from hemp is legal for most professional and semi-pro organizations, but THC isn’t. If a drug screening picks up the minute amount, users could be disqualified. To avoid these issues, most choose the CBD isolate to stay on the safe side.
Many purists don’t agree with extra processing to create an isolate formula. These consumers want a product as close to nature as possible, which means limiting the manufacturing process.
If full spectrum CBD vs. isolate is a debate you’re having, we suggest, if it possible in your circumstance, you try each! Try the 99% pure CBD isolates, make some notes. Then the next month, get yourself an excellent full spectrum oil and try that. This may be the very best way to decide which formulation you have the best experience with. Of course there is also no harm in mixing and matching!
American Hemp Oil offers both a premium full-spectrum CBD oil and a 99% pure CBD isolate. We offer both formulas in natural and flavored. Both options are derived from high-quality, 100% American grown industrial hemp.
Our cultivators never use harmful pesticides or other chemicals to grow GMO-free hemp plants. All American Hemp Oil products go through rigorous third-party lab testing to verify the safety, purity, and quality of each batch.