CBD Isolate vs Full spectrum: A Comparison


At first glance, cannabis seems like a pretty easy concept to grasp. You smoke it, you get high, and anxiety goes away. Right?

Well, not so much. Once you start to learn more about cannabis, you learn that there is a lot of science involved in this wonderful plant. Knowing the different active ingredients and chemical compounds within cannabis can help you enhance your experience. Even if you don’t want to get high, there’s a lot to learn. CBD products come with a lot of labels that can be confusing at first glance.

One of these labels is “full spectrum.” Many hemp or CBD products will list themselves as using “full spectrum CBD.” But what does that mean? Is the alternative a better choice?

The answer is up for debate. There’s a reason that brands and products make a point to advertise themselves as “full spectrum.” Your other choice is CBD isolate, which may appear to be the better option, but isn’t always the best choice.

Let’s break down what CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD are and how each of them benefit you and your symptoms.

What Is CBD?

Before we get into the different types of CBD, it’s important to understand what CBD is. CBD is one of the active ingredients in the cannabis plant. It is one of over 100 cannabinoids that exist within the plant.

The type of cannabinoids in your cannabis may mean the difference between getting high and staying sober. THC is the intoxicating cannabinoid - it’s what makes you “stoned.” CBD is psychoactive but not intoxicating. You can smoke a CBD-only strain of weed and still drive afterward.

Cannabinoids are just one type of chemical compound that give the plant its physical and healing properties. Alongside a strain’s cannabinoids you will likely hear about its terpenes.

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are another type of chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are more likely to support the larger healing properties of the plant. Terpenes, on the other hand, give each strain other unique qualities. Smell, taste, and the type of high you experience are all influenced by the terpene content of a strain.

Take limonene. Strains high in limonene are likely to give you a more uplifting buzz. Limonene also adds a citrusy scent and flavor to different strains. (Citruses like lemons and grapefruits also contain high amounts of limonene!)

What is CBD Isolate?

So CBD is just one of the active ingredients in cannabis. It’s certainly one of the hottest ingredients right now. CBD is in everything: skincare, massage oils, you name it. It’s praised for its ability to reduce anxiety, reduce inflammation, and promote better sleep.

So why not isolate CBD from the rest of the active ingredients in the cannabis plant?

CBD isolate is just that: pure CBD. The cannabis plant must go through a long extraction process in order to produce CBD isolate. After all, manufacturers will have to separate CBD from every other active ingredient. This can be a lot of work.

The result is a white powder that is mixed into CBD products or sold by the gram. Many CBD enthusiasts buy CBD isolates so they can dab them. If you’re not into dabbing, you can also ingest, smoke, or vaporize the product.

What Is Full Spectrum CBD?

Full spectrum CBD isn’t as pure as CBD isolate. In addition to CBD, full spectrum products have a mix of CBD, other cannabinoids, and terpenes. It is still a concentrate, extracted from the cannabis plant through different methods. The result is a tincture or oil that is mixed into other products. You can even make full spectrum CBD at home!

Does Full Spectrum CBD Contain THC?

Yes, but not very much. Hemp plants are classified as such because they contain .3% THC. If your CBD products are extracted from hemp, they should not get you high.

If you are very worried about the amount of THC in your CBD products, look for “broad spectrum” CBD. Broad spectrum CBD contains all of the active ingredients as full spectrum CBD, but has no THC whatsoever.

Which Is Better?

At first glance, it may seem like CBD isolate is the better option. After all, it is pure CBD. But experts and frequent CBD users don’t always agree. Full spectrum CBD is typically chosen as the better product for symptoms like anxiety, joint pain, or insomnia.

Why? The other cannabinoids in CBD have healing benefits. Studies on CBN, for example, show that it helps to promote sleep and stimulate appetite. CBG can help to fight pain and nausea. When these cannabinoids work together in the body’s endocannabinoid system, they can produce more results than each one working alone in a higher quantity.

Healing benefits aside, full spectrum CBD is easier to make and more accessible to consumers. Purchasing a full spectrum CBD product is as easy as searching online and making a decision. CBD isolates are sold only at specific dispensaries and come at over $40 for a gram.

Of course, CBD isolates may be the better choice for you. If you want to dab your CBD or don’t get much out of full spectrum CBD products, isolates might be worth a shot. Everybody has a slightly different reaction to cannabis, so feel free to experiment and listen to your body.

Other Factors to Consider When Buying CBD Products

“Full spectrum” is just one quality that brands will tell you about their products. When you are shopping online for CBD products, also consider:

-Essential oils or terpenes that have been added to your products -What the CBD product is mixed with (MCT oil, coconut oil, etc.) -The type of product (topical, oil, edible, etc.) -Third-party lab results -Reviews from past customers -How much CBD is in each dropper or serving -Price

This research may seem excessive, but it can help you make the best investment in yourself and your health.

Browse through our entire CBD superstore and find the perfect CBD product to treat your symptoms and boost your health.

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