Cannabidiol or CBD is becoming increasingly popular as time progresses. CBD products are currently being used to treat a variety of ailments, some of which may include anxiety, depression, epilepsy, chronic pain, inflammation, and less severe issues like acne and mild pain, etc. Users of CBD find that the all natural ingredients and non-psychoactive effects of this product are the most endearing qualities that keep them interested in it.
With it’s growing popularity, more and more CBD products are continuing to be introduced on the market. This can make finding the right selection for you a bit more complicated. Below, we will be breaking down the difference between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate to try and give you a better understanding of what these labels mean and how they are different.
Probably one of the most common misconceptions about CBD is that the same type of CBD is used in every product, and this is just not the case. Every product you come across will be labeled either “Full Spectrum”, “CBD Isolate”, or “Broad Spectrum”. Each is different and understanding their separate qualities can be an important step in deciding which product to choose for yourself and your particular ailment. We will be discussing the differences in each CBD type and explaining each of their advantages and disadvantages to ensure you go into your local dispensary with all the knowledge you will need to make the right choice.
Understanding Cannabinoids and why They are Important
Cannabinoids are the compounds found inside of the Cannabis plant. THC and CBD are the two most well known and used compounds among around 140 others. It was discovered in 1995 that these cannabinoids work together with the endocannabinoid system or ECS in the human brain to create a more natural remedy for some ailments. It was also later discovered that each cannabinoid can affect the body and mind in different ways. THC is widely known for being in the chemical compound in the cannabis plant responsible for the “high” effect felt by its users. Recreational users may prefer the THC as opposed to CBD.
CBD has been growing in popularity with people who may not enjoy the “high”, or may have adverse effects from the THC. It has actually been proven to combat THCs psychoactive properties. Other cannabinoids, such as cannabinol or CBN and cannabigerol or CBG, are also capable of producing a large range of different effects within users. The “Cannabinoid Spectrum” is the entire group of cannabinoids as a whole.
Diving Into the Cannabinoid Spectrum
A product’s full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate is determined by what part of the cannabinoid spectrum is found inside of said product. CO2 extraction is used to extract the CBD compounds from the cannabis plant in it’s purest form. This is how CBD products are created. Flavonoids and terpenes are among the multiple other cannabinoids that can be extracted during this process.
Different strains are handpicked to create certain products depending on what it will be used for. These compounds are then refined until they only contain the cannabinoids needed to create their product. The compounds found within the refined extracts will later determine whether a product will be broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, or isolate. Understanding these compounds will help you decide what product will suit you best.
Understanding CBD Isolate
An isolate is scientifically defined as being the most pure part of a compound, made by removing that particular compound out of its environment. It is “isolated” from its sister compounds to be used separately. CBD Isolate is, therefore, the most pure form of Cannabidiol. When all other compounds found within cannabis are removed, CBD Isolate is created. Hemp is normally what is used to extract CBD isolate from because of it’s very low and even non-existent levels of THC.
Explaining Full Spectrum CBD
Full Spectrum CBD, like CBD isolate, is all in the name. This is an extract that will contain every compound found inside the cannabis plant, including oils, terpenes, flavonoids, and many more cannabinoids. All of these compounds work as a team to intensify the positive benefits that each cannabinoid has to offer. This cannabinoid teamwork is more commonly called the “entourage effect”.
Isolated CBD was once believed to have more powerful effects than that of Full Spectrum CBD. This theory was put to rest in 2005 when a study done in Jerusalem determined that the amount of relief obtained with Full Spectrum CBD was far higher as opposed to CBD isolate. The results of this study also proved that larger dosages of Full Spectrum CBD increased its effects.
Broad Spectrum CBD: The In-between
Broad Spectrum CBD is the happy medium found between Full Spectrum and Isolate. It is a mixture of the two. It is like Full Spectrum CBD in that the compounds found inside of the plant are safe inside of the extract, but the THC is removed completely as found in CBD Isolate. Making in a sort of mix of the two. This gives Broad Spectrum CBD the ability to use the “entourage effect,” without the effects of THCs psychoactive properties.
Deciding What CBD is Best for You
Even after obtaining a better understanding of each CBD type, choosing which is right for you can still be a complicated process. Probably one of the most important things to understand is that one type is not better than the others, and visa versa. You may have a personal preference, and that’s fine. But what works for one person, may not work for another. Figuring out what works best for YOU as an individual is the main goal.
Below are some pros and cons of each separate type. These lists will help you better figure out what CBD type is best for you and your personal ailments.
CBD in it’s Most Pure Form. Pros and Cons:
- Some Pros of CBD Isolate may include:
- It is the most pure and natural form of CBD
- It does not contain and will not positively test for traces of THC
- Because there is no THC, there will be no psychoactive effects from using CBD Isolate
- Made for safe consumption
- Odorless and Tasteless
- Some Cons of CBD Isolate may include:
- CBD Isolate does not include the more intense benefits that the rest of the Cannabis plant has to offer
CBD Isolate works Best For:
- Patients instructed to take higher levels of CBD
- Anyone in a position to have frequent drug screenings
- Users who do not enjoy or have adverse effects to THC
- Anyone living in an area with stricter laws regarding THC
- Individuals interested in a product with little to no flavor
- New users looking to try out CBD for the first time.
Full Spectrum CBD
A CBD Extract made up of all other cannabinoids and compounds from the cannabis plant. Pros and Cons:
Some Pros of Full Spectrum CBD may Include;
- Less Tampering while in production
- Using the “Entourage Effect” to produce the full effects of the Cannabis Plant
Some Cons of Full Spectrum CBD may Include:
- May possibly produce sedative, psychoactive, and other side-effects that may not be necessary to your recovery
- In states with stricter THC laws, the THC content can produce legal issues
- Drug screening tests can possibly pick up traces of THC
- May produce the naturally strong and pungent odor of cannabis
Full Spectrum CBD works Best For:
- Patients instructed to consume a particular CBD to THC ratio
- Anyone living in an area with legal THC consumption laws
- Anyone with more severe health conditions requiring a more powerful solution as opposed to Isolate or Broad Spectrum CBD
It is important to take a non-bias approach to the different CBD types and be sure to follow your state’s laws regarding THC and THC consumption.
As stated above, one CBD type is not necessarily better than the next. What you decide to use should be carefully thought about to ensure you are getting the most out of your CBD product in regards to health benefits.
There are multiple different factors that can determine how a CBD product will affect you as an individual. Some of these factors may include your personal chemical makeup, your body mass index and weight, and your history in regards to other substances. A lot of people actually find the Broad Spectrum CBD to be their best bet because you receive all the positive aspects that the cannabis plant has to offer, without any negative repercussions of the THC compound. However, some people find that the THC levels are their better choice. It all just depends on you, your body, and what you need. Take some time to try each, if you are able, to get the best understanding of what works best for you.
All in all, it is safe to assume that the CBD Compound is only just beginning to break into the medical field. The Cannabis Plant has come so far in society and has so much farther to go. Scientists will continue to do research on Cannabis and it’s Cannabinoids and there is no telling what the future may hold!