Full Spectrum CBD vs CBD Isolate
Searching for a high quality CBD product can be overwhelming and frustrating. With so many products to choose from, and a varying range of price, one has to wonder what is the best product out there. Additionally with so many buzzwords: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, whole plant, isolate, terpenes, etc. analysis paralysis can easily set in. But, I am here to help clear up the confusion, especially when it comes to CBD isolate vs. full-spectrum CBD.
Full-Spectrum CBD is produced using the entire plant (except for the stalks) and while the CBD is “isolated” when extracting, it contains a whole array of other cannabinoids found in the plant. What are cannabinoids you might ask? Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. There are over a hundred cannabinoid compounds that have been isolated, including CBD and THC. THC is the part of the plant that creates “the high,” and CBD is the part of the plant containing the medicinal and therapeutic benefits.
Full-Spectrum CBD will contain MANY beneficial cannabinoids, such as CBDV, CBG, CBD, CBN, and even THC. Broad-spectrum on the other hand might have all of these, except for THC, which is great if you are concerned with passing a drug test. It’s important to note that CBD works best when combined with other cannabinoids, including THC. It creates what is known as the “ entourage effect.”
I like to relate it to a whole foods diet. You can get your veggies by taking a pill or in a smoothie packet, but it doesn’t compare to eating an actual kale salad full of seasonal vegetables. Which do you think will have the most nutritional benefit for the body? The WHOLE food! The same is true with the cannabis plant. You get the most bang for your back when extracting the whole plant.
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Each cannabinoid has its own set of therapeutic benefits, with CBD containing the most. Full spectrum CBD can help with: pain and inflammation, nausea, neurological symptoms, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and the list goes on. Dosage, however is very important when taking CBD, even the best full spectrum product won’t be effective if you are not taking enough. Follow my dosing guide to learn more.
CBD isolate is exactly what it sounds like. It contains ONLY CBD, and nothing else. Usually found in the form of a white powder, it is easy to dose and measure out, which makes it great for making edibles, or adding to your morning coffee. Seeing as how CBD contains most of the medical and therapeutic benefits, it was thought this was the best part of the plant, but recent studies (from 2015) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology found that the plant was most effective when other cannabinoids and plant terpenes were present. It was also these researchers that coined the term, “entourage effect.”
CBD isolates are generally cheaper, and might have their place in your CBD regime, but remember that the plant is best consumed as a whole, not just in part. While CBD isolate might have a better price point, just remember you won’t see the same medicinal and therapeutic benefits you will find in a full-spectrum product. Recent research has discovered that full-spectrum CBD is the best option.