One of the most common questions we get here at PureKana is what is the difference between CBD isolate vs full-spectrum CBD oil. This is a good question, and luckily enough, it’s a simple one to answer.
In the most basic sense, CBD isolate oil is an oil that contains nothing but CBD extract. It contains no other active hemp compounds. Full spectrum products, on the other hand, include a complete range of active compounds that are found naturally in hemp. This includes cannabinoids (i.e. CBD and THC), flavonoids, terpenes, and more.
Here are a few basic benefits of CBD isolate compared to full spectrum CBD products:
Benefits of CBD Isolate
- Contains 0% THC, and 99% CBD or more
- Often available in high strengths
- Great for cooking, light flavor, and versatility
Benefits of Full-Spectrum
- Available in a greater range of CBD products
- Supports the entourage effect theory (see below for more info)
- Contains a complete range of useful hemp phytocannabinoids and terpenes
An Overview: CBD Isolate vs. Full-Spectrum
It’s likely that you have encountered the terms “full-spectrum” and “isolate” while shopping for CBD. Essentially, these two labels tell you the kind of cannabinoid content you can expect in a product.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is just one of many cannabinoids found in hemp. While CBD and its psychoactive counterpart, THC, are the most well-known, plenty of other cannabinoids are worth learning about.
This includes CBG, the precursor to both CBD and THC, and CBN. Each cannabinoid has different effects on the body, and it is thought that combining various cannabinoids can lead to a strengthened effect.
Let’s delve a little deeper into the terms “full-spectrum” and “isolate” to find out precisely what they mean.
What Is CBD Isolate?
One of the most basic forms of CBD is an isolate. These products contain nothing except pure, isolated CBD. In other words, there are no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids.
Although this might be considered simple at first glance, it is actually much harder to glean an isolate from hemp. When hemp undergoes the extraction process to remove its cannabinoids, all of the plant’s compounds are extracted.
In essence, all the cannabinoids and terpenes come out of the plant. This means that extra steps must be taken to isolate the CBD and free it of any other compounds. Because of this, CBD isolate is quite hard to make.
It comes in many forms. The most common CBD isolates you will see are dabs or powders. However, dabbing is not for everyone, and it is becoming increasingly common to see CBD isolate gummies, oils, and capsules, among other things.
What Is Full-Spectrum CBD?
In contrast to isolates, full-spectrum CBD products contain a full range of cannabinoids. When the cannabinoids are extracted from hemp, the whole extract is made into a consumable product. This means that you are getting a dose of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytonutrients.
Some people may be particularly conscious about consuming THC. However, due to federal laws, all CBD products must be extracted from hemp. By definition, hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, meaning that the extract will also only contain negligible amounts of THC. And so, these trace amounts will not get you high.
So what are the benefits of a full-spectrum CBD oil? It used to be believed that isolated CBD was more effective than full-spectrum, but attitudes have changed. Many people now believe that full-spectrum CBD is the preferred option because of something called the “entourage effect.”
This phenomenon refers to how cannabinoids work together to create homeostasis within the body. Some users believe the presence of other phytonutrients amplifies CBD’s positive effects.
Generally, users prefer to use a full-spectrum CBD to improve their general well-being. However, the choice between isolate and full-spectrum products is mostly a personal preference.
What About Broad-Spectrum CBD?
It’s likely that you have also seen the term “broad-spectrum.” This refers to a CBD product that contains a range of other cannabinoids but no THC. It allows for most of the benefits of the entourage effect but with no risk of consuming THC.
This is ideal if you are entirely against consuming the compound, if you are worried about taking it, or if you are often drug tested at work. Of course, a CBD isolate can also be used, but you won’t experience the potential benefits of the entourage effect.
Should I Use Full-Spectrum CBD or a CBD Isolate?
Now that you know what each term means, you might be wondering how you decide between the two. There is no way to know for certain what the best type of CBD for you is; it is just a matter of weighing up the pros and cons.
CBD isolate has the advantage of being the purest and often most potent form of CBD. Good quality isolate contains upwards of 90% cannabidiol. Furthermore, CBD isolate is both tasteless and odorless. This is perfect for those wanting to cook with CBD, as it can be added to recipes without altering the flavor.
As for full-spectrum CBD, the main advantage is the entourage effect. If you are looking for potent, efficient CBD, then this is the way to go. Furthermore, it is often considered most similar to the original plant as it undergoes less processing.
The cons of full-spectrum CBD are that it may flag a positive on a drug test due to the fractional THC content. Secondly, the terpenes and flavonoids from cannabis can create a strong taste and aroma that some people find unpleasant. While there are ways to deal with it, it can be easier to use an isolate product instead.
Final Thoughts on CBD Isolate vs. Full-Spectrum Oils
We should stress that no CBD type is better than any other. While full-spectrum products are suited to some individuals, others will find an isolate more to their liking. It’s a matter of deciding what works for you.
Here at PureKana, most of our products are full-spectrum, allowing you to experience the benefits of the entourage effect. However, all of our CBD vegan gummies and CBD bath bombs contain an isolate formulation, giving you the best of both worlds.