In this article, we’ll talk about what’s the terms “isolate” and “full-spectrum,” mean. We’ll also discuss which particular products are best suited for specific medical conditions.
CBD oil is one of the fastest rising industries in North America (and not to mention the globe) in the last few decades, so it pays to be up-to-date on what CBD oil is, how it works, and how it’s made.
What is CBD, first of all, and how is it made?
CBD is simply an active chemical compound, or cannabinoid, that’s found in the cannabis plant. The reason it’s becoming so popular right now is because it doesn’t get you high, unlike regular cannabis(THC). There have been thousands of medical studies showing all of the health benefits that CBD has, the main one being that it doesn’t produce any mind-altering psychoactive effects.
It’s important to be able to distinguish between the terms “hemp,” “marijuana,” and “cannabis”. Cannabis is an umbrella term that includes both hemp and marijuana plants. Cannabis sativa is actually the scientific name of the cannabis plant (Cannabis = genus; sativa = species).
Hemp and marijuana are two different “varieties” of it (i.e. you could refer to both marijuana and hemp plants as “cannabis” plants, but you would not, for instance, refer to a “marijuana” plant as a “hemp” plant).
The key difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp contains practically zero THC. In fact, in order to be classified as hemp, a cannabis plant must contain less than 0.3% THC by volume. This is important because it’s actually the reason why hemp products are legal to buy, sell, and ship.
Majority of CBD oils and other CBD products come from hemp. This is which is why the industry is seeing such a monstrous spike in popularity – there’s no THC thus no chances of psychoactive effects. This allows anyone to get online and order CBD medication straight to their doorstep.
If you’re trying to keep track of all this, basically just remember the following:
- Marijuana mostly contains both THC and CBD, it gets you high, and, depending on the state you live in, it is illegal
- Hemp contains minor amounts of THC.
- Hemp contains other cannabinoids, one of them is CBD
- Both hemp and marijuana plants fall under the larger umbrella term of “cannabis” plants
There are a few techniques that can be used to extract CBD from plants. The most popular one involves running harsh chemicals like butane (lighter fluid) or hexane over the raw plant material, but people quickly found out that this resulted in trace amounts of carcinogenic compounds (like formaldehyde) being left over in the end product which made it harmful to the body.
While many manufacturers still use this method (do your research on the products you’re buying), most are switching over to a method called CO2 extraction, which is much cleaner and believed to be much more healthy.
Also, cold ethanol extraction is considered to be another good method, but it’s still unclear on how much safer this technique is than actual butane extraction.
In any regard, the exact extraction process determines whether the active CBD compound is removed from the plant as an “isolate,” or as a “full-spectrum” oil.
CBD isolate vs. full-spectrum oil: A general comparison
A CBD isolate is exactly what it sounds like; pure, isolated CBD compound, all by itself. It exists as a white-ish powder and contains no other active compounds.
It was initially believed that pure CBD was the “gold standard” of non-psychoactive cannabis therapy, but recently people are figuring out that this is hardly the case (more on that later).
Full-spectrum oil, on the other hand, contains other active plant compounds in addition to the CBD. This includes other cannabinoids such as CBN, CBL, and CBCVA, as well as aromatic (nice smelling) cannabis terpenes like pinene and limonene.
So other than the presence of cannabis compounds, what’s the difference between full-spectrum CBD oil and CBD isolate? How do you know which one you need?
How to choose between full-spectrum CBD oil and CBD isolate
Like we mentioned a moment ago, it used to be the belief that “pure CBD,” or CBD isolate, packed the most potent punch in terms of cannabis therapy. And that would make sense too, right? If we know that CBD is primarily the active compound in the plant that provides the medical relief and therapy, then wouldn’t it make sense to make a 100% pure powder out of it?
Well not necessarily, as it turns out.
In 2015, researchers out of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology discovered the “entourage effect.” This refers to the functioning of CBD along with other cannabis plant compounds, rather than just by itself.
The research showed that in mice, CBD was much more effective when used along with other compounds of the cannabis plant, than used alone. While they haven’t yet figured out why exactly this is the case, it’s now generally accepted that full-spectrum CBD oil is more effective at treating a majority of medical conditions.
And if you ask around, you’ll find that the vast majority of frequent CBD users strongly agree with this. In fact, for conditions like anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, nearly every single CBD patient will claim that full-spectrum oil is by far the superior option.
Final notes: CBD isolate vs. full-spectrum oil
CBD isolate still has a very relevant place in the cannabis market, however. A lot of people, for instance, use it to concoct their own personal daily CBD remedies – they mix the pure powder with oil, add it to their coffee, or make edibles out of it. Since it comes in a measurable powder, it’s a great option for those individuals who are trying to calculate exact doses of CBD medication by the milligram.
For the majority of average users though, a high-quality full-spectrum CBD oil will be the better, more efficient option. These concentrated oils have delivered incredible results so far, and have been observed to effectively treat everything from anxiety to diabetes, to severe chronic pain. And with the inevitable continued research that’s to come, it’s expected that the quality of full-spectrum products will only continue to improve.
It’s still important to conduct plenty of research and find a reliable CBD manufacturer, before spending money on any old product. Since the market is still unregulated by the FDA, there are a plethora of phony companies out there that are selling completely bogus products. We recommend only using oils from reliable companies with a proven track record.
- Full-spectrum Hemp extract
- No pesticides, solvents or chemical fertilizers
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Price Range ($48.00 – $139.00)
- Maximum potency and purity
- Compounded by a licensed pharmacist
- Highly concentrated extraction process
- Price Range ($26-$169)
- Full-Spectrum Extract (Made in USA)
- 100% Natural and Organic
- Contain no artificial flavors or preservatives
- Prices range ($48-$125)
- CBDPure uses a chemical-free CO2 extraction process
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Certified hemp grown in Colorado
- Price Range ($29.99 – $79.99)
- Over 5 Years Experience
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Organic hemp CO2 extract tincture
- Price Range ($62.00 – $204.00)